Ugh, ugh, ugh. If you haven’t heard already, the American Medical Association has “recognized” “obesity” as a disease.
I don’t even know how to express how angry this makes me.
But I’m glad to see the fat community responding fiercely and forcefully. I’m glad we are not silent. I’m glad we are resisting together. I’m so grateful I have this community.
A few must-see responses:
1.) Marilyn Wann’s petition to the AMA to stop defining “obesity” as a disease. Sign it and pass it along!
2.) Fat Heffalump: I am NOT a disease.
But being at one end of the statistics doesn’t reflect who I am. It doesn’t reflect how I feel. It doesn’t reflect what my body can do. It doesn’t reflect my value as a human being. The AMA doesn’t know what it feels like to exist in my fat body. They don’t know what it’s like in my body to wake up after a deep sleep, stretch and feel that stretch go down to my toes and up to my outstretched fingertips. They don’t know what it feels like in my body to go swimming, feeling the cool water soft and cocooning around my body, and the wonderful sleepy feeling I get afterwards.
3.) The #IAmNotADisease hashtag on Twitter. There’s so much good stuff going on there. Here’s a sampling, including a few of my own tweets:
(Earlier posts here, here, here, and here.)
I read another interesting response to Natalie’s piece, from Kath of Fat Heffalump. She argues that:
Fatshion is so much more than mainstream fashion up-sized to fit a size 16 or 18. Fatshion belongs to us, not to the fashion industry. Fatshion will always be outside the margins, and will always be radical. Fatshion belongs to here and now, not the past. Fatshion is about finding your own style and rocking the hell out of it, flying in the face of a world that tells us we should never be seen.
I don’t agree with the premise that fatshion is always radical–I think that it, like almost anything else, can be co-opted. When fatshion becomes all about following trends, having the latest popular pieces, stoking an endless cycle of consumerist desires…then yeah. Not so radical. It’s a fine line, but I’ve seen a lot of fatshion going on that direction, and I’ve experienced that consumerist pull myself. It’s really tricky, and I don’t think that fatshion should be inherently immune from criticism.
But I do agree that there’s an amazing diversity of fatshion blogs, beyond the big names and the more commercially-oriented smaller names (some of who do have awesome style). And I agree that those bloggers shouldn’t be conflated with the small elite world of professional fatshionistas.
After submitting to the awesome-sounding new projecting UnReal Women, I received the following email:
Thank you kindly for your contribution. Sadly due to an overwhelming amount of ignorance, bigotry and hatred aimed in my direction, I have decided to close the project.
I wish you well and hope to see your piece published elsewhere.
All I have to say about that is :(.
It was such a good idea, and it’s sad to see it derailed by hatred before it even began.
People can be such douchemuffins sometimes.
Kath of Fat Heffalump has come up with an awesome idea: a blog for and by women, with better, more interesting writing than the traditional ladymags.
The rules for UnReal Women’s content are: “no stigmatising language, no shaming anyone, no weight loss promotion, no Hugo Schwyzer.” Heh.
XOJane, which infamously published His Mansplaining Douchiness HS, does have some great writing. Personally, I haven’t stopped reading it because maybe 25% of the posts are inflammatory linkbait. At least half of the writing there is really, really good–especially the regular posts by Marianne, Lesley, Somer, Kate, s.e., and Emily. In fact, it’s so good that I usually link to at least one XO post in my Friday links roundups.
But I still love the idea of a women’s online space that’s 100% awesome, instead of maybe 75% or 50%. And grassroots projects like this make me happy. This is how social change happens.
And I can’t wait to be a part of it. I just submitted a few posts, and encourage you all to submit as well! Cross-posts are accepted, so you can send along posts from your own blog.