Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Size of You

An enjoyable article on Substantia Jones and her Adipositivity Project in New Zealand made me consider a subtle difference in attitude to weight and identity. 

I'm glad she said that she wished to "demystify" fat bodies. I'm bored of others, especially the fat hating sisterhood, insisting TAP etc., are trying to force others to find fat people beautiful. Assuming they're covering their bitching with snooty sub-lectures about how they've appointed us miners of digging for women's value beyond beauty. As if they've they're too gorgeous for that.

Give. Me. Strength. 

We've already been forced to find slim people beautiful or else, regardless. I'll have more time for this noise when it finds injustice in that. Not that pretending slim=beauty keeps me awake at night, just that slim people need to learn that the complaints they aim at fat people are usually more apt commentary on their own unresolved issues-such as this. Clearly slimz are contemptuous of their own demands. The consistency of this doesn't bode well for self-acceptance.

When SJ was young, she was thin/slim, as a child she said she was nicknamed "bones". Later;
"I liked being thin. I freaked out about my body changing, and I started dieting very young."
Indicative of many if not most thin/slim people;
As she went on one diet after another, her weight yo-yoed. It was only when she embraced her fat body that Jones actually felt happy with herself.
Ummm, "fat body".

Of the Adipositivity Project she says,
"The primary goal is that I want people to love and respect their bodies."
"Their bodies" is right. 

Both fat body and their bodies reference the same the same time, there can be a subtle difference between embracing yourself and your fatness as part of that. And embracing fatness as a defining characteristic of yourself. It means something to be aware of what you are signing on for when weight becomes you.
I never have any desire anymore to be thin. It wouldn't be me."
It's all in those last four words (the prior sentence is quoted for context). I'm not trying to catch SJ out or nitpick. Many people aim toward this. I'm querying the urge to identify indubitably with weight, whether thin or fat. Your weight is not you.

You are yourself, your size is an aspect of that. 

SJ is no more inherently fat than she was inherently thin, what remained constant was herself. Same person, same life, same body-different stages, different sizes. That's how the body is. It changes. It adapts.

The point of FA is all bodies all people are always human. Always valuable, always the body you are going to do anything with.What is precious is you, not your girth. I honestly think that's what we are all avoiding.

Whatever your size, check your response to the reality that you are the value not your slimness or your valuation of fatness.

Before we plunge into defining ourselves as must-be-fat, we need to look at the mess of a crusade given life by must-be-slim and humbly ask ourselves why we'll make a better fist of weight as identity than slim people. What have we got that they haven't?

It's not the whole story, but if so many slim people did not struggle with the idea of not being slim, we would never have gotten in this mess.

Yes, if SJ woke up tomorrow as slim as she used to be, it might well be incredibly disconcerting, but you know what? She's already gotten over a far greater shock-the loss of a weight halo. She wouldn't stop being herself, even if it altered her character. She'd get over it, or get over not getting over it, same as any change.

As important as it is to value and as she says, demystify fat bodies, until we (re-)learn to really possess our thoughts, our perceptions our sentience, autonomy, agency, narratives and experience, size will not be enough.

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