Over the past few weeks I have heard from far too many venues this whole ordeal over the good fatty / bad fatty dichotomy and how ‘bad fatties’ feel as though they are not part of the fat acceptance community because they don’t live a Health at Every Size (aka HAES) lifestyle. This has made me feel it is yet again crucial to speak out for people who feel this movement is inclusive to only the ‘perfect fatties’ and that it does not include all people.
This movement is not for only the largest among us, follows HAES to a T fatty, or the ‘I’m in a relationship to disprove that myth fatty’. This is not a health movement or a ‘prove that we are socially (morally, financially or otherwise) acceptable movement.’
This is a movement about the basic and fundamental civil rights that all people deserve, something that has been stripped away from fat people due to fat phobia and discriminatory practices on an individual, cultural and institutional basis.
If we persist in making it a point to only dispel myths about fatness and not talk about the core issues at hand then we will continue to make certain individuals feel as though they are not part of the movement. Those core issues that we need to talk about have gone at the wayside to talk about issues that this movement is not about.
We should be holding strong and demanding that all states have non-discrimination laws that stop businesses from discriminatory weight based hiring and pay practices, push for all people to only support businesses that carry a wide range of clothing sizes and are priced equally, educated the public and the medical field not only about HAES but as a tool to show the inequalities that fatties face in the doctors office, and most importantly work to stop the social bias against fat people by showing how it effects people of all shapes and sizes.
If we stopped talking about us and talk about society as a whole we would find that fatness is a lot easier and a more widely approachable topic. If we can do that then I think we would stop letting our opposition win by not talking about the issues that matter.
Amen! That's I'm sayin'
I will say this though: I have heard from many people that they are not interested in political activism. I have heard from people that see FA as more of internal movement, as sort of a way of to feel acceptable, worthwhile human beings. FA to them is a way to feel comfortable and happy in their skin – legislation is not their concern.I think FA is both personally. I am very much interested in fighting for non-discrimination laws, and I am interested in social issues such as how fat affects becoming employed, educational levels, etc. I consider myself an activist first and foremost. However, it is really important to think one is a worthwhile human being deserving of kindness, respect and dignity – how else could anyone feel they are worth not being discriminated against then?That being said, I really agree that this "bad fatty/good fatty" false dichotomy is a derailment ultimately, and hurts everyone that feeds into those vicious labels. We are all good – that is enough. A carrot doesn't make anyone virtuous and a donut does not make anyone worthy of mistreatment