Not to make a totally random comeback or anything (oh, hi, blog!) but I woke up this morning to a Facebook thread so simultaneously inspiring and infuriating that I had to leave a giant rant comment on it that I needed to share with y'all who are still tuning in (some of you lovely people, I hope!)
So basically, a friend of mine/girl I know from college-- who happens to be a gorgeous, very skinny former model-- posted the above photo on her Facebook with a caption saying how beautiful she thinks this woman is. Well, I was pleased to see most of the comments on a very long comment thread were positive, which shocked the hell out of me. But of course, some members of the OMG THINK OF MY EYES! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! brigade came out to make comments that basically said the following:
1. She can't possibly be healthy and that's gross.
2. Fat is objectively less attractive than being skinny.
3. Self-love is an excuse to give up on yourself, yuck!
Maybe it was a combination of my desire to spread the word that fatphobia is damaging and the fact that it was 7 a.m. and I was so not yet in the mental space where I can tolerate a metric ton of stupid bullcrap, but I had to feed the trolls and rant. I wanted to post it here because I've been away too long and I thought you might be interested in how I dealt with it. I didn't edit this at all for the sake of authenticity and I wrote it in a huff so if there are weird typos/grammar things, forgive me.
"Just putting it out there that your weight doesn't always have anything to do with your health, because it's just not that simple-- illness and genetics can make you fat or skinny just like eating and exercise can. First of all, I know plenty of overweight people who exercise and eat better than a lot of the skinny people I know. Secondly, it's bull to make that argument because-- really-- do you care what some random chick get told at her doctor's appointment (and if you've never been fat, you might not realize doctors can be hateful, too, about your weight and not want to deal with you beyond telling you you're too fat)? People use health as an excuse for fatphobia, plain and simple. You know what people don't deserve just because they're not healthy? Hate. People are people. We all deserve to feel safe and get some basic respect. Because of the way this society works, most fat people I know (myself included) have hated themselves and wanted to be skinny and tried. But guess what doesn't work? Punishing yourself. And that's all weight loss is for a lot of people: punishing themselves for not being beautiful, not being good enough, not being thin enough. They do it out of hatred for their bodies and it doesn't work. If hating yourself and dieting worked, everyone would be thin. Instead, the hate creates a negative spiral of unhealthy mental energy and actual behavior. At my skinniest, I was my most depressed, held the most self-loathing, felt most isolated from everyone around me, but at the same time everyone was telling me how much prettier I was and good for me. People noticed me, and believe it or not, that hurts. It really does, seeing for yourself that so much of what makes you you isn't appreciated unless you look a certain way. I didn't feel any more beautiful in size 2 jeans than I felt 10 or more sizes larger [EDIT: Apparently in my rage I forgot women's jeans sizes often go by twos. 10 is more like 5, if it's at all relevant]. I ended up gaining most of the weight back, but I'm at a point where I FEEL deserving of love and respect and I FEEL beautiful and no one needs to validate me (despite the fact I have a fiancee who I've been with 4 years who would beg to differ that skinny girls are objectively more attractive). I eat a more balanced diet now than I did when I was skinny and starving myself. I'm more physically fit than I was when I was working out obsessively. I do those things because I love myself and my body. I do it and it's sustainable because it doesn't come out of a place of hate. But I also realize plenty of people probably look at me and other people who deviate from the ideal as disgusting. But that says nothing about me. That says something about the people who would judge others on their dress size."
I've probably fed the trolls and if it starts a proverbial shitstorm, I'll update you. Maybe no one will say anything about it or notice it, but at least I put myself out there so that some people might look in the mirror before they go judging others.
Have you ever seen people being fatphobic on your news feed? What did you do? If you said anything, what did you say (P.S. you go, girl!) If you didn't, why not? Would you handle it differently in the future?