Fat Pride=Insecurity

Last night I was at a casual gathering. The topic of fat bashing came up. In particular, the topic of ‘gross fat women on motorized scooters in Target.’

Yes, I know. Couth.

The first thing that I thought about was how amazing it is that people think its okay to make fun of fat people IN FRONT OF FAT PEOPLE.

Keep in mind, these are dear friends. Friends that would not intentionally want to hurt me. But their bigotry is so engrained that they don’t even think twice.

“Oh, but I’m talking about people way fatter than you!”

As if that matters! That’s just a matter of scale. The point is still the same: fat people are gross. And no matter how you qualify it, that applies to me too.

The second thing that marveled me was my reluctance to speak up. I tried to come up with some easier reasons, like not rocking the boat. But when I hit the truth it was this: I didn’t want to speak up because having pride in being a beautiful fat woman is often viewed as veiled insecurity. And I just happen to be the type of person that can’t stand making my weaknesses public. So even though it had nothing to do with insecurity, I couldn’t handle that people would even think that!

So I wonder if this is an issue in other types of bigotry. Do people who are gay or hispanic or disabled ever fail to speak up against bashing because they might be perceived as insecure? Or is this a phenomenon reserved only for fat-hate?

Either way, I didn’t say a damn thing while they went on and on about how fat people who get that bad have no excuse and they let themselves go and blah, blah, blah.

I need an elevator speech about fat-hate. What do you say in these situations?

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1 Comment

Filed under Feminism, Self Image, Size Acceptance

One response to “Fat Pride=Insecurity

  1. Arwen

    I absolutely have experienced that whatever marginalized community you’re talking about, speaking up can be seen as defensiveness/insecurity/untruth and therefore written off. (Although a lot of times there IS valid defensiveness, as in: HEY! You’re hitting me! Quit it!)

    People are going to be judgmental if they’re going to be judgmental. It’s not on any one person to do anything “right” in order to be taken seriously. That said, and with friends, I find that there’s a lot communicated in tone. I’ve mainly been mentioning how excited I am to find Kate Harding (since she was my first exposure) and how it’s a real eye opener to learn that so much of our self-hatred about our love handles (and I simply include everyone in the room, because what thin person hasn’t stressed about weight?) or tummies is based on inaccurate understanding of the science and there’s not much anyone can do.

    I also like to reveal the exciting info that we all have our own weight range. It makes sense that we look at the upper side of our weight range as what happens when we’re unhealthy. What makes NO sense, says the science, is assuming that the heavier person’s body is a scalar multiple of the lack of self care that takes us to our upper weight.

    It seems to work. With friends. At least they know I’ll launch into it at the drop of a hat.

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