What is Fat Acceptance? (sticky post!)

I’ve loaded this post with links to blogs, studies, research, and other valuable links to inform anyone who’s interested in learning the truth behind the so-called ‘obesity crisis.’

What is Fat Acceptance?: According to the Wikipedia page, Fat Acceptance is: ‘a grassroots effort to change societal attitudes towards fat, obese, and overweight people.’ That’s a good start, but of course there’s more. Fat Acceptance means different things to people but the common thread is more or less that EVERY body type is worthy of respect and basic human dignity. Fat activists fight for the normalization of fat bodies into mainstream society. It’s not saying that fat is better, it’s not demonizing being thing, it’s just the simple acknowledgment that fat bodies are here and they’re never going away, and that people in fat bodies are just that–people.

But isn’t that glorifying/encouraging obesity?: The entire concept of ‘glorifying obesity’ is utter crap. This is usually said when a picture of a happy fat person is seen. No one is glorifying or encouraging anything but refusing to hate your body no matter what it looks like. Even the parts that don’t work, even the parts you’d like to change. It’s being allowed to love and appreciate your body RIGHT NOW.

But being fat is unhealthy!: No. It’s not. Being unhealthy is unhealthy. But if you’re going to judge someone’s health by their BMI (which is a completely invalid measure of health) or how much space they take up on the subway, you’re completely missing the point. There’s a stigma in today’s society that all fat people lack self-control, don’t care about themselves, only eat fatty foods, and a bevy of other stereotypes. My blog serves to remind us all that these stereotypes do not encompass all fat bodies, and even if they did, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with fat people.

That’s bullshit. Don’t you watch the news? Obesity is linked to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, (etc., etc., etc.): Well, the entire world believed the sun revolved around the earth for how many thousands of years? Just because you’ve heard something your entire life, or it seems like common sense, doesn’t make it true. Common sense is easy (and often wrong). Backing up common sense with valid research isn’t so easy.

What I celebrate more than anything is body autonomy. The importance of making people aware that it’s not okay to judge other people’s bodies. You cannot assume simply from looking at a person how healthy they are. Even if you could, it’s not your job, your place, or your right to comment or judge them on it. Every person owns a body, and they are completely entitled to do whatever they want with it. Unless they’re asking for your help, there is no need to comment.

Speaking of health, there are so many facets to healthy living, and physical health is only one part of the equation. Mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, those are just a few of the many parts of wellness that anyone needs. And it is up to every individual person to decide what that means for themselves!

Do you have to be fat to be involved in Fat Acceptance?: No! I think it’s important that people who aren’t fat include themselves in fat acceptance. I highly stress intersectionality, and fat bodies are a marginalized population. I think that ALL bodies are good bodies. Fat, skinny, tall, short, disabled, scars, cellulite, you name it. There’s no size requirements you have to be to agree that all bodies deserve respect. That being said, the quickest way to invalidate the struggle of one body type is to put down another body type. You will never see any of the ‘real women have curves’ or ‘she looks anorexic, she should eat a sandwich’ comments on this blog. ALL bodies are good bodies, ALL bodies deserve respect. There is NO WRONG WAY to have a body.

Are there any other resources you recommend for more information on Fat Acceptance?: Absolutely. Here are some of my favorites:

Cheers!

Amber

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6 Responses to What is Fat Acceptance? (sticky post!)

  1. Pingback: The Health Conundrum. | Adipose Activist

  2. Ellen says:

    Hi! I’ve had a really bad day, but now when I found your blog it made me feel a lot happier. I’m a big girl and I’m in love in your blog now. This is the blog I’ve been searching for a long time.Thank you for being such a great role-model. Lots of love from Ellen!

  3. your blog says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a
    famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  4. Ro says:

    That’s a great blog. I am average size but I always find it really upsetting when people judge other people because of their size and especially if ‘fat’ is used as a derogatory term. So I think you blog is great work!

  5. earl kluue says:

    I have a friend. Really good guy. He was heavy all of his life, over 300 pounds until he reached his late 20s, when he realized he was dying. He was developing high blood pressure, had no energy, achy joints and a general feeling of self-loathing. He told me he rarely took pictures of himself growing up because he hated his appearance. That was 3 years ago.

    Today, my friend weighs 175 pounds. How? He admitted he was fat and unhealthy, learned to control his eating habits, exercised and ran; in fact today, he’s running in a 13K marathon. He now loves to run marathons. He stopped making excuses. Hard, hard work, but worth it.

    Oh, and did I mention he’s happier than he’s ever been?

    He simply didn’t want to end up like his mom, whose obesity was a factor in the congestive heart failure that killed her.

    I don’t expect you.to post this but you need to hear it nonetheless.

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