Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Well Intentioned" Fatphobes Can Kiss My Huge Ass

[Content note: fatphobia, body shaming]

A while back, I published a submitted photo on Tumblr where a fat woman was doing a move on a pole and someone had compared her to a roast chicken on the spit. Included were several very offensive comments. It was all around the perfect type of stuff to feature on a blog that calls out bigots on social media.

But I knew, right as I posted it, that the comments and direction it would eventually go, would make me want to scream. It always does. Even in "progressive" spaces...when fatphobia comes up front and center, someone is bound to derail and/or say something "well intentioned" that is actually incredibly toxic.

I was not wrong.

What went down was a few people talking about how as a fat person you're damned if you do, damned if you don' in, people always assume you're lazy and sedentary, but the minute you do a physical activity they openly mock you. Cool, cool. Good stuff so far.

Then we have THIS choice comment, left by "tenderloki"
I just don’t understand some people.Those people were working out,to fix their problem.You have concrete proof that they were working out,fixing their problem.Don’t make fun of them.Encourage them instead. 
As I said in my reply,

I knew this discussion was gonna go here. 
I’m trying to respond to this civilly but it is incredibly offensive to call bodies like mine a PROBLEM
You have missed the point in this discussion so hard it hurts.
When I exercise I do it because it makes me happy, because I want to, because it strengthens my body etc. I don’t do it because I think that I have a PROBLEM being a size 20. 
People who look at me taking a vigorous walk and condescendingly think, “Oh good for you! Trying to make a change!” are as much as problem in my mind as people who see me taking a vigorous walk and think “Ew gross jiggly fatty!” 
I’m not making a fucking change. I’m doing what I do every day and the thing that needs a change is your fatphobic mindset.
I want to make this entirely clear...if your definition of being an ally to fat people includes pathologizing our bodies, you can cordially fuck right off. I meant it so sincerely that people who think like this are as bad as the people who outright bully us in the street.

This "Don't make fun of them. Encourage them instead" mentality might be well intentioned but it is condescending and presumptive and still fatphobic as fuck. I don't need your encouragement. I need you to stop thinking all fat people need/want to "change."

Please see the commenting policy before replying to this post.


  1. Excellent post. I had a friend, who, upon revealing that I had taken up-kickboxing, starting into a litany of things I could also do to aid weight loss.. I made a point of telling him I wasn't in it for weightloss.. I was in it because it's fun, and made me feel like a badass.

    1. Thank you :)

      Yeah, it's absurd that people seem to think that you can't take up a physical activity or fun or eat a damn salad for lunch because you like! It always boils down to weight loss. Gross, gross, gross.

  2. On this very same subject, have you seen that AWFUL post that's been doing the rounds on social media, titled "To The Fatty Running On The Westview Track"?!!

    The person who was the subject of that post has written a BRILLIANT rebuttal, here:
    My comment on it, still awaiting moderation and written under the alias "Purple Haired Welsh Aspie", says:

    ..."Yes I think Tony Posnanski was VERY restrained in his response; there’s NO WAY I would have been even the slightest bit restrained if I was ever made the subject of such condescending, patronising, infantilising and just downright OFFENSIVE “Inspiration Porn” (google it) without my knowledge and consent, especially if it went viral as this has done.
    I think the original poster has a very bad case of what I call “Some-Of-My-Best-Friends-Are-Black Syndrome” (or SOMBFAB Syndrome for short) which reveals itself loud and clear in THIS comment: “If only you’d look up from your feet the next time we pass, you’d see my gaze has no condescension in it. I have nothing but respect for you. You’ve got this”.
    I mean, if he truly felt that way then it wouldn’t cross his mind for one second to pass ANY judgment or comment AT ALL; if you want to make sense of what I mean by that, well, google “Reaction Formation”.
    So yeah, if I was ever made the subject of such a saccharine, pukeworthy screed, my reaction would be more along the lines of “Go and find someone else to vomit your Messiah Complex all over, you condescending piece of shit, and keep the fuck away from me the next time you see me on the track or else there’ll be bloodshed”.


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