Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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Ornamental Bodies

August 22, 2010

My apologies for the lack of posting; things have been crazy stressful here and I'm not handling it well.  One of the things I love to do to relax is with my friends, and that's play Pathfinder.  We get together twice a week to play in two different campaigns with most of the same people in both groups.  One of my friends is a self-professed asshole.  We don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, one of which came up last night around fat acceptance.  We'll call this friend Mr. B. 

Mr. B was remarking that while at an SCA event recently there was a very large woman wearing not much more than a loin cloth and top walking around.  He remarked that she should not wear anything like that.  Another friend (the one who got me into Fat Acceptance and who also games with me) remarked something along the lines of "She can wear whatever she wants.  If I'm going to stand up for bodies, I'm going to stand up for bodies of ALL sizes."  I chimed in that noone has any obligation to anyone else to be ornamental or eye-candy for anyone else and that yeah, the woman in question can wear whatever she wants.  Mr. B wasn't up for an arguement and agreed to disagree with me.  The moment passed and we went back to hacking apart a magical fist of doom.

For a few seconds there, it was one of those dreaded 'swallow shit or ruin the evening' moments, where you can say nothing and let a harsh remark pass and kick yourself for it, or you can say something and potentially start a big fight.  It's a terrible bargain for sure and it's something a lot of us deal with every day, whether it's a rape joke, someone spouting off how much fatties must eat and how horrible they are, a comment on how terrible women drivers are or how lazy and bad at housekeeping men are.  Initially, I was going to let it pass, but when my FA friend spoke up, I had the courage to say something too.  That's kinda how it works.  When one of us stands up, it gives courage to others to stand up.  That's why FA is so important, IMO; by blogging and being out and about being fat and fabulous, being seen doing fun things, grocery shopping, at Disney World, at SCA events and at the beach, we don't have to hide even though we're made to feel we should.  FA fights this feeling, this expectation that we need to have ornamental bodies, that we must conform to an unattainable ideal.  I am more than my body and I'll wear whatever the hell I want.  I encourage you to do the same.

"That's kinda how it works. When one of us stands up, it gives courage to others to stand up."

Yep, and it is usually gratifying to see how many others will join in as voices for justice and kindness when one person is willing to respond to the original crass comment.

People really are basically nice, and our species' default sociability is why folks don't always challenge fatphobic, homophobic, etc, comments. But once you open the door, you have opened another social safe space. The more we perform this, the more others can do it themselves. They just need some practice.

I've had this same argument with a friend's housemate. He doesn't think chubby folks should be allowed to be naked. I point out that besides being an ugly attitude, he's chubby. He wouldn't go naked. We agree to disagree.



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