Thursday, 2 April 2009

The term 'fat acceptance'

A discussion over at Vesta's site, about a nightclub entrepreneur called Lisa Marie Garbo took an unexpected turn raising problems with the term "fat acceptance". The "fat" bit in this case.

According to some the use of the word is alienating, putting thin people off the fat acceptance movement. This is supposed to be our biggest aim to the extent that we should drop it on that basis alone.

The purpose of trying to protect fat people's rights or restore self acceptance is that discrimination against fat people leaves a mark on everyone, not just fat people. It has become so overloaded with negatives that the poison is spilling elsewhere and that needs to be addressed head on.

Size acceptance would just submerge it which seems to me the impulse at work, giving in to that and calling fat acceptance size acceptance would just be giving into that very power seeming to defeat the purpose. The power needs to be discharged by being aired.

"Size gets you a foot in the door to persuade others by being more inclusive."

But what if that's too high a price? What if the loss of energy by obscuring the aim means we end up not caring enough? What's the point in fighting lesser issues when this one is looming over everything?

There seems to be resentment at the possibility of fat people calling our own shots for ourselves after being told by everyone else what to do the whole time. I feel this is part of what is making people nervous. I didn't quite realise the sense of ownership would remain so strong, and unabashed.

It reminds me of how those hard boiled detectives get into their cases, they are warned off time and again, often unexpectedly at first. The more this happens the more likely they are to want all the more to find the source of it all. The way this keeps coming up shows that we should keep going with it. As the horror fades people won't care and size will be fine.

Truth is people repeatedly keep trying to dissuade fat acceptance from keeping the word fat, because they are not interested in dealing with it because it doesn't seem to affect them directly.

There's also a sense that we are being asked to prove something that others are still in charge that things are still the same, but surely that cannot possibly be what we could want.

By re-reviving the words rich meaning, rich of course is one of them along with fertile etc., In doing that we are lifting the burden from everyone.

I hope others join in.

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