Saturday, May 1, 2010

Being fat and happy is not impossible!

This is a response to the comments on this Boston Globe article on Lesley Kinzel of Among many other things, Lesley states in this article that she is perfectly happy living in her own fat body.
In case you don't have the sanity points/can't be bothered to read the comments yourself, here are a few examples:

Newtster wrote: "Denial is not a river in Egypt. She is happy fat because she does not want to face whatever is causing her to eat too much. Instead of being fat, happy and unhealthy, she could be thinner, happy and healthier. Rebelling against society's penchant for some model of beauty does not require you to become fat and make excuses for it. [...]"

KBellaDesign wrote: "I've struggled with my weight my whole life. I got a lap band because I didn't want to be FAT anymore. No matter what she says, she wants bras from Victoria Secret. I know it was the happiest day of my life the first time I walked out of there with a bag full.
Poor thing. She's out there bragging about her acceptance, but I know inside she's dying. Literally."
pelican-pants wrote: "She is no different from the alcoholic or drug addict who claims to be happy. She is lying to herself. If she does end up with health issues (diabetes, heart attack, etc) i wonder if she will take responsibility for being the root cause of her problems."
I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Are people really this close-minded and (I want to say fat-hating, but I’m gonna go with) presumptuous? Because, in stead of the typical ‘Fat people are gross’ comments I have come to expect to see on any article that portrays being fat as anything other than a death sentence, there was a blatant refusal to accept the fact that she, Lesley, could possibly be happy. I'm fairly new to the Fat Acceptance scene (which might be apparent by this post), and I had never encountered something like this before. Why are people so much more willing to believe that she is an unhappy fat person pretending to be happy for some neferious reason of her own, than to accept what she says at face value? Does this woman honestly look unhappy to you?

It makes me angry. Which is new to me in this setting, because the fat=gross comments just make me feel slightly sad and disgusted when I realize how many people are willing to hate someone simply bacause of how they look. But this makes me angry. Who the f**k do these people think they are? Is this the media’s fault for bombarding us with so many images of unhappy fat people, that it makes it impossible to even consider that something else might exist? Or is this a survival technique? ‘I’m not happy, so this woman - who society tells me should be further down the proverbial totempole than I - can’t possibly be happy. Because what does that say about me and my life?’

I’ve read over and over how people in the FA community consider it a political statement to be fat in public; or fat and eating in public; or fat and visible in public; or fat and fashionable in public, but I didn’t realize that being fat and happy in public is also a political statement. Maybe because this was too depressing to feel natural. So that is what I will do then; I will do my best to be Fat and Happy in public, my first real act of Fat Activism. And I DARE you, people of the world, to claim my smile is a false one.

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