In the comments in my previous response to Kell's call for fat activism brainstorming there was the off-handed suggestion about moving International No Diet Day to January 1 to coincide with weight loss resolution season. Its really not a bad idea, but there is so little history in Fat Acceptance and I just don't think I'd want to give up 15 years of continuity with INDD. Also, while I'm sympathetic to the "INDD belongs to everyone" idea, I think there is a gap between that and fiddling with it. I don't know why May 6 was specifically chosen, but it was specifically chosen.
That doesn't mean that having a January push for fat acceptance wouldn't be a good thing. Every January we have to endure an orgy of fat hatred and I'd rather meet that head-on than with hibernation. So, I started thinking about what we could do, and here is my idea.
A four-week event in January based around weekly themes that can be be used to focus the discussion both online and in real-world activity. Online is my forte, so that's what I'll focus on, but do not think that is meant to the exclusion of other activities. Together, the weeks would chart the course of Fat Acceptance, from resistance to education to acceptance to advocacy.
WEEK 1: RESOLVE TO STOP
Stop Hating Your Body, Stop Dieting
WEEK 2: RESOLVE TO LEARN
Learn that you can be fat and fit, Learn that you can be happy in your body
WEEK 3: RESOLVE TO LOVE
Love your body
WEEK 4: RESOLVE TO ACT
Act to demand respect, Act to teach others about size acceptance
Admittedly this is still a rough outline, but my train ride home was only so long. My idea is that any blogs that wanted to participate could offer their own perspectives, meditations, articles, etc on each of the "Resolve" steps with personal experience and advice. Each step is broad, but at the same time focused enough to encourage directed writing within the framework. I think this could encourage a lot of interesting commentaries with a lot of people offering their own insights on the journey of fat acceptance.
"Resolve to stop" could mirror INDD's basic purpose with education about the ways the diet industry has failed fat people. "Resolve to learn" would shift things to a more positive direction, sharing stories and encouragement from our own experience. "Resolve to love" is thus finally the first call to action within oneself. It takes the learning of the first two weeks and asks that it be directed inward. "Resolve to act" is about taking what we've learned and applied in our lives and advocating for it, recognizing that fat acceptance cannot stop with ourselves.
Now, obviously, I'm not expecting anyone to take the full "journey" in a week. The idea of breaking it up is more to expose people the totality of fat acceptance while also giving room and time to people on every step of their our journey to self-acceptance. Its not about doing it all in a month. Its about using the time to recognize everyone's place towards size acceptance.
While I may be thinking in terms of blogging, obviously this kind of frame work could be adapted for real-world action. Plays, demonstrations, political action all can be targeted to address one of the areas of "Resolve". Better minds than I can hopefully find ways to exploit the germ of the idea into something more.
Which is really what this is all about. This is just an idea. Just a brainstorm. A way of framing fat acceptance. Maybe its good, maybe it isn't. But hopefully it can at least spark some discussion. What do you like about this idea? What do you think can be better? What ideas do you have? I know this has devolved into cliche, but sometimes the most important thing in creativity and imagination is to be willing to be wrong. To be allow yourself to make mistakes in trying to figure out what's best. So open yourself and brainstorm. Don't be afraid of being wrong. That's the only way to be right.