Diverse Fats: a call to action

By | May 21, 2009

There’s a show that’s long-since expired (I do believe) that had a great theme song, You’re Not The Boss of Me. The jingle is playing in my brain as I type this. As I sipped my afternoon soda and prepared for a weekend of fun and dirt, I read the most recent Shapely Prose post. Now I’m not generally a Prose follower but a friend asked me to check on the most recent post and report back on how I felt. I did just that.

In this post Kate Harding, site administrator and famous Fattie to boot posts an announcement of a new blogger joining the troupe. This blogger was admittedly more of the same white, smaller-fat/inbetweenie-fat, able-bodied cloth that the other Prose bloggers were cut from but Harding listed the reasons why that was eventually okay with her. Because she wasn’t originally looking for a new blogger, because this new person didn’t generally piss her off and the other bloggers liked her it seemed reasonable to include her while continuing to exclude other diverse fats out in the blog-o-sphere and/or wanting to join the fat-o-sphere.

Reading through the piece I found Harding to be relatively well-meaning and the other bloggers to have good intentions. They recognized their’ Wonder Bread so directly that was good enough, right? Right? RIGHT?

Nope. Step 1: admit you have a problem.

Step 2: work on fixing it.

There are so many diverse fat-o-sphere bloggers and so many more not being heard. I happen to be one of the only fat-acceptance bloggers who is and writes about disability. The Rotund and others at Fatshionista include Super-(Death)Fat. Curvy Girl Style! and The Curvy Fashionista [see also Young, Fat, & Fabulous and Nudemuse -L.] bring women of color to this mix and on and on and on. We’re here, and we have always been here. So why aren’t we being heard?

While the only change we can see happen as diverse fats is to get out there and talk, we have to be heard too, no? Privileged fats, those who are white or able-bodied or socio-economically sound or generally Western or smaller-fat, etc. etc. etc. need to listen, hear, welcome, and seek out the thoughts and opinions of their diverse community members. Not as special guests, not as one-hit wonders who make inciteful comments or cute webcomics but rather as movement members, fellow laborers who are working the land in our own way with similar goals. We may not all agree with eachother; this comes from coming from different types of cloth, but we can respect and incldue one another.

I welcome diverse fats to speak up and implore privileged fats to include us, value us and open those fattie mcfatfat arms so we can all sing you’re not the boss of me now and you’re not so big to the entire fat-phobic world, rather than to each other.

What’s it gonna take? When do we step up and include? When do we hear each other? When do we all matter?

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