In answer to the question, what do we do about fat stigma? This suggestion caught my eye;
programs which might help fat adults be more resilient in the face of fat hatred;
I've been saying for yonks that we should have some kind of deprogramming, maybe that would remove the need for the endless 101ing that is way too often pointless because the set up of mainstream mentality has to deny fat people any voice to stand up at all. So people come to FA defending themselves against it-which they call having a questioning, objective or open mind-rather than coming to it, to suspend all that long enough to grasp it, and then critique it.
It's a bit like those getting out of cults, or the army-I'm not sure even the army has these programs, but they clearly should. It might help deal with the amount of ex-Army who get into trouble after being subject the mental rigours of 'army discipline' techniques.
What I discovered from that, is I'm not the one to propose it, maybe no fatty is, if we could hear it from a *real person, someone with the required kudos, I'm sure it would be considered more deeply. Hearing it from a fellow fatty is possibly like hearing a breeze.
We need an internalized fat haters survivors group and the reasons we don't is we take our selves for granted. And possibility some of the FA narratives that are to the fore. I say that as someone who cannot ever remember recommending therapy to anyone. Maybe, we could re-write the rules on that too, along with a lot of other citadels fatness could turn over.
When you are knuckled down in full obese persona mode, you can become so outer directed that your core is imbalanced by it. Add to that a childhood start before your brain is properly formed and you are talking about a brain that can be fat hating outer directed shaped.
Part of the problem with FA for me is because that is not dealt with intensely and in depth that becomes the style of outwardness, rather than being outward looking from the centre of oneself. I am not advocating insularity, but a shift from the former supine looking outside in to an expansive inner centred vision.
Trouble is there doesn't seem to be any real appetite for it, sorry about the pun. Underneath it all I get a sense that we seem strangely bored with ourselves, because of that void, because of creation from outside. There seems a sense that we think we are boring and everyone else is interesting. Which of course could be, everyone else seems inward out, we seem outward in. Therefore we pursue the interest and engagement of others-who have actually willfully disengaged from us-and ignore or treat each other rather contemptuously.
I'm not talking about personality clashes etc., I'm talking about fat hating contempt, we are contemptuous of each other because we are each noting but a fatty, the void in you becomes the void in me.
Basically, there's a sense of 'who does (fat) so and so think s/he is?' They're just a fatty like me, they aren't all that.
This might seem an outrageous statement, there is praise of each other too, some of it genuine, however, nothing ever comes close to or as excited as someone who isn't fat, paying us some attention.
It's still the same fatty trying to convince the good folks we are genuine and really, not bad at heart and it's one of the few things that genuinely embarrasses me about fat acceptance on occasion.
I've similar elsewhere to a certain extent all groups in the firing line have this. So it is not unique to FA, but it does seem to have an extra edge, because it's so personal. It seems to me this sense of unreality of constantly and consistently having your feelings and experiences denied, that has left many of us with a deep sense of unreality about ourselves.
It's kind of double track in that we know we are totally real and yet inside the emotional and mental memories collect together and stand as a collection of sense patterns that contain and represent that experience of repeated denial, that sense of learned doubt and feelings of unrealness.
I don't know that it can be escaped, unless it is dismantled and I get the feeling, don't go there, not yet anyway, maybe 'society' i.e. the others, the real people, come around, we won't have to. Because their much desired acknowledgement will heal us.
I'm not so convinced.
And in fact I'll go so far as to say, I've never wanted to be saved by 'society' particularly. I definitely want them to can all fat hate NOW. But I'd be just as happy, if not happier to be saved by myself and others who have a clue, and for real peeps to recognize that. I would have thought they would have to, moreover I suspect they want it that way too. There's a part of them that wants us to stand up to them. I don't think they can free themselves from the yoke of fat hating on their own.
I think there's an issue of loss of face. It is really out there to claim that grown, sentient, sane people don't know what's going on in their own body. Apart from it undermining everyone's capacities for self knowledge, if you are wrong, you are very very wrong indeed.
So you'd better be right and if you are not. That's not something you are going to get out of easily. Far better to just keep it going as long as you can, postpone the day of reckoning, until you have little choice.
If we stop taking it and start telling them what to think of us, as it should be, a lot of them will feel greatly relieved. But we don't give them the chance if we ask them to do it instead.
They didn't do such a good job on telling us how to lose weight did they? What makes anyone think they'll do any better with saving our furrowed minds? Please, if I trusted them with it, I wouldn't bother with fat acceptance in the first place.
It's an easy enough to do. We bring this desire with us into FA and are often disappointed when encountering people who've been affected in the same way we have. And they don't have any better answers than we.
But I just feel if we were more proactive in this area of recovery and training to be more robust under attack, we'd break through that underlying sense of boredom with ourselves and our acquiescing habit and discover an inner core that has survived in all and is far more interesting than we could have imagined. A bit like some of those 'others'.
We fat people always take ourselves way too much for granted, if we learned to stop, we wouldn't feel as put upon as we some times do.
We might even become real enough to ourselves to stop claiming we have no credibility.* A thin person, golly gosh.