Thursday, 29 April 2010

Different strokes

Reading Tasha Fierce, this gave me pause for thought;
If it’s okay for people to comment negatively on say, Kate Hudson’s surgically altered body, then it follows that it’s fair game for people to comment negatively on Gabourey Sidibe’s body size.
Ouch, I must admit I was quite irked by this. First off Porizkova's comments on Kate Hudson where so benign, I had to re-read them to make sure I wasn't missing the great insult to her and her right to -allegedly- enlargen her breasts. The tone was all-more in disappointment than anger.

This kind of comparison annoys because it is so typical of the way a tiny weeny shadow of perceived negativity towards women who aren't fat is made into a direct comparison with something far worse that happens to fat women. And the point that repeatedly makes.

That offensiveness towards slim people is just more important. More offensive against humanity in general. Whereas, the same aimed towards fat people has been so normalized, that it simply doesn't register till it borders on the obscene.
The comparison between someone having cosmetic surgery and being fat is a nonsense. A closer comparison would be with someone criticizing a celeb for being 'too thin' and 'unhealthy'. Or even Gabourey Sidibe having breast implants.

It's ironic, one of the things being fat from a young age can do to you is separate you from the expectations of others around you, to an extent sometimes similar to that of the distance between a celebrity and an ordinary person.

You learn to apply rules to yourself in ways that you wouldn't to others. Being more sympathetic to them, more blamey to yourself. You can end up lowering your expectations and that can bind with other low expectations depending on where you come from. Giving you a wholly differing standard of judging what are acceptable ways to address you and acceptable ways to address others.

What is amazing is when roaming around the fat/ feminist sphere, meeting people on the other side of that. And whatever minor infraction is supposed to be significant is asserted as equivalent, based on how upset they can manage to get, based on their elevated status. We then are supposed to get as upset about that, as they are and if we do not, we are accused of being as bad as fat haters.

It feels like a sleight of hand as it keeps in place one of the most pernicious and difficult aspects that can go along with being fat. Seeing yourself from a unique place of lowliness.

I'm not even talking about self esteem necessarily, just not seeing yourself as sensitively as you do others. I'll admit that is what I felt when I read this. That when a woman deemed worthwhile is possibly not praised to the skies, that is the same as another deemed less worthy is being treated like shit.

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