Where does fatness come from? Who cares?

Another day, another article purporting to explain why fat people exist.

Funny how no one ever asks what causes thinness, or tallness, or brown-haired-ness. It’s almost like those traits are rightfully accepted as part of the natural diversity of bodies or something.

I’m sick of so many people, both liberal and conservative, treating the existence of people like me as a mystery to be solved. Conservatives blame the individual, liberals blame societal factors or try to find scientific explanations, but no one stops to think that maybe fatness is not actually a problem that needs solving.

No one stops to think, even though fat activists have been doing their work for decades. Even though the facts are out there for anyone who actually cares to look.

I’m sick of fatness being a marked trait. In her book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, Julia Serano describes marked identities as those that are considered artificial, unnatural, subject to questioning, while unmarked ones are seen as natural and unquestionable. For example, people often ask transgender people why they’re trans, but no one thinks to ask a cisgender person why they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth; and people often talk about femininity as unnatural and performative, even though it feels natural and right for many people, like Serano (and myself).

Where do fat bodies come from? I don’t know, but we sure can dance.

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“Our activism is a series of acts of love”: more thoughts on #EnergyExodus

With my carpool buddies Eli, Dorian, Nikki, and Dan

A theme that came up over and over again at Monday’s rally was love.

It came from Turner Bledsoe, a 79-year old who had walked the entire 70 miles of the march. He said, “It’s a march of love–love and concern. I want your lives to be as good as mine was.”

It came from Ben Thompson, a student activist who is taking time off from grad school to pursue climate justice full-time. He said, “Our activism is a series of acts of love.”

It came from the dancing, the music, the blisters on the feet of everyone who walked for six days straight.

It came from the fervent, shared hope for a better world.

A world in which, as Ben said, no one would have to die so that others can have meaningful work. A world in which no one would have to die so that a mother can turn on a light to read to her child.

Building the bridge from our world to that world is doing to take strength we can barely imagine.

We can only do it with love.

We will rise up.