I think about it both ways turning it around and around in my mind-the message is the medium. I had it somewhere in my mind when thinking about how fat acceptance should write itself by via its own experience and not be sunk under a lot of irrelevant ideologies and positional conceits that are often don't add any tangible meaning to it.
Or seek to be no threat and fit into what other people have laid down.
McLuhan described it once as meaning;
The content of the medium is never the message, any medium, at all creates a new pattern, a new atmosphere a new environment of human perception, which works upon the whole man, it works upon the whole society. That is the message.
He was referring to mass media, I think it works for any message- the shape formed through a message expressing itself is the message it conveys.
Its not too hard to see this when you think of how people repeatedly recognising the futility of “proving” stuff to fat haters.
We all start from the rigid hegemony of what fat or thin people are like, fat and thin alike with differing consequences. All the terms of reference, of meaning are set to serve ideas of eating as an extension and measure of character and the conscious mind the creator of eating and through that the decider of weight. That's in the service of fat phobes.
It empowers them.
We don't get kicked around because we are repressed, or because we lack the capacity to speak about ourselves, we argue solely on terms based on us being defined by what erases our experience. Our assigned place is to be described by what we are supposed to be.
Drawing us in to play the same old game same rules trading on that common ground and reviving it in our minds with us in in the same old position of answering to the kangaroo court.
Its not what they’re asking “prove your healthy/fit/sane” etc., its the medium of us as supplicants, running around after hostile diktats.
Our views are formed in response to the same old medium of fat hating, rather than an assertion of our own.