One of the things that pains the movement for fat acceptance, our intense sense of a lack of personal credibility. This is one of the things that has always shocked me, that we keep saying this.
To me, credibility's something that comes as much if not more, from within. It's not something given to you, and even if it was, you'd have to accept it, so why not just cut out the middle man(literally) and do it yourself?
Yes I know people are often saying it when they are talking about how if we say something everyone guffaws and dismisses, sorry, so what if they do? That is now, not tomorrow. Also, how do we feel about our inner selves, about our credibility to ourselves, is that increasing? For me it has and I consider that, along with other people's, to be a real victory and one worth celebrating and keeping in mind.
What do we expect them to do? Let's work it out. Unless fat people are erased from the discourse it cannot be owned by those who have taken hold of it now. They've got nothing if all things were equal because we know ourselves, we know more than them, being fat is our home turf not theirs. They can only look like owning it if they keep us out. We went along with this because we didn't know before, we believed the same things as everyone else, the things we were taught too. Experience has been our teacher.
Now it's different, now we are beginning to be able to assert the benefit of our own hard won knowledge and even though we don't feel confident, we still refuse to back down and shut up. Maybe if you run out of all alternatives and the only thing left is the truth, you don't need confidence you've no real choice. I'm sure the confidence will come out of that.
Saying we have no credibility as if it's a statement of fact, colludes with the old erasure that occurred when we were busy with the experiment. Yes, when we speak it feels eerily inauthentic at times. That sense has been fostered by the endless denial of what was happening to us, by all around that we love and believe in. This is bound to leave it's mark. Whilst I'm not saying we should or need to deny other people's view of us, if it's not going to stop us, what's the point in caring so much about it?
Mentally, intellectually we know that we are right, so this inauthenticity is purely an emotional recollection of the past. It will abate eventually and we aren't the only ones, many who've been silenced and marginalized have had it far worse than we could ever imagine.
So yes, acknowledge the feeling without being defined by it, because that's wrong. Our credibility is not defined by others feelings about that, especially when they are so clearly necessary in serving their agenda.
Our voices do not lack anymore credibility than anyone else's but we have to believe that, against our emotional stores of negating memories. We must declare to ourselves and each other over and over again that we are real, we are sentient, we are conscious.
We can stop speaking of our so called inauthenticity or lack of credibility as if it's just a fact, when we know clearly that it isn't.
We could also do with cooling it a bit on the 'you're slim therefore you've the cred'.
It's about others seeing what we're seeing, even when it's from a different vantage point. If we hadn't gone along with so much and they'd not gone along with so much privileging of slimness, we'd all be better off. No of us would say the latter means slim people lack credibility because of their previous attitudes.
Sometimes I think we are stuck too much in the past, trying to get the cool kids on side, when in actual fact, it's turned out that the cool kids aren't so cool-some not at all, fat phobia is shocking for revealing just how out of it a lot of them are when their well connectedness doesn't count for anything- and we are not quite so uncool as we thought we were, who really cares in the end?
We need ourselves even more than we need other selves, we are the ones who will revive our credibility whether we like it or not and we need to ditch the passivity of mind that we have previously been trammelled into behind.* that's how you spell it, apparently.