Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My body is not a costume

[Content note: fat shaming, fatphobia, weight loss]

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.]
The Biggest Loser is one of the most heinous examples of outright fat hatred that I can think of...what they put their contestants through is dehumanizing and outright dangerous. So for some thin folks to not only don a fat body for funsies--but one that is so visibly abused and degraded by that crap show week after week...well it just pisses me the fuck off.

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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