Thursday, June 30, 2016

Where Body Positivity and (My Own) Fat Acceptance Conflict

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with a group of women I share some traits with.

These women were bold, and each had their own fierce style. They were charismatic.

And they were fat.

First, let me talk about the joy it was to be among other fat women. I've had the occasional fat friend, coworker, or acquaintance. This was different. This was a coalition of the clinically obese. This was an association of the adipose. This was a flummoxing of fatties.

For the entire two hours we were gathered, it was constant chatter. Maybe I'm projecting, but it seemed like everyone wanted to talk about the fat issues they've been dealing with, had worked through, or had newly experienced. So much conversation! Mah gawd.

One such conversation revolved around body positivity vs. fat acceptance.

So, agreed. Everyone who has a body should be a body positive activist. As one lady said, everyone has their own body issues. No matter what you look like, there is some part of you that you have issue with.

Truth. Be body positive.

Fat acceptance goes down a layer. Basically, even a fat body is a good body that deserves love.

That one's hard.

So, first: Does my body deserve love? Like, really, does my body deserve love? I guess. I mean, it's the only one I get. So, I love it like I loved my mom. She had her flaws, but I loved her; she was mine. I also hate it like I hate my mom; I can't help but pick at it to expose layers upon layers and many years of disappointment.

I have bad feet; I'm diabetic; I don't have endurance; I have asthma. My thighs not only touch, they keep my feet from touching. My arms are disproportionately big. My breasts are large, but not large enough for my body. I'm not good fat, where I have a scaled up hourglass figure. I'm clumsy. I can't dance because my body and I aren't very good friends.

The problem with fat acceptance is that I'm not only fighting myself, but also public opinion. None of us knows whether I deserve to love my body.

For most people, body positivity is learning to accept yourself. For me, it's that plus trying to get people to stop being disgusted by me.

In my mind, I'm never pretty; I have a pretty face. I'm not sexy; I'm acting sexy. I don't look good; my makeup or outfit is cool. No one can convince me differently because I know how I'm viewed by most of the world.

I honestly don't know where I'm going with this.

Maybe just... It's a constant battle. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose. If I win the battle with myself, then I still have one to fight in the world. If we ever win over the world, I'll still be battling myself.

Regardless, if you ever find yourself with an opportunity to participate in a flummoxing of fatties, I highly recommend it. It's so choice.