Love Your Body Day Poster Sabotage and an Angry Open Letter to Me! Woo!

Back in September, I ran across a blog that posted about a ‘friend’ who was looking for some compassion about a horrible shopping experience where her ‘friend’ was told,

In short, she was purchasing a new pair of gym shoes when some miserable bitch decided to speak her mind and spit some variation of “you’re too fat to be in a gym, why are you buying running shoes?”

What this blog post turned into what the blogger making a fuss over the fact that people came out ‘in support of being fat.’ From there it continues on with the normal stereotypical beliefs about not just about fat but the idea of fat acceptance as well,

To be completely honest right out of the gate: This frightened me.  It still frightens me.  Even when I was obese, the entire “body acceptance” movement eluded me.  I never thought that feeling slow, sluggish, and less than able was something desirable or acceptable.

It turned into a tangent where the blogger continues on talking about how most people fall into the idea that we are all kidding ourselves if we believe in ‘genetic obesity’ or that we might actually be genetically predisposition to be fat, never mind the twin studies that have shown this. I’m not going to summarize the whole post because if you want to read the discriminatory and quite sad post you can do so on your own time. What reading this post led to was my own personal responses to her post, and responses to me where I was told to not rely on scientific data because it is a crutch so that I can ignore what my fatness is doing to my body.

I then found out that she is a grad student at the college I attend and she was kind enough to invite me to her office so that we can discuss our ‘ideas.’ When she offered this I knew it wasn’t something I was going to accept. First, because she was offering a location where she had the upper hand the second I walked through her office door and I’m not really into being lectured unless it’s a class I sign up for. Second, because she didn’t appear to actually be open to anything that I had written, due to her attacking my blog where she said all I do is write angry letters. So far I have a post of about 130 and an ‘angry letter count’ of 5, so clearly that’s all I do.

Apparently when one doesn’t accept an open invitation to have a ‘discussion’ in a person’s office, that means they write an open letter to you on their blog, an angry letter perhaps? Well that is what happened and then she sabotaged “Love Your Body Detroit’s” love your body day poster campaign by tearing all of the ones we posted down in the women’s locker room on campus. How do I know this? Oh she told me in the angry letter she wrote me. By the angry/to post ratio it appears that this blogger spends their time writing angry letters to me! SWEET!

She also changed the ‘I love my FAT body’ poster to ‘I love my FIT body’ never mentioning the other body positive posters that also mention about creating diversity on campus, although I know she would probably be for all of it as long as it’s not body diversity.

Dear Amy,

I can call you Amy can’t I? One doesn’t just write an angry letter to someone without knowing their first name. My name is Amanda, or FatWaitress whichever you prefer. You probably already read everything I wrote above but I thought that I would give us some one on one time. It is a very strong statement to say that I clearly don’t like my body as much as the people who go to the gym on a regular basis, or that when I am old I will be riddled with diabetes and heart disease.

These are pretty harsh statements that are actually directed at me as a person, when all I did was give you a different side to a very discriminatory argument that you posted on your blog. I will say that I am happy that you worry so much about my health, when I have a pretty good indication of where I will be when I’m 70, my dad is still going strong.

As for going to your office, I didn’t reply because you weren’t asking me to come and have a discussion with you, if you wanted that you would of asked me to meet you in the library or any place where your position of authority couldn’t be used to your advantage. Instead you chose the one place where you would in fact have the upper hand. But I will give you a place where you can come and speak your mind. Love Your Body Detroit, you know the organization whose posters you tore down, we are having a meeting on Monday January 10, at 8pm in the UGL. (As long as schedules don’t conflict) You are more than welcome to come and we will discuss your posts at our meeting.

Lastly, I’m sad that you feel as though I am attacking your beliefs about your own body and it makes you feel the need to attack who I am personally. I would prefer if we actually kept this about the discussion and not a cut down on who can throw the bigger insults.

Thanks,

FW

Original Post

Angry Letter that says I hate myself. heh

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10 thoughts on “Love Your Body Day Poster Sabotage and an Angry Open Letter to Me! Woo!

  1. A thought: Tearing down posters is vandalism you could and probably should report to the campus police.

    • I’m pretty sure the posters were put up in places that they shouldn’t have been, so reporting her would be reporting myself. It was also in October so I’m not really worried about it, although I would like to take some posters with me every time I visit the locker room.

  2. Stumbled upon your blog from someone’s blogroll or another and…wow. Talk about disproportionate responses!

    Seriously, all of that anger, all of that terror — from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds — and just because you declined to visit her in her office and be subjected to a lecture on how you should follow whatever diet plan she believes to be the One True Way? Seriously? Is the idea that fat women cam be healthy really that threatening?

    It always amazes me how weirdly furious — furious and also absolutely terrified — people can sometimes get when their faith-based beliefs are questioned, or even not shared by others. The absolute rejection of your attempt to discuss the issue in scientific terms was a dead giveaway of what was really going on there. You weren’t just challenging her understanding of the way things work. You were challenging her faith.

    Kinda creepy, really. But also kinda sad.

    • Sitting down and thinking about the fact that someone would (and did) actually write that to another human being is quite sad. I don’t know anyone who makes me that angry.

  3. @Elkins
    My guess would be that it’s not so much “faith-based” (though it could be: I didn’t bother to read this Amy person’s angry letter) but I know that the thing that most upset ME about HAES when I first discovered it was the fact that all these fat people could be so comfortable in their own skin, while I, at a natural BMI of about 19-20, hated my body. In a word, I was jealous. Still buying into cultural/media ideals, I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that I could ever be jealous of a fat person, and so my reaction translated to indignant anger: “How can these people not see how unhealthy they are?!?!”

    That’s not at all to say that this woman is justified in her outburst. I kept that anger on my side of the keyboard and continued to lurk and read until I developed a better understanding of HAES and the bloggers who advocate it. I did tab over to her letter after all, just now, and saw the picture of the poster she modified. That’s pretty fucked up. 😐 Her modification, I mean, not the original poster.

    @FatWaitress
    Thank you for what you do here. As someone who is learning to check my privilege and face my prejudices, I appreciate your work and the work of others in the FA/HAES blog circles. Thank you!

    • Rabbit – I think that many people feel the way you did, it is hard to reprogram what we have been socialized to believe. Thanks for the compliment and reading, it means the world to me that you do!

  4. @Rabbit:

    I can totally understand that! And I doubt that’s at all an uncommon reaction.

    I also think that sometimes rage like that can be partly physical in origin. I have no idea what Amy’s eating habits are and wouldn’t presume to assume anything about them, but one thing I do know from personal experience is that both emotional control and keeping a sense of perspective can get really difficult when your body is basically starving.

    Oh, and just to clarify, and because reading over my comment I feel I was not as clear as I could have been, by “faith-based” I didn’t necessarily mean tied to religion — although religious beliefs often are a subset of such beliefs. I meant really any kind of fundamental assumption about the way life works that is just accepted on faith as a baseline, and on which so many other things are built that it just can’t be re-evaluated without risking a radical reassessment of a huge number of other beliefs. I think that everyone has such beliefs, and nearly everyone finds it really threatening and upsetting the first time they encounter people who don’t share them, whatever they happen to be. It’s part of what makes a lot of people’s freshmen year at college or first year away from home — especially if they come from a relatively homogenous community — such an emotional roller-coaster.

  5. I’m relatively new to your website and I’m from Detroit too and looking forward to the Love Your Body poetry slam. When you say WSU, I assume you mean Wayne State University. I took some classes there as a guest student but chose to graduate from a different school. Your posting speaks volumes about the amount of fat prejudice that exists in the world and no offense, I was looking at a pic of the professor whom this story is about and she’s not exactly skinny which goes to show you that fat hatred can exist among bigger people, just look at The Biggest Loser. Cheers for you having the courage for standing up to her. She had no right to take those posters down! She needs a serious reality check.

    • I hope you will sign up to participate in the BODYSLAM! applications are due on the 20th. =0)

  6. It’s so clearly not about you, but her.

    It’s funny how she quickly derailed into “NE-NER NE-NER, your so fat, just be grateful we are footing your bill, leach!” while calling YOU bitter, even when you were being perfectly calm and reasonable. Although it’s a rational expectation to have if one is actively trying to make the other person feel bitter. Just too bad for her that you didn’t actually sound bitter at all and that she came off as a rabid loon. Oh and I feel mortified that this person teaches, what with her dislike of fat and data. Ironically she is the very embodiment of why we need something like FA in the first place. Wonder if that little tidbit makes her as bitter as she sounds 😉

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