I wanted to share something that happened to me a week or so ago and try to give you a sort of snapshot of what fat people wonder when they are fat shamed by complete strangers.
This is a topic I'm really passionate about and this is the understanding I have both personally and from the plus-size community that I've been a part of. I'm not meaning to "speak" for others who have had a different experience, but I think most can agree that this is what happens in our heads.
âSo, I decided that I wanted to make this explanation post to get out into the open some things we fat people want others to understand:
1: WE DONâT BELIEVE YOU âCARE ABOUT OUR HEALTHâ
2: WE FIND SOME OF YOU VERY HYPOCRITICAL
3: WE ARENâT ASKING YOU TO LIKE US
4: WE DESERVE EQUAL PRAISE FOR EQUAL
I cannot tell you how many times in my life that Iâve accomplished something amazing and shared it with friends, only to have someone share a different (equally as amazing) accomplishment and give praise to someone who is substantially smaller than me.
I work super hard to do the things that I do. I also strive to be supportive to all of my fellow creators.
And donât give me that âyou should validate yourselfâ nonsense. Have you ever asked a friend if your makeup looks good? How about asking your partner if your outfit makes you look âfat?â
As if you donât own a mirror.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is in some way concerned with how they are perceived. If you donât think so, then youâre either very enlightened (kudos) or youâre lying to yourself.
5: WE DONâT GET WHY YOU CARE SO MUCH
Caveating off of the first point, why do you care? You have no personal stake in my life, so why do you care what my size is?
Unless youâre sitting next to me on a plane or in a crowded bus, my fat is none of your concern. Half the time, airlines make fat people buy TWO SEATS to make other passengers feel comfortable.
I do want to say that, in situations where fat people are in a packed area, most of us try to be courteous as best as we can. I have requested to move seats on an airplane when it was open, chosen to stand rather than sit on a crowded bus or subway, etc. Most people donât want someone else in their personal space, anyway.
6: WE ARENâT PROMOTING OBESITY BY LIVING LIFE IN
OUR OWN BODY
It took a lot for me to choose this picture for this point. We've all probably had a taco. But this picture of me pointing to a taco sign means I'm "promoting obesity" to some.
In this photo and the caption, I don't encourage people to eat tacos until they gain weight. I am very honest about my love for tacos. I am very open about being a foodie.
âBut I have never in my life seen or witnessed or taken part in promoting unhealthy living. Iâve never seen a plus-size person tell one of their followers that they should eat unhealthy things excessively and avoid exercise.
What I have seen are people doing the opposite. They tell women they are too fat and should avoid eating, throw up their food, and get weight loss surgery to âfixâ themselves.
Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and validated. We deserve cute clothes, happiness, and opportunities. Living our best lives in the body we have in its current state is the whole premise of the body positivity movement.
7: WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR HEALTH, JUST LIKE
My health is really important to me. I go in for regular check-ups, get blood work done, and make changes to meet the goals set by my doctor. Like everyone else does!
We all just donât feel the need to tell people that. It is none of anyoneâs business. Sure, there are some who donât do any of this stuff, but most of us are trying to be healthy for our health, not for âcuterâ pictures on Instagram.
1. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT OUR LIFESTYLES
A lot of people assume that plus sized people are lazy, don't eat good food, and overall that they choose to be the size that they are.
This is a photo of me when I was younger. Only a few short years later, I blew up and became pretty big for my age. Things stayed that way despite my being involved in some sports like softball and track and field (the field part) as well as marching band.
I loved fruits and veggies (still do) so much so that I actually remember getting carrot packs in my stocking!
2. DON'T DISCOUNT MY GREATNESS BECAUSE I'M PLUS SIZED
I recently went on a bit of a rant about this on my Instagram (go follow me!) because I faced a situation where I felt like someone with the same or fewer qualifications as I have was lifted above me and given recognition. The only difference was our size.
This seemingly happens to me all the time. Because I don't meet an expected standard of societal beauty, I'm completely discounted. I'm not smart enough or pretty enough to be recognized for my greatness.
This is one of the few -isms that still exist without a lot of people being angry about it.
3: CHARGING AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR A SMALL SELECTION OF SEMI-STYLISH CLOTHING
68 percent of women in America are considered plus size. However, 16 percent of retailers actually sell plus size clothing.
As someone who is plus size, I can tell you that I have very limited options for shopping for cute clothes, and most of those options are crazy expensive. I'm talking about stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid. Love their stuff, but it's really expensive.
You would think with the number of people who get upset at plus size women wearing clothes that are "too small for them," more would be done to provide better options. If you want us to wear clothes designed for our bodies, help up campaign for affordable clothing for our bodies. I personally feel that anyone should be able to wear whatever they want so long as their cash and prizes aren't hanging out (just for a bit of decency in public).
But this is a major issue.
4: STOP MOVING THE GOAL POST
In an effort to skinny-fy the world, retail brands are moving the mark constantly. They are actually changing the sizing on their clothing. You can find a number of videos of women going to different shops and buying the size they usually wear only to find that some don't fit, some are perfect, and some are too large.
Why isn't there a standard? We need to make this happen!
5: DON'T TROLL PLUS SIZE HASHTAGS TO SELL YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
If you're doing this, that's probably why you have to troll hashtags to find clients in the first place.
As a complete stranger, you don't know what I have done or am doing to lose weight. Some plus size people have actually been told by doctors that they need to get surgery because nothing else seems to be working for them. Many plus size people are confident with their bodies and don't want to come on to Instagram to that. I personally am for losing weight for health reasons, not for vanity. But your assumptions about my lifestyle will not result in a sale!
So, for today's post, I want to make the case for a plus-size Disney princess. With more and more children becoming body conscious at earlier ages, I think it is important to provide them with a realistic role model. I'll get in to that more later. So, here's the list:
DISCLAIMER: Being skinny is not a bad thing, and my intent is not to "skinny shame." I think we can all agree that extremes on both ends can be very dangerous and shouldn't be promoted. Please remember this as you're reading!
1: WE FINALLY HAVE REPRESENTED A LOT OF OTHER DEMOGRAPHICS IN DISNEY MOVIES
While it took way too long to have a good representation, we finally have princesses who are people of color on the big screen. We also have the “I don’t need no man princesses” which of course are speculated to be the LGBTQ+ princesses. Not saying that is right, but it is at least something. So why don’t we have a plus size princess?
The only plus size characters in Disney movies are fat villains or secondary characters that walk around in the back ground.
2: MANY PEOPLE AREN'T PLUS SIZE BY CHOICE
3: EVEN SO, YOU’RE NOT PROTECTING PEOPLE AGAINST DANGEROUS HABITS
Did you know if you go on to Instagram right now and search #skinny, you’ll be prompted with a message that asks you if you’re OK with looking at those sorts of things? But, if you look up #fat, you’re directed to the page with no problem.
I want to make sure everyone knows that I never search this hash tag, so Instagram isn't "tracking" that I'm looking at this hash tag. It's not like they are targeting repeated searchers of this hashtag. Everyone who searches this should receive this message.
Furthermore, this is what you're greeted with before you get to the featured page. If you try to look at the "most recent" posts, it blocks you completely!
It seems like expectations to meet a standard of skinny beauty is more harmful than promoting a girl with a lil meat (or fat) on her bones.
4: BIG WOMEN HAVE BECOME FETISHIZED
There are so many people in the world who don’t prefer skinny to plus size. I have another Instagram example. If you go and search #bbw or #bigbeautiful woman, you used to be met with half-naked photos of larger women.
Now I saw this message for the first time today, but usually the aforementioned posts are what are out there. I think Instagram decided to crack down on this out of fairness, which I agree with.
Now, while I believe that many of these women are super confident in their bodies, I also believe that many think that the only way they can get attention is to become someone’s fetish.
By not giving young girls the ideal plus sized woman to look up to in a Disney film, you’re perpetuating the notion that skinny is always prettier and better than fat.
5: SUPER-SKINNY PRINCESSES ARE NOT REALISTIC AND DO NOT MATCH THE BODY TYPES OF MOST PEOPLE
Of course I'm going to say that I never looked at Cinderella's waistline as a child and wondered why I couldn't be that thin, but I know that other children may have. Obviously, a lot of princesses were from a time when corsets were used to shape their bodies under dresses, so the figure makes some historical sense.
However, does a kid know that? I didn't wear a corset until prom. Event then, it was more like a long-lined bra.
Furthermore, the number of children growing up fat is increasing for different reasons. Almost always, this is attributed to laziness and poor eating habits. A lot of people are against a plus-sized princess because they believe she would "glamorize" obesity. I don't think so.
In college, I had joined some of my sorority sisters in trying to get in shape. One of my sisters had been going to the gym every day, eating healthy, etc. She was a plus-sized girl, but she ran laps around our skinniest sisters. That's because she was active. Bodies don't respond the same to weight loss efforts. You can be in terrible shape and be skinny, and in a pretty good shape while plus-sized. This isn't a weird portrayal.
THERE ARE OTHER REASONS
COMMENT: Do you think a plus-size Disney princess is a good or bad idea? Tell me why!
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