Saturday, 19 March 2011

Fat acceptance all the way along

I started this as a response as I wasn't sure how long it would be, I decided to bring it here;

I agree that we live in a society that teaches even thin women to think of themselves as fat.....
I think this is the key theme here, I've gone on record as having no truck with any false equivalency or attempts to assuage guilt about participating in fat hating by trying to shut out fat people's full voice but for me, this is something else.

Its about the energy and potency of fat phobia and hating. This has by that potency of investment spilled out onto virtually everybody. Therefore excluding anyone from participating in an honest embrace of whatever sense of plumpness/chubbiness/fatness they relate to is essentially self defeating.

It just shuts off a channel where that potency can remain intact to be re-invested in the whole.

I really find this sense of erasure by the mere presence of someone else's body to be a hangover of being shamed by said body type. Slimmer people need to wake up to the fact that going along with the aggrandizing of their own bodies has turned them into a living reproach of other bodies, it has depersonalized their own bodies, differently.

So called thin privilege does not come for free. They too need to reclaim their own bodies for themselves like fat people. Part of that is to no longer be afraid of or hate fat/ness, in others or perceived/ feared in themselves.

Needing to reclaim their bodies from what may have seemed to be a position of strength but was only relatively  so. A less weak position rather than a strong one.

Each body must be capable of being taken in its own right and draw its own rules not just exist in comparison, positive or negative with others.

That goes against what fat hating teaches us to do-to compare bodies, to our own detriment or praise rather than from a self accepting curiosity or celebration of a varieties of quality or type. Nobody's body should be seen as a cipher of 'purity' to insult or browbeat another's, in the same way fat bodies should not be a cipher for 'impurity' or badness to create fear or hostility of becoming so in fat or thin alike.

We can delight in our differences in ways that don't have to annihilate anybody. If we feel that the mere presence of someone thinner does then we have to push on and find ways to work through that. It is showing up that habit of comparison and how automatic it has become.

That's why I love this post because it suggests what is possible when you no longer see your body through hostile gaze. Other bodies no longer assault  or belittle your own and you can appreciate them as they are.

Fat acceptance spaces are great in that they enable us to create experiences where we start that process of exploring and working through how we feel. We are letting our guard down by doing this and this can cause things to sting or trigger us in ways that may not when we have our defences up in the world.Where our learned numbness of survival and hurt is in play.

I don't blame people for feeling upset and angry about what feels like a dominant and privileged body pushing out their own belittled one. But that is the shame or self consciousness of what we seek to throw off inside ourselves and out.

FA can extend to learn not to allow those rules to reign in the fatsphere by seeing those bodies in their own right, rather than as they are usually presented to us. To develop a new relationship with them as well as our own. Just as thinner people need to develop a new relationship with theirs and ours that is not based on superiority but on acceptance of the validity of all.

Only approving your body because it is assigned as 'better' also means that it is not good enough as it is, it has to be made into 'better' before it can be worthy. Think about what that means. That is hidden at least in part because of the constant comparison with negatively rendered fatter bodies. It is a loss made to look like a win. Ironically it seems increasingly so as fat bodies are hated more which then encourages increased hatred of fatness. It is a vicious cycle of its own.

I'm afraid this is the deal a lot of thinner people have bought into. A little bit of fellow feeling for fatz could have saved them from it, that is why some of them keep trying to make equivalent what is not. They think they can avoid it that way.

We have all done things to be ashamed of to varying degrees, we all have to try get over that. We all are facing this, fat people too. We are not 'winning by victimhood' so trying to make out that thinz hurt in the same way is not the response needed.

What is required is for thinz to want to reclaim their bodies from an illusory 'pedestal'. The question for me is are you up for that? Do you feel like you are giving up something?

That has to be worked through because you are not. Respect and positive rapport with your body cannot be surpassed nor equaled, certainly not by any relative 'privilege' that brings with it anxiety and fear that you may become what you most fear.

It's similar in a way to smaller fatz and larger fatz dealing with your position in things without feeling your experience is belittled or erased merely by being contextualized.

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