Every now and then I come across a phrase or slogan that perfectly encapsulates an element of my daily experience. Whenever I do I kind of want to wear it emblazoned on my chest. So, this time I did.
T – Shirt – Custom slogan by Paper Press Ireland.
The reaction to this T- Shirt sums up how common this behaviour is. Several woman enthusiastically complimented it. More men gave me looks. The only man to comment advised me that I was attractive, but I would intimidate men by wearing such a thing. I laughed as I told him I wasn’t looking for man & would never be interested in one who felt intimidated by honesty. I suppose it underlines what I already knew, masculinity is oh so fragile.
In case the meaning is lost, I’ll spell it out. I’m fat. I’m also fucking incredible. I was fat when you sleazed on me. I was fat when I turned you down. I was fat when you tried to insult me & I’m still fat when I mock you. I’m not ashamed. I’m not desperate. I’m not waiting for your approval. Oh & I’m not alone. Fat femmes are not seeking random male approval. We know our worth. We want none of your sub standard attention. In short, don’t poke the magnificent bear.
New year, New You. Are you sick of this bullshit yet? I’ve been done with it for eons. Every bloody January the diet talk ramps up & the weight loss industry tries to convince us that thin is a magic elixir. Just when I thought I had seen it all Khloe Kardashian steps up with Revenge Body. Rage ensues.
So, as far as I can tell the format of the show is as follows:
Person is overweight.
Said person has been bullied, cheated on, in some way hurt.
This hurt was either attributed to and/or impacted on their self image & confidence.
KK’s solution is lose weight & therefore get revenge on those who caused the hurt.
Where do I even start with how fucked up this is? probably by applying the old maxim that the best revenge is living well. You do not gain power over an abuser by complying with their demands. True power comes from setting your own agenda. Self esteem is routed in liking who you are. Wether that be your physical appearance, personality, chosen work or lifestyle. Strengthing the belief that people must conform to specific beauty standards in order to be loved & respected is the furthest thing from empowerment.
That’s before I even get to how toxic the notion of revenge is. If someone cannot treat you with the care that you deserve you should absolutely disengage. You don’t need to put up with any fuckwittage be it from a romantic partner, family member or friend. Ditch them & do you. Live your life exactly as you please. Spending time with people who appreciate you is healthy. Changing yourself to fit someone else’s ideal is not. Nor does it in anyway shift the power balance. Seeking revenge keeps noxious people in your head. Fuck that.
Which leads me to the most obvious problem with this concept. Body positivity is not about altering your body, it’s about changing accepted terms of what a ‘good body’ is. You do not need to lose weight to love yourself. You do not need to submit to diets & work outs to be a healthy, happy & productive person. The real revolution is in learning to enjoy the marvellous body you have. We must reject the assumption that fat equals undeserving. We must also exstinguish the view that our problems can all attributed to our weight. Life is complicated, wearing a size 8 will not conquer all your demons. However, tackling the ingrained fatphobia may just lead to a happier you. Trust me, you’re magnificent & there is a growing BoPo movement to help you believe it.