One of my clearest memories is of sitting in a diner with my mom and a family friend when I was a kid. I’d just ordered a chocolate milkshake (a treat since my mother only kept fruit pops in the house) when the friend pointed to a fat woman sitting at the counter nearby. In my memory, the woman’s bottom was so large the stool looked too small for her, and her bright, pink top showed off every roll.
“Be careful,” the family friend said, gesturing toward the woman.
In hindsight, I’m horrified at this memory. The woman, who was already brave enough to wear an eye-catching top, had to have heard our friend implying that her body was disgusting. But for my grade-school self, this just inspired feelings of shame and defiance. I wanted to enjoy my treat in peace for once, rather than be reminded yet again how I already had trouble finding clothes that fit. Keep reading »
Fat-shaming. Maybe it’s happened to you, or maybe you’ve perpetrated it against someone else. Fat-shaming is making people feel uncomfortable, wrong or bad for being overweight or obese. Some fat-shamers will tell you that they’re doing it as a means of encouraging the overweight person to lose weight, but most, oh, sane people will argue that fat-shaming does little in the way of motivation, and actually harms.
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The NY Times just can’t decide today—on the one hand, they are singing the virtues of embracing the chunk, on the other, they’re all over a new men’s “shapewear” line (aka girdles for men — MIRDLES!) that’s selling like hotcakes at Saks Fifth Avenue. Pick one and get behind it, Times editors! Are we fat and loving it or do we need another newfangled contraption to suck in our gut? Or… maybe it’s not that easy? Keep reading »
What’s the antidote to a culture that tells women, in a multitude of ways, “thin is better?” Marianne Kirby, 31, and Gabrielle Gregg, 22, who were interviewed by ABC News, both have felt the pressure to be thin, but have become the faces of the “fat acceptance movement,” which seeks to assure women that your appearance has nothing to do with your self-worth. This is certainly an attitude I can get behind, especially because there are many negative and untrue stereotypes made about people who are overweight. However, just as there is an obviously negative side to celebrating thinness, I believe the same danger exists in telling people who are very overweight that “fat is beautiful.” Keep reading »