Friday, 23 August 2013

Raising Awareness

Something that rarely comes up in the talk of invasive attitudes to thin people's bodies is the aftermath of raising awareness about anorexia. I often find that when something is deemed a good thing. It can be hard for the mind to connect that with unwanted side effects.

In the past, people generally respected slimmer people's personal space. Then came "raising awareness" of anorexia and ideas about actively intervening. Those leading the charge were told people felt unable to confront girls/ women about this. How could we tell, just because a person's thin? Incidentally, not all anorexics are.

They were  chided, lives depended on them busting through this respect and remonstrating with likely suspects. It was made to seem as if you said nothing that was letting someone die of the most deadly of all mental illness. That bust a barrier. Much later and rather quietly it was admitted "Mistakes had been made."

It wasn't intended that this should create contempt for thinner bodies. But it very quickly picked up on underlying resentments and jealousies. Especially from slim middle class women, who've been vocal for decades about slamming thin bodies, blaming thin models especially for their daughter's anorexia. Ignoring their own loud braying of "Ouwhaiiiiy don't they juhst stop eeeating?" Every time a fat person comes into view.

When their daughters enter plump pubescence, panic and start following the "advice" ringing in their ears, the psychological equivalent of whistling ensues.

I used to wonder to myself, why don't thinz ever confront this turning of their bodies into instigators of self-assault? It is an outrage. It was the hypocrisy that got on my nerves, the priority it laid out was clear-escaping any culpability. Whilst laying it thick on others. I couldn't work it out the seeming silence.

So, imagine my surprise that this has been overlooked to now be framed as an assault by fat people! I've said before it seems there's an unspoken understanding between thinz and slimz. They seem afraid of each others position. The latter wary of their jealousy and resentment of the former. "I'm slim, why can't I get thin?" And the former's sense of superiority over the latter who sometimes seem 'fat' to them. Yet wary of hostility and at times a sense of isolation.

A feeling that slimz could turn on them in the way they have on fatz. Which is perhaps why it feels like fat people trying to swim ashore is somehow asserting a centrifugal force dropping them in it. Setting the dial in another direction. Slimz are still to be seen at it.

Maybe that's why they're attacking FA so vociferously, when at the start we were like, let's join hands and tell those "in the middle" to leaves us bookends alone!

Seems that was just flirting, nix that plan. Perhaps they read fat people as even more craven to slimz to be of any use in that way. Well.....they've got a point.

I never thought of it at the time, but who knows? Perhaps FA shot itself in the foot there. Equally, though, we could never reassure them that we existed merely to attack them. No matter what we said, they didn't believe us, because they knew how they felt and how little reason they had to feel it. 

Anyway, plenty of those who identify solidly as thinz- rather than people-keep attacking FA with BS exaggerations about how 'thin shaming' is the same as being unable to acknowledge what has happened because, it's just not 'science'. It's the same old same old, drown fatness in false equivalence that has been the standard response to fat people.

I say that because there was nothing doing until fat people started to wake up and fight back against the 'obesity' crusade. And I'm not going to ever feel ashamed to say that. Because I'm not saying it for status jockeying powerplays. Or because I feel it gives me currency in the sj stock exchange. Or because I want attention, sympathy, approval, power or to mislabel myself "addict". I feel betterment will come through using the lessons learned to inform and advance human liberation.

Colour me quaint.

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