Unashamedly, Unapologetically FAT – a response to Linda Kelsey

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Not only is Linda Kelsey, of the UK Daily Mail, “unapologetically fattist” but is also encouraging readers to join her in shaming the fatties.

She finds fat people unattractive, assumes we’re unhealthy “greedy, ill-disciplined and or ignorant” gluttons and apparently expects us to skulk around in the shadows, with our eyes downcast, apologizing for the vast amounts of space we occupy.

In her article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2686676), Linda refers to a trio of fat, young ladies as “lumpen individuals” with “bulging bellies and billowing pillows of back and shoulder stuffing, punctured by flabby arms and lardy legs that no amount of fake-tan could disguise”. What absolutely flabbergasted her was their “let-it-all-hang-out faith in themselves and a don’t-give-a-damn attitude to their evident obesity.”

And, for her, that is a HUGE problem (pun absolutely intended). She cites all the usual blah, blah, blah… fat leads to diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, escalating health costs, ad nauseum (and I will probably become nauseous if I read any more of those “statistics”). As she puts it “fat is fatal” and we should be shamed into feeling horrible about ourselves instead of strutting our stuff with confident heads held high. She believes fat bodies are not to be accepted and that “we live in a society in which it has become OK to shame people for being skinny, but to come out and say ‘You’re fat. Not healthy, not a good look’ would be tantamount to a crime.”

Well, Linda, I don’t know which alternate universe you reside in. Not only are people shamed for being “too thin” but all you have to do is go online to see all the awful fat shaming that happens on a regular basis. Yes, I see people tell thin women to “eat a cheeseburger” but I’ve never seen any also tell them to “kill yourself skinny bitch!”. Fat people are mooed or oinked at by strangers on the street, pelted by eggs or otherwise physically assaulted. None of it is right… neither for the thin or the fat. Yet you encourage ridiculing fat bodies because you find us unattractive?

It wasn’t easy to become comfortable in my skin. Raised by a mother who constantly criticized my weight, put me on countless diets and dragged me to gym after gym, my self-esteem was non-existent as my weight yo-yo’d. I wish there had been a size acceptance community to encourage my teenage self to accept myself exactly as I was. It took many years and a long struggle to finally be able to look in the mirror and love every inch of my fat body. And I do love it… from the tips of my toes to the top of my head and the large, plush stomach in between where 2 wonderful beings grew. Why should I hang my head in shame? I have the right to live my life as you have the right to live yours… happy, sad, smiling, scowling, loved and loving.

No one is saying you must find me attractive. But accept that this is my body and my choices. I respect your decision to “be disciplined” about what you eat and “cut back” when you feel your jeans are too tight. I accept that perhaps you’re not so fond of the reflection in your mirror although I hope you love your body too. So allow me to be a fat woman who enjoys wearing sundresses with my flabby arms and bulging belly without trying to shame or ridicule me. Because we’re all human beings, worthy of acceptance and respect.

And if you ever pass me on the street and call me fat, I’ll just look at you, smile and say “Why, yes I am!”… unashamed and unapologetic.

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