Monday, February 27

Fat Acceptance vs Body Acceptance

Little fat ladies have been running through my mind for WEEKS trying to figure out exactly what my capstone project to get my Bachelor's Degree is going to be. I knew I wanted to focus it around fat acceptance and tie that in with feminism. Research how fat issues should be feminist issues. Ya know. Awesome, right?

It's not that simple, though. I've started interviewing for my research, trying to figure out what it is that people think about the topic. The most recent interviewer said "I prefer 'body acceptance.' Fat is just a piece of a person. It’s a grouping of a certain type of cells. You wouldn’t necessarily say 'muscle-fiber acceptance' if you had bulky-legs," and I completely get it. I do. But I'm torn. Fat is a part of me, but I also claim myself as being fat, so it is -- in a sense, me.  I also think it's more complicated than that, and of course it is, why wouldn't it be?

Let me try to explain my thoughts, bare with me.  In our culture bodies are shamed constantly. Bodies of all types are scrutinized, naturally, BUT what is the one body type that is mostly stigmatized? Fat bodies. How many times do we see a magazine cover where a celebrity is being shamed for their size.. when it's released a few days later that the celebrity is actually like, a size 2 or something? How often do we see the OH MY GOD SO AND SO IS PREGNANT LOOK AT THAT BABY BUMP and it's completely ridiculous because there's practically nothing there? This means that average or normal sized bodies are no longer normalized.. they are fat--in the eyes of our advertisers, popular culture and in turn, the eyes of our people.

It doesn't just stop with our country though, studies have shown that America's advertising, TV shows, and movies have caused higher rates of eating disorders overseas. Even in countries where bigger bodies are considered (or well, used to be considered) more beautiful than thin bodies. If average sized bodies are becoming fat to our culture, then thin bodies are in turn average-sized and it's this wave of terrible shit that just keeps going down and down until a size 000000 is what's considered normal.


THIS fact is why I believe the issue IS fat acceptance. Yes, everyone should accept their bodies and love themselves, but the issue isn't of the BODY only. It's of our society finding just an ounce of fat on someone and saying that they are disgusting. It's our society saying that a, say, Zumba instructor can't be fat. It's our country saying that a woman is PREGNANT because she has a pooch.

This has to change or our women are going to dwindle to nothing. And not just our women. Our children. The boys and girls. This is effecting more people than we all think, more people than I can probably even imagine.


ps. I was a guest lecturer in a class today! Women & Activism! It was very exciting and I feel like I spread my fat knowledge through the masses. Well, the masses of 10 or so people. :)


  1. That's awesome that you got to speak! And I agree, fat acceptance and body acceptance do overlap, but are still separate entities. I love reading your posts, keep 'em coming! My mom is going through a rough time and has confidence issues. I'm really considering having her read your "Dear Body" posts to see what her reaction is and if it will help her adjusts the way she thinks and feels about herself.

    1. I had so much fun writing 'Dear Body'! I recommend everyone write a letter to their body parts, it's SO MUCH FUN!