In much the same respect as ‘girl on girl crime’, ‘fat on fat crime’ is a huge problem. Our purpose is to normalise obesity and encourage equal treatment of fat bodies. This includes justifying the basic right we have to exist exactly as we are. But one thing that keeps holding us back is a lack of education and support from fat people themselves. How can we expect people to take us seriously, when there are jibes coming from within our very own community?
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It is symptomatic of the society in which we live, really. Of course we’re going to flinch when we see a fat body being proud and free, because we have lived our lives being monitored and restrained. Every time we tried to colour outside of the lines, we would be quietly pushed back within them – unaware of the damage this was doing to our own self-esteem along the way. So when we see a visible belly outline or a set of large arms that we have spent our lives being told to cover up, its only natural to offer that suggestion to somebody else.
The problem is that this justifies other people correcting our behaviours. Our society needs to be loud, proud and positive to show the rest of the world that we are happy and, more importantly, valid exactly as we are. I once had a friend who fought passionately in the corner of body positivity, yet she was the first to suggest covering up with a pair of leggings or – god forbid – a pair of control pants to smooth those edges. The point is that we shouldn’t have to smooth our edges. We shouldn’t have to sweat in a cardigan so that our wobbling arms don’t offend. Cellulite is not a secret. The first step to teaching society that being fat is not equal to being bad, is to stop that implication coming from within. Next time you flinch at a friend’s outfit because it is showing you too much of who he or she is, ask yourself why you are having that reaction. And then, more importantly, ask yourself what you can do to change it.