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First, let me start this conversation by saying this may be triggering for lots of people. I will discuss weight loss a lot in this article. Please take care of yourself.
When did our (Fat Liberation) movement turn into policing fat bodies – when they diet, get weight loss surgery, or do whatever the hell they want with their bodies?
I’ve been thinking about how the fat community engages or disengages with fat people who intentionally lose weight. I realize that I’m personally uncomfortable with the practice of disposing of people who are still invested in weight loss. I’m not supporting diets, but I’m saying, have grace for those who do go on a diet because we are not the British Monarchy.
I Know How Violent Fatphobia Is, and I Want to Put My Energy Towards the System That Keeps it Together, Not Policing Fat Bodies.
The health care system does not prioritize fat people. It punishes us. When you’re a double, triple, or quadruple minority, it totally makes sense for people to do something that makes their experience a tad bit better.
In an interview with Shae Marie, she says, “It’s something about body image that brings out the worst in women. It’s like people want you to consider them when making decisions about your body”.
I understand collective struggle, but why are we policing fat bodies?
Fat people are justified in not wanting to hear about weight loss, but fat people are not a monolith!
Our personal triggers cannot be used to cancel folks. WE WILL NOT CANCEL US.
Our fight is with fatphobia, not with the people in our community trying to navigate being denied access to care, housing, jobs, travel, etc.
I do not believe that fat people are unhealthy or have to lose weight to access health. Also, not everyone is going to be healthy. Period!
However, I believe that we have turned our fight against diet culture and a violent medical system into a fight against the people we want to be in the community with.
Fat people are fighting to be seen as a whole person, but you’re taking that away from them when you chose to see their weight.– Shae Marie
We know that weight discrimination is systematic and our limited access to thrive as fat people because of how violent fatphobia is.
We cannot dispose of other fats simply because they intentionally lose weight.
Is your love for me contiguous upon my weight, and if so, I thought we were more than our weight?– Shae Marie
We cannot make our fight be against individuals and instead focus on the violence we ALL experience from a fatphobic system.
In a conversation with a fat friend, she discussed how many times fat people are denied services. If a fat person is being denied an exam due to their weight, how do we have empathy for them when their response is a diet?
This is very real!
I recognize that this conversation may be triggering for some and maybe a conversation that we are all not ready to have, but we have to have it at some point.
We are not fighting for body prison. We are fighting for body liberation.
We must treat each other with care. Some fats are still being treated violently by the medical community and do not have the resources to fight for our access to quality health. We have to stop policing fat bodies.
While we know that health is not achievable for everyone, we must give grace to people who are doing what they think is best for their bodies and survival.
The fear of that fat person losing weight and turning fatphobic is real and has happened many times. Some would argue that they already had internalized fatphobia.
But I still struggle with the practice of canceling people who chose to initiate weight loss & alienating them from the community.
What is body autonomy in the fat community?
It appears that we are weaponizing our fight against systematic oppression and making it individualized. It’s not productive to gatekeep fat spaces from people who intentionally lose weight.
Attack the fatphobic system and not people!