I wasn't surprised to see a few "fat suit" costumes come across my newsfeed Friday night and Saturday morning on Facebook.
No, not surprised. Disgusted. Embarrassed. Outraged. Yes, all of those, but not surprised.
There's a disturbingly long history of fat suit usage in popular culture and our media. The trend of these artifacts is to mock, shame, humiliate, and belittle actual fat people. But even the more seemingly positive "I'm just trying to experience life like you for a day" examples convey the message that thin people sensationally experiencing the just so awful lives of fat people is more interesting than listening to ACTUAL fat folks.
One costume I saw in particular rubbed me the wrong way. It looked like this (but this particular image was pulled from Google.)
|[Image text: two people posing in fat suits and Biggest Loser contestant shirts.]|
Listen very carefully: My body is not something you get to put on for fun and take off again, retreating into your ignorant bliss of thin privilege. My body is not to be worn for mockery. You don't get to do that. My body is not to be your object of shock! It is not to be disparaged. It's taken me YEARS to feel comfortable and strong enough to say that so publicly...to embrace myself...to feel at peace and you don't get to take that away.
My body is not your fucking costume--it's my actual existence. When will people start learning that other folks identities are NOT to be worn?
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