Shakesville on Fat Shaming

Two very worthwhile discussions going on at Shakesville that I wanted to recommend checking out. One with people sharing stories of being fat shamed, and one with people sharing stories of having fat shamed others. I'm not the only one with stories of both and reading both threads has been very enlightening.

My fat shaming experience is something I'm still ashamed of and it was very powerful to see how others really had that same instant guilt I felt. I knew better when I did it. Though I was still too young to be fat acceptance aware, I knew I thought fat girls were cute. I even rationalized what I did as sticking up for a fat girl who was being insulted for her size by a fat boy. Obviously, now I know he was just engaging in his own defense mechanism not unlike a lot of the stories being shared in the thread. I thought it would be just to turn his fat hate back on him, but its not. Fat hate is never okay and as soon as I did it I felt sick about it. I knew better and I did it anyway. That so many of us who did feel sick over fat shaming others still did it says a lot about powerful fat stigmatization is in our culture.

In my experience being fat shamed, reading other people's stories had a reaction in me I wasn't expect. I know I'm not all that fat and I know that being a man limits the abuse I receive. I wasn't even fat as a child, which is perhaps the greatest "at risk" time for fat shaming. I thought I had experienced very little fat shaming, and just from strangers. I figured reading other stories would only reinforce how lucky I was. And while it did and I'm still very aware of my privilege in this regard, I also realized all the ways I was fat shamed and just didn't process it as such. I gained a lot of weight very quickly, and this hardly went by without comment. While most of my friends were not assholes, it wasn't a big issue but I knew people were talking about me behind my back because it would get back to me. I forgot how happy people were when I got sick and lost 40lbs in a month. How is that something to ever be happy about?

I definitely encourage you to read both discussions and hopefully contribute as well. There is much to be gained by sharing our stories like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.