Come to the dark side….

By | September 29, 2008

    Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

I’m surrounded by fats. Fats in my food, fats in my drink, fats hanging off the bodies of the animals whose fur I’m sharing, fats on the bodies of the workers who sweat on machines to combine the clothing I’m wearing….fats rolling under the flesh on my body.

So it came as no surprise to me to walk into a room of fats and feel quite at home. What’s but a little more of that which makes my world go ‘round? Immersed, as it were, in fats I began to consume. As my lips parted and sustenance flowed in, I felt what flowed just as quickly out; the conversations around me and the feelings they inspired. I overheard discussions of what was positive to consume, what was negative to consume, and questions regarding why some things were more readily consumed by a group than others. I began to feel that I too was being consumed. I began to feel stifled, as if I had something to prove.

“I don’t eat processed sugars” one fat body proclaimed. I laid down my blueberry muffin.

“I don’t eat meat” another sighed. I held a piece of crisp bacon in the air, mid-range to my eager tongue.

“I buy clothes from independent sellers, skirting mega-conglomerates” she said into my ear. I felt the clasps on my Lane Bryant bra constrict.

“I walk wherever I go – y’know, I’m fat but I’m fit!” he spurted across the table, jumping up to prove a point. I stretched a sore leg and used the ramp to go up and down the wings of the hotel.

Where are the fat bodies intersecting in the mire of what it means to be an acceptable representative and member of fat acceptance? Can we field issues of internalized shame and guilt and fat-phobia with positivity that doesn’t continue or perpetuate further exclusion of one another? Can we have our bacon and eat it too? What’s more, can we truly embrace our bodies and each other if we can’t let go of the desire to out-fats one another?

In a space where the big 5; race, class, gender, sexuality, disability all struggle for a voice, can we make space for these lesser demons, these less visible but all the while powerful inhibitors to self-love and bodily politics? Can we embrace the divide between access to and opinions on what is health at every size, political living at every size, body consciousness at every size without judgment? I would like to think so. I believe so. But in a room of fats I heard less embracing of where we overlap and more of a desire to separate the weaks from the strongs.

I ate my bacon and put on a dress made by an independent retailer, slapped on make-up made by The Man ™ and smiled. I’m probably bad fats, but is that a bad thing?

Are you?

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