Fat Pride Is For Everyone, Even You (Yes, You!)

If you haven’t been privy to the awesome images coming from Marilyn Wann and the Stand4Kids campaign, you need to check it out now. It’s okay, go ahead. I’ll wait!

Glad you’re back!

stand4kids golda poretsky & michelle matthews
Me & Michelle Matthews (fatsocialworker.blogspot.com) Stand 4 Kids!

As you scrolled through the images, maybe you noticed that the people taking a stand for kids really represented a wide range of people. Some are very fat and some are a little fat and some are pretty thin. Some are small children and some are elderly and many are in between. Some are doing pretty athletic stuff and some are sitting happily.

It seemed that a really diverse group of people were submitting photos for the campaign, so I found it interesting when Marilyn posted this on Facebook last week:

“I notice that so many of us (and I can imagine myself having this feeling if I came across such an invite)…anticipate that we will be excluded for some reason. Confronted with this open invite to share a photo and a credo in these STANDards, people are telling me they must be too thin, not the right gender, not healthy enough. I am not going to exclude anyone for any reason.”

How interesting that people were assuming that they’d be excluded from this campaign because they’re too thin or not healthy enough. I find this sad because I hear this a lot from people. I’ve had clients tell me that they know it’s silly, but that they feel too fat for fat pride or too unhealthy for Health At Every Size®. Like, other people can love their bodies because even though they’re fat, they’re not too fat. Other people can practice Health At Every Size® because they’re already pretty healthy. I also find that people toward the thinner end of the spectrum think they’ll be excluded from fat pride because they’re not fat enough.

So I want to deal with these objections in turn. Check for the objection that applies to you and please take what I write to heart!

THE OBJECTIONS

I Can’t Be Part of the Fat Pride Movement Because I’m Not Fat (Or Not Fat Enough) – Poppycock! Well-meaning people of all sizes are welcome in the fat pride movement. Those immersed in fat pride understand that discrimination against fat people is bad for society as a whole, negatively impacting thin people as well. We want to live in a world where assumptions are no longer made about people’s bodies based on their relative fatness. We want to live in a world where thin people don’t hurt their bodies out of a fear of being fat. And we know that having allies is good for the movement. Your voice and your presence is wanted and needed. So, welcome!

I Can’t Be Part of the Fat Pride Movement Because I’m Too Fat – Hogwash! There is absolutely no weight limit on loving and accepting your body. Hating your body and trying to change it never got you anywhere before, right? So why would anyone in the fat pride movement want you to continue that? There is no separate set of rules that apply to you because you weigh a certain amount. Your voice and your presence is wanted and needed. So, welcome!

I Can’t Be Part of the Health At Every Size® Movement Because I’m Not Healthy Enough and/or Too Fat — Hooey! Health At Every Size® is not Health At Certain Sizes and Only If You’re Healthy Enough. It’s freakin’ Health At Every Size® and it’s not a misnomer! HAES® recognizes that intentional weight loss isn’t a good idea and does more harm than good. So the best thing for anyone’s health is, in a nutshell, eating well, getting appropriate exercise, and accepting their bodies. Of course, you’re human, and sometimes humans get sick, but that doesn’t mean that HAES® no longer applies to you. In fact, accepting HAES® can help you clarify to the health professionals in your life that fixating on your weight will not help you heal. Healthy or sick, you are an important part of this movement. Your voice and your presence is wanted and needed. So, welcome!

I hope I convinced you that Fat Pride and Health At Every Size® is for you. And, I really hope you’ll join me for the Body Love Revolutionaries Telesummit which starts tomorrow night! You don’t want to miss it. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll take away:

Learn what to do when confronted with negativity about your weight.
Find out how you can live your best life without the highs and lows of weight loss efforts.
Connect with other people who are committed to being body positive.
Get fashion tips from people who know and love exactly the body you have.
Body positive exercise advice for all fitness levels, body types and abilities.
Get historical and political perspectives on anti-fat efforts.
check Learn how queer activism can inform fat activism.
check Sex-positive and fat-positive advice for the awesome sex life you deserve.
Hear the body love journeys of your favorite bloggers.
Learn how to create fat-positive community locally.
And so much more!

To join us, just register here.

Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight.

8 thoughts on “Fat Pride Is For Everyone, Even You (Yes, You!)”

  1. Hey Golda, I was wondering what your thoughts and response would be on health professionals who are overweight themselves. I intend on doing a medical degree and I sometimes get the impression that people believe I shouldn’t be a doctor if I’m overweight. I hate this notion and honestly, it sometimes makes me a bit self conscious and hesitant to tell people what my career goals are. I’ve been working up some pretty good defenses in my head but I would like to know your thoughts. Do you feel that discrimination is a problem internally among healthcare providers?

  2. Hey, Golda, do you happen to know if there is a registry somewhere of healthcare professionals (including like family practice/general practitioners/PAs) who are body positive? I ask because I’m “overweight” but know that my body is EXACTLY at the weight and equilibrium it wants, and I’m living in a new city and would like to find a healthcare provider (to address a number of OTHER issues) who won’t harrangue me about losing weight when the issues I’m facing are unrelated. It seems that just calling up doctor’s receptionists and saying, “Um, is Doctor So-and-so body positive?” might not be the most effective means of weeding out the baddies, and it sounds like a pretty arduous, costly process to schedule appointments for a bunch of different doctors to try to find a good philosophical fit.

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