Dear Ms Mercado,
I saw your interview on TMZ a few days ago. You mentioned getting mail from fans who told you to “jump off a bridge” (are they really fans?) and that fat activists “hated” how you’re “really public about… weight loss”. The media ran with the story, distorted what you said and now headlines scream “Rosie Mercado received DEATH THREATS from Fat Activists”.
Don’t you hate when your words get twisted around? It’s so misleading and irresponsible, right? Then again, maybe you don’t because you’re posting those very same headlines on your Facebook page instead of clarifying what you meant. It’s not fair because the fat acceptance / body positive community is now accused of wishing you to harm yourself or commit suicide. That could potentially undo a lot of the great work they’ve done.
I couldn’t read all that and be silent, thus this letter.
People… like Marilyn Wann, Bill Fabrey, Virgie Tovar, Jes Baker, Substantia Jones, Ragen Chastain, Lesley Kinzel, Kath Read and Sonya Renee… who promote love, acceptance and respect for all bodies, especially fat bodies, wouldn’t stoop so low. Also, they don’t care what you do with your body because it’s YOUR body. Ragen Chastain calls it the Underpants Rule. Simply stated, it says that we do what we feel is right for our bodies and no one should tell us what to do. In other words, we should respect each others’ choices.
If those ill wishes came from people who claim to be activists then they clearly misinterpret what the cause or movement is about.
That being said, I am certain that those who truly promote fat activism and/or body positivity have sent you messages of disapproval over your “really public” weight loss. Why? Because you claim to be body positive.
As I indicated, in a previous post, the body positive movement is about accepting and loving our bodies as they are and incorporating a weight neutral approach to health. The movement seeks to end the diet culture which leads to disordered eating and harmful behaviors. In other words, it discourages diets, intentional weight loss, weight loss products, weight loss surgery, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, Ms Mercado. Your decision to lose weight, for whatever reason, is YOUR choice. However, posting before/after photos and articles that tout your weight loss, encouraging the use of diet plans and weight loss products and discussing your gastric sleeve surgery goes against what being body positive is. You can’t twist the message of a movement to suit your agenda just like people can’t claim to promote acceptance and respect while sending hateful messages.
Once again… no one says that you shouldn’t lose weight, drink meal replacement shakes or be a spokesperson for whatever company you choose to represent. I sincerely hope you’re happy and successful. Just, PLEASE, don’t call it being body positive.
Emily Dominguez (aka Amply Emmy)