If you’ve gained weight during this pandemic, I’m here to tell you: that’s okay! It’s a global pandemic and you’re surviving and that’s all that matters!
Our society’s views on bodies and weight are hurtful and messed up at best and toxic and actively harmful at worst. Fat people deserve basic human decency, period.
I know this because I am fat. I am! I choose to call myself fat because I have come to view this word not as a loaded insult or something “bad”—it’s a descriptor of my body. It’s the right word for me, although it may not be the right word for everyone. Again: totally okay!
The decisions we make about our bodies, how we view them, how we describe them, how we nourish them, how we move them, and how we dress them are so deeply personal. I hope we can strive to be more open and accepting of all kinds of bodies without needing a reason. It’s tough work and it means unlearning a lot of the things we’ve been taught.
But try to remind yourself: if it’s not your body, then it’s simply not your business.
But Crystal, you say. Health!
To that I say: you actually can’t tell whether someone is healthy just by looking at them. Fat people are not inherently unhealthy. Medical studies back this up. Doctors can back this up. Science can back this up!
While we are dispelling myths, I’d also like to share:
- It is possible to fully support science and medicine while also acknowledging that it has very real and very harmful biases towards people who are fat. Medical professionals are not perfect; they are humans living in a society that tells us over and over again that fat = bad, so they are not immune from these feelings or biases. (You can Google this, but here is one study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4381543/)
- Even if, in some cases, people who are fat are also unhealthy, that’s okay! Again: not. your. business. Fat people don’t owe anyone their health, just like thin people don’t owe anyone their health.
- It is tempting to assign food morality. But food is neither morally “good” nor bad—it just is.
- Not all fat people are looking to lose weight.
- Fat people don’t need unsolicited opinions or advice and, in fact, please feel free to keep ALL of your opinions about ANYONE’S body (except for your own) to yourself.
I am sharing photos of myself at my current weight, my highest weight, and my lowest weight. And I think I look pretty cute in all three! But it has taken me SO long to get to that point.
Do I feel beautiful every day of my life? No, of course not. I’m human. But I fully believe in the importance of not spending your entire life trying to make your body smaller in order to chase an unattainable dream of being “perfect.” Do what makes YOU happy. Forget everything else.
This, right here, is your permission to take up space.
If you’re interested in learning more about body positivity, the fat acceptance movement, how diets can be harmful, etc. here are some resources for you to check out.
Fat Positive Resources
- Dr. Joshua Wolrich
- Dalina AKA Your Latina Nutritionist
- The Body is Not an Apology
- Meg Boggs
- Grown and Curvy
- Tanesha Awasthi aka Girl With Curves
- Gabi Fresh
- Nicolette Mason
- Kellie Brown
- Ms. Kristine
- And I Get Dressed
- Adrienne Maree Brown
- Sofie Hagen
- She’s All Fat Podcast
- Why Don’t You Date Me? Podcast (This ep in particular features host Nicole Byer and author Roxane Gay and I highly recommend it for the talk about being Fat + Black)
- #VeryFat #VeryBrave by Nicole Byer (memoir)
- The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce edited by Angie Manfredi (collection of essays)
- Hunger by Roxane Gay (memoir)
- Health At Very Size by Dr. Lindo Bacon (nutrition)