Queercicles: par-liam-ent: Fat Privilege is living in a first world society where...


Fat Privilege is living in a first world society where instead of taking advantage of the great opportunities you have that 90% of the world doesn’t, you instead choose to live a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle to the point that you become an insult to millions of years of…

i hate when people manipulate the poverty that exists within the developing world to shame fat people for who they are 

regardless of if a fat person eats a twinkie or drinks a kale smoothie, there will still be poverty in the world and the dietary and life style choices of a fat person has nothing to do with it nor does it directly affect it 

also, lets just ignore the fact that there are fat people ALL OVER THE WORLD, in some of the same places you’d like to think are suffering because of the lifestyles of U.S fat people 

are you fat, brown and down?

if so then reblog this

i’m trying to figure out who are the fat POC {people of color} in the tumblrverse who are down with fat acceptance/health at every size as a movement, but are tired of the movement being so overwhelmingly white in representation and even visibility 

my response to “Are we making obesity sexy in the black community?”- not published yet because its midnight and i’m not sure whether i am coherent or not

Dear Nikki,

I was deeply disappointed by the article “are we making obesity sexy in the black community” by Sherrell Dorsey. While I understand she is a guest writer and her views do not necessarily represent your views, i would think the last place where fat-phobia, body shaming and classicism would be experienced would be on a hair website, let alone yours. I enjoy reading your blog because its insightful without being preachy, and also mindful of the wide audience it has in terms of hair types and members of different socio-economic classes. I think you work very hard to find a wide range of solutions and advice that doesn’t only cater to upper middle to upper class natural haired folk. To me its important to recognize the diversity that exists amongst groups as a means of finding inclusive and not exclusive solutions. 
With that being said, I don’t understand what motivated the publishing of this article on your website. I understand the need to empower black women to find solutions to leading healthier lives, and providing free information and resources to allow people to make informed decisions about which methods suit them best. However, I do not feel this article empowered people to loose weight, eat healthier, or provided them with accurate scientific and medical information to make an informed decision. Instead, I think the attempt to be brutally honest as a means of inspiration came off as deeply offensive and ignorant to specific social justice issues related to African American women’ health. 
Some examples 

Where’s the farmers market in the hood? Unfortunately, fast food chains reign supreme in lower-income communities and especially communities of color. Without adequate access to healthy food, our options for getting fresh fruits, veggies and meats are slim when a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is out of our reach.

Already within the author’s observations comes a lot of loaded assumptions.  Yes, its no big secret that fast food markets monopolize on lower-income communities, especially those with high concentrations of people of color. What this observation fails to account for is the ways in which unhealthy living is promoted outside of fast food chains. Many lower income communities are part of food deserts, places where access to healthy local freshly grown foods is limited for a variety of factors. For many lower income communities of color, the conditions of such communities as a direct result of certain socio-economic conditions which complicate the ability for people to access healthy food. In short, companies such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes are not willing to take the economic risk to open stores in places plagued by poverty and the violence that often accompanies impoverished places. In a perfect world, these companies would not be concerned by the “security” and “economic” risk of opening branches of their stores in low income urban centers or even low income rural places. These companies would even accept the many different forms of food stamps/assistance used across the nation which would allow people access to the healthier food they provide. In a perfect world, the government would allocate substantially more money to people on food stamps in order to live this healthier lifestyle the author of the article envisions for the African American woman’s community.
Yet we don’t live in a perfect world where companies are willing to set aside their desire for profits in order to provide a much needed service in some communities. We live in a world where the dollar comes before the person handing it over for the product. And we live in a world where even our government can turn a blind eye to the disproportionate standard of living plaguing our country. For the author to ignore these factors and the role they play in the health of African Americans is a grave miscarriage of justice. To place the blame on people already substantially disfranchised by a deeply classicist and racist capitalist society is cruel and usual punishment. Instead, we need to talk about the companies that will take a risk on lower income communities, the farmers who would be willing to sell their produce at a farmer’s market in a lower income community, and supporting the efforts of those actively involved in matters of food justice and communities of colour. 

We don’t want to sweat out our hair. Even natural girls aren’t trying to mess up their do’. Hitting the gym means wasting money at the salon.

Again, another deeply classicist assumption, and albeit racially stereotypical at that. There are much larger factors complicating the relationship between black women and exercise, and not all of them are vanity related. There are women who work long hours, grave yard shifts at minimum wage jobs, overtime at well paid jobs, are unemployed. There are women with children and a wide range of support systems, from the two parent house hold to the single mother without a steady baby sitter let alone the financial means to pay a babysitter just so she can trot about the track at the gym. Additionally, gyms are not always the most affordable thing for all people. While gyms will advertise themselves as having low rate specials, those usually come with hidden stipulations within contracts, or are short term offers that when the time’s up that person can no longer afford to go to the gym. Singing these contracts can often lead to a person’s ruined credit, especially if they aren’t paying to the hidden cost of gym memberships. Like any type of contracts, gym contracts are another hole of debt from which people can struggle to get out of. 
This observation could have been an opportunity to share with people links to free exercise resources on the internet. Its easier and much more effective to bring the gym home than to shame those who can’t make the gym an affordable time commitment and then attach a bullshit reason as to why people aren’t going to the gym. 

   Grandma and mama made it so it must be good. Holidays and Sunday dinners are filled with fried foods, yummy starches and greens cooked in smoked turkey or hamhocks. As delicious as the food is, our cultural foods ignore the health impacts of high blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer.

This statement ignores the history around soul food. Much like African Americans currently living in food deserts across the country, the ability of African slaves to make “healthy food choices” was deeply dependent on access to food. Dependence on an external source for food, such as a slave master, often meant being fed the undesirable parts of an animal, the rotting vegetables, the vegetables with little nutritional value, or the cooking ingredients that aren’t healthy for anybody (such as lard). Soul food culture is a product of slave food culture, and its slow evolution in health conscious cooking is a reflection on the continual denied access to healthier ingredients via food deserts and poverty within the black community.
Additionally, to assume the reason why black people are unhealthy is because of soul food is problematic within itself. Not every black person who could be classified as overweight or even obese eats soul food or unhealthy food, bottom line. Giving people accessible advice on how to make better and affordable food choices is way different than telling people to put down that piece of fried chicken they may not be eating in the first place. 
If the observations which completely ignore complex socio-historical issues weren’t bad enough, the rampant and unchecked fat shaming of this article tipped me over the edge. 

  • I know that real women have curves but not rolls!”- We really need to move past this notion that real women have a set list of qualifying features which somehow magically endow them with that authenticity of womanhood. Rolls of fat, curves, or skin and bones, they are all real woman and anything which says otherwise is body shaming bullshit which plays into our society’s fucked up culture about policing body types and what is considered “normal”. 
  • We have to take back our health and no longer accept that our susceptibility to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other preventable ailments deserves their own high-fashion collection in the department stores.- Seriously, so fat women are supposed to wear burlap sacks until it dawns on them that maybe they should stop plaguing themselves along with consumerist culture and loose some weight? Doesn’t society condemn fat women for merely existing in the first place? How is saying that they aren’t entitled to trendy plus size clothing somehow motivation for “being healthier”? In what way does one justify the other? 
  • After all, and I hate to be morbid, what good is a cute plus-size outfit if you could end up wearing it at your own funeral?- See this is problematic logic once again. We can’t definitively tell anything about a person based on value judgements. You can’t tell a person’s eating and exercise habits simply by looking at them, which means you can’t predict that a person is going to die simply because they are fat. The only way you can make such diagnoses is if you are a doctor, and you understand that health issues can be caused by a host of other factors and not simply weight. All of the diseases attributed to African Americans at higher rates than other races are also influenced by genetics, environmental factors, access to health care, healthy food, hell access issues in general. 

Essentially, being healthy is not as simple as getting off your ass, putting down the plate, or half the tragic observations made throughout this article. Health is part personal choice and part which enhances or inhibits such personal choices. Health is access and limitations just as much as it is fritos versus a salad. If this world ever plans on changing for the better, we need to stop blaming those who show us how our society has failed them and instead work harder to rectify the wrongs which have plagued our collective histories. We need to provide more options and allow people to take them at their leisure, instead of shaming people for not working against a system to achieve a set of results that validate our society’s haphazard standards of “beauty” and not health. Access, not shame, is the ultimate tool for creating a better and more just world. 

I hope in the future you will carefully consider the articles which get published on your website. Although you may not write them yourself, you have the ability to critically engage with the material your are promoting and really inform your readers of their options, instead of participating in shaming them for the options they may not have. 

So this morning I see that professional fat-hater Jamie Oliver has posted a petition which he’s asking people to sign in support of his “Food Revolution,” and in which he’s included the bullshit stat that “obesity in the US costs $10,273,973 per hour” (sure) and notes, in all-caps, “OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE.”

Celebrities who have signed the petition are posted in rotation: Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, P. Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Ellen Degeneres.

It’s always nice to see wealthy people with access to the best food, comprehensive healthcare, personal trainers, private chefs, and individual nutritional plans put their names to a petition admonishing the fatties that OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE.

When there are people for whom that is not true, people for whom obesity is not preventable, for myriad reasons, to bray about how their bodies (our bodies; ourselves) are “preventable” is to engage in eliminationist rhetoric.

I will never not be fat.

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville: On Fat Hatred and Eliminationism (via finebyyou)

Can fat people be healthy? A provocative new study shows that obese people who are otherwise healthy live just as long as their slim counterparts.

And that wasn’t the only surprising finding. The study also showed otherwise healthy obese people are even less likely than lean people to die of cardiovascular disease.

Our findings challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight,” study author Dr. Jennifer L. Kuk, assistant professor at York University School of Kinesiology & Health Science, said in a written statement. “Moreover, it’s possible that trying - and failing - to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.”

CBS article on a new weight study via @Fatheffalump on Twitter (via shallanelprin)

So fat isn’t a disease in and of itself???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

AH MAH GAHD!!!!!!!


(via liquornspice)

Its not long enough to be a manifesta, but it should be: MY list of demands from the Fat Acceptance Movement

{After finally taking some time to figure out the whole Pork Magazine fuckery, and reading some awesome commentary from the people i follow and Fatpeopleofcolor tumblr, i thought that its time to lay out what i personally want as a fat person of color from my non-POC fat allies. please feel free to add on to this!}

  1. My culture is not your lookbook. You cannot flip through the pages of my history cherry picking which specific styles will make you look fabulous and fat as soon as the fashion season starts. The fashion of my culture, from the top of our crowns down to the shoes which touch the earth, has a specific purpose. You will not desecrate it for style purposes, or any purpose, and if you consider yourself an ally and friend to fat people of color, you’ll find other ways to be fashionable without culturally appropriating what isn’t yours for shallow benefit. My culture is not your lookbook. It should have never been your lookbook in the first place.
  2. I want to be represented in full. My body mind and soul is not a glass half empty. So i want to see pictures of fat people of color on the blogs which claim to represent the fat acceptance movement, the health at every movement, the body acceptance movement. I want to see our models, our activists, our scientists/researchers, nutritionists, our dancers, our trans bodies, our genderqueer bodies, our disabled bodies, our non-binary bodies, our movement makers right along side yours. Notice how i said along side, because fat people of color shouldn’t come before our white allies and vice versa. Lets talk more about true representation as an ideal to strive for, lets live by it everyday and work on those days where things fall apart.  
  3. And with that, i want to see our everyday people. The people you find on tumblr or live journal or wherever. i want our experiences to hold the same weight and validity. There should be no question of whether we’ve been online for X amount of years, how long we’ve personally been in this movement. Our words matter, our experiences are real, and only through dismissal and erasure are we told they are not “real” or “don’t matter”. 
  4. Please don’t speak for me in an attempt to make me more visible. i can speak for myself. i am the best spokesperson for my needs, feelings, desires, angers, pains. 
  5. Please don’t assume either. Its better to just ask, but understanding that with asking i am in no way obliged to answer. 
  6. Fielding a couple curiosity questions or opinion questions doesn’t mean i’m the POC ask box. I’m not encyclopedia POC, i don’t have all the answers. i only have the answers for myself and only myself. I don’t speak for any other fat person of color but myself. 
  7. When a non-POC ally does something to offend me, there are a lot of right and wrong ways to go about handling the situation.
  • Claiming that you don’t hold a specific title within a community, such as activist, holds no weight as an explanation for why the offending action was performed. 
  • Notice how i used the word explanation instead of excuse, because there is no excuse for offending somebody at all. There is no excuse for cultural appropriation or cultural insensitivity. There is no excuse for racism, erasure or turning us into voiceless puppets to enhance the diversity of the movement. There is only sincere apologies and the desire to educate oneself on being actively anti-oppressive. 
  • Cherry picking one POCS opinion as to why they weren’t offended by something you did is fucking insulting. It’s as if to say “see this is how you really should feel and if you don’t then there is something wrong with you, not me.” Don’t put your bullshit behavior back on us. Don’t ask us to alter our feelings so you don’t feel as though “you got in trouble”. Realize that one person, or handful of people, doesn’t speak for everyone. And if others are telling you they are indeed offended, then listen to them! Their opinions matter too! 
  • If you really want to understand why such things are offensive to us, read our theme blogs on tumblr. Read our personal blogs. Read the essays/books written by our academics in and out of academia. Take the time to understand why these issues are so important to us, because we wouldn’t take the time to write about them if they didn’t matter. We wouldn’t keep pushing back and pushing back against a larger world all too eager to label us as being “over sensitive”. This shit matters to us, and to be our allies it must matter to you too! 

We are people who are constantly on a journey to define, understand, appreciate and love what it means to be a fat person of color. We are relearning our bodies, rewording them in ways which aim for an oppression free narrative. We aren’t scratching for a seat at the table, but questioning the table’s dynamics in the first place. Nothing is fixed in time, because people and their relationship to ideas are always changing. That’s not just for fat people of color, that’s for humans in general. Respect it and understand that at the same time we’re trying to clue you in, we’re trying to clue ourselves in as well. 

Listen to us, love us, learn from us and with us, and work with us to make fat acceptance a safe space for everyone! 

its not a PLUS SIZE manifesta, but it should be: being a plus size traveler in eastern europe

{i decided to combine my two rant titles into one post. i have resisted writing a drawn out post about my experiences in Prague and Poland, simply because i need to separate out and organize my thoughts so they are as coherent as i like them to be. so here goes my experience as a plus size woman of color in eastern europe} 


When i went to eastern europe for three weeks, being plus size really didn’t cross my mind one too many times at first. I think i was fundamentally too starry eyed about being abroad for the purpose of my major, and possibility these sights would bring me present and future as a Jewish studies major. 

But slowly, the reality started to sink it. 

  • going shopping with my thinner gal pals was a joke. not only in terms of our taste not being the same, but the stores not carrying my size
  • the stores that did carry my size had some of the ugliest clothing i’ve ever seen in life. 
  • hearing my classmates comments about how eastern europe isn’t as bad as America because they aren’t as many obese people floating around started to get to me after a while. on top of the racist tripe spewed by some people, there were points where i was ready to pack my shit up and come home. 
  • the wash closets, or bathrooms, are HELLA small and make me feel claustrophobic. add to that some of them look MAD dingy and dirty, going to the bathroom became a fast running joke. 
  • media advertising is no different from the U.S in terms of who is considered “the fairest of them all”. Yup, Snow White is still the blonde bombshell crushing folks dreams of ever being considered conventionally beautiful. 

Yet the saving grace of the whole trip was when i went to the Therma pool in Karlovy Vary, a town two hours by bus outside of Prague well known for its uppity spa culture and host of Russians. 

i went to the therma pool by myself because i couldn’t find my friends to see whether they had found walk in spas, i was tired, and i needed to cut the fuck loose for a couple of hours. 

so i change into my two piece, the first two piece i’ve ever worn in life, and get into this pool that has an amazing view of the town skyline and mountains. 

the first thing i notice is this mineral water pool feels a million times better than chlorine pools ever have in life.

the second thing i slowly start to notice is that i’m not the only person who is plus size rocking a two piece. i turn around in the water to see an older woman, much larger than me, chillin on a beach chair in her strapless two piece and some sun glasses. And not a fuck was given that day. She was steady chillin, occasionally interacting with her grandkids and family. But nobody shot her dirty looks nor said anything to her. 

A couple who i had taken the elevator up to the pool with eventually came out together. They were plus size, the wife in a two piece, and her equally chubby husband in form fitting swim trunks. They gave no fucks either. They were too busy canoodling and working the “we’re old, in love, and don’t care” kind of thing. 

Now don’t get me wrong, i’m not trying to paint prague as this fat-hate free place where one could dance in the streets naked, balls to the wall. Considierng i don’t speak Czech, i’ll never know the true extent to which issues of body and size run. But i am trying to say its nice to be in a space where people could care less about whether you have a bikini body, a space where you aren’t the only one, where people aren’t shooting you nasty looks or those looks that say “oh poor fat person, that misguided soul thought they could pull off X and can’t.  tisk. tisk.”

in fact, i’m pretty sure the only reason i got stares was because i was the only black person for miles, and some people were trying to figure out whether i spoke Czech or German to communicate with me (apparently there is a growing influx of Africans serving in the German army or African women who marry soldiers, and both speak German). 

The ability to exist as a plus size person in a space is crucial to me. Considering I don’t know what or where the future holds in terms of being a Jewish Studies major, I need to know that I can feel comfortable in these places. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had to uproot or study abroad in Eastern Europe for much longer to do research or have a job. But I can’t live in another America, for the life of me.  I cant go from one fat-hating, body negative space to another. That, on top of being of color and queer, would just be entirely too much baggage.

I can’t wait to go back again, for a longer period of time with more Czech under my belt, and really experience being plus size in eastern Europe without the comments of my classmates in my ear. But from what I’ve gathered in three weeks, there’s hope! 

PLUS SIZE POST OF THE DAY: Dear Fatphobic Ms. Cleos of the world, rolls of fat and double chins are not crystal balls for the future

With anything that goes “tumblr viral” surrounding fat/body acceptance, there are always bound to be some haters.

Post a picture of yourself- immediate haters

post a rant- the haters trickle in

post a story about how you’re learning to love your body- the haters are like salmon in a stream, they’ll swim up stream in their own time

Yet what boggles my mind are those comments that basically say "well just by looking at you, i can tell your unhealthy and you’re going to die. I’m going to live longer than you, i’m going to live longer than you. NAAA NAAA NAA NAA NAA!"

I sit there in my chair and think “seriously? you’re that smart, that perceptive, ESP is like second nature to the point that you can tell that a person is going to die long before you do based on what they look like?”

then the other other part of my brain says “damn you THINK  you got it like that, but I’m sad to say, you don’t.”

Those kind of comments are reflective of many people’s experiences in the medical industry, and its huge problem. As soon as a plus size person walks in the examination room, its assumed this person has a booth at their favorite fast food joint, that their couch has a permanent ass print from sitting there day after day with no hope of moving, and their spouses have no will power to deny them the foods which are “bad for them”.

Usually this person gets told they are unhealthy and on the short train to death canyon.

But where are the follow up questions about food intake, how many meals a person eats a day, how much of their necessary nutrients they are getting from food or supplements, alcohol and drug use, stress factors, activity level?

Where are the questions about what kinds of foods are available where the person lives?


Nowhere to be found.

Because in those examination room moments, the crystal ball comes out.

The crystal ball made of up body rolls, multiple chins, arms that giggle, legs that seem to be caving under the weight of somebody’s body.

But of course, its going to be packaged nicely. And that package is called a white lab coat.

Or in the case of tumblr, its a person who thinks their fatphobic tripe is actually going to be the motivation for a person getting “healthier”.

Well let me put something in perspective for the tumblrverse:

  • If somebody looked at a black man and said “oh you’re bound to die. You’ve already been recruited to a gang by now. Where’s your glock homie? I know its somewhere!”- well most people would have no problem calling that person a racist. There are a select handful who are too racist and ignorant themselves to understand that those kinds of comments are not humorous. But overall people would immediately see the problem with that
  • If a latina walked into a pharmacy to pick up her birth control and someone said “OH THANK YOU JESUS AND MARY AND GUADALUPE!! THANK GOD YOU GAVE SOME LATINAS THE MIND TO NOT BECOME BREEDERS OR TO TAKE OUR GOOD OLD AMERICAN JOBS VIA OVERPOPULATION!”- well again, i don’t think a lot of people would hesitate to tell this person that again, they are probably too racist and ignorant to live.
  • Last one, i promise: If a gay man posts his picture on tumblr talking about how he’s proud of who is is, and somebody said “man you must save a lot of money in this bad economy on mouthwash, i mean…since swallowing after you suck dick must be a good substitute and all.”- again, this person would probably get told they are a homophobe from here to twelfth of forever. 

In the same way we can’t predict when a black man is going to die, the sexual practices of a latina woman or a gay man, we cannot predict when a plus size person is going to die simply by looking at them.

And the ability for a person to sit there and attempt to “predict” basic things about oppressed or marginalized groups of people speaks volumes to the amount of unchecked privilege they have in the world. How they not only feel entitled to share that information with you, but present it as undeniable, irrefutable fact and then insult you.

How when you call them out on their shit, you are the person being oversensitive and wishy washy. Not that they just said some ignorant ass shit, you, anti-oppression person, are the problem.

The fact that a growing percentage of America sees no problem with this kind of behavior, and would support it under the guise of “free speech” is indicative of not only the systemic inequities in this country, but the dynamics of power and agency at play.

So essentially, when a fatphobic ms.cleo steps into the fat/body acceptance tumblr sphere attempting to predict when a person is going to die, they are most likely exerting their privilege as somebody who perceives themselves to be healthier than those of us in the movement. They are entering our space to try and “save our lives”, but instead shaming us into thinking they hold the golden ticket to halting our fast approaching death.

They are violating the community norms we have set up for ourselves so conversations can be about productivity, support, and acceptance.

Their ability to do that, and go unchecked by and large, is a function of privilege. Whether its thin privilege or class privilege (from a person who has the class privilege to give themselves that “healthier existence” that America RX prescribes), its privilege all the same.

The ability to look at somebody, tell them when they are going to die, and be supported by not only peers but a large, broken medical system is based on privilege.

Meanwhile, we in the body acceptance sphere defer to the facts we’ve learned from recent and somewhat old studies and its treated like quack science, junk science, “those facts can’t be real because the data benefits your beliefs” science.

So for those who think they are doing us a favor by entering our sphere and spewing hatred, you’re not. Very few people are going to internalize the opinions of an anonymous person, or any person who says X about why its medically unhealthy to be fat and then proceeds to basically say the movement is filled with sick sons of bitches promoting death.

Some of us might respond to you to try and convince you otherwise. I give them endless amounts of kudos and love!

But as for me, I’m just going to look at you and say “your privilege is showing!”