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Brittany Gibbons: Fat Shaming Doesn’t Work – Here’s Why

Posted on the 03 February 2013 by Kzawadzki @kzawadzki

Brittany Gibbons: Fat Shaming Doesn’t Work – Here’s Why

Because that’s the thing; we have feelings. Not just hunger cravings or exhaustion, but real-life feelings.

Reminding me I’m fat, threatening me with being bullied because of my weight, providing me with no fashion options, shaming me at restaurants, mocking me on national television; that didn’t scare me into thinness — it locked me in a closet with my emotions and a secret stash of food.

Oh, you don’t want to see me eat? Awesome, I’ll do it alone. And I did. I hid what you made me afraid to do. You solved nothing.

So, what changed?

I’m healthier and have lost more weight in two years (psst. still a size 16, hope we can still be friends) than I have in my life, because I finally felt like I respected myself enough to be worth it.

Because when we teach people that they have value, that their feelings matter and they have a beauty inside them worth respecting, they begin to believe it. True story.

I’m more active because I’m less afraid to leave my house. I eat less because I have sh*t to do, in cute clothes, no less. I make better food choices because I finally, finally, love and appreciate the body I walk around in. Every curve and dimple.

It took me way too long to figure that out by myself.

So, I’m here right now because I’m passionate about having someone who looks like me able to tell someone who looks like you that you are good enough, as is. Period.

Where you go from here, up or down, it doesn’t matter; your happiness is not hinging on any of that. Right now, you deserve love and friends and clothes and happiness and to never feel like you should be ashamed or disgusted with your body. If people have a problem with it, it’s on them. You’re not the weirdo walking around staring at people’s skin, they are.

You see, that’s so much of the answer. Worth, compassion and respect. Show people how to respect themselves by respecting them. This is kindergarten level sh*t, y’all.

And the next time you want to videotape a fat person for a news story to illustrate how gross we are, use me, but don’t you dare cut my head off in an attempt to make people forget I’m a real person. Not to mention, my hair’s f*cking fabulous.

via Brittany Gibbons: Fat Shaming Doesn’t Work — Here’s Why.

I saw this on my Twitter feed and had to read it. It was posted there headlined, “What no one seems to realize about overweight women,” for some reason, and is on Huffington Post’s Women subsection. But I think body issues, including health and weight, know no gender, so I’m reposting it on my blog.

I have one minor sidebar: At the end there, she calls out the news organizations that cut off people’s heads or blur out faces in obesity reports. Working in the biz, I know that we don’t broadcast the people’s faces during these stories because we actually want to avoid shaming them by implying that “these people are poster children of obesity and this is who they are.” But I see what she means about it possibly working in exactly the opposite manner – dehumanizing overweight or obese people.

This is a great post.

From my experience, for a few months I had a good stretch of consistent working out and slowly started feeling better about myself and my body even though I still was nowhere near a healthy weight. I’ve since fallen off that wagon, but I need to get myself back there, and I know that last time I did, it was all for me and because I felt worth it. That’s what made that period of working out different, more effective, longer and more rewarding than any previous brief stints during college. I need my muse back, and that muse needs to be me.

For some reason, and I don’t know why, but there’s a disconnect there for me right now (let’s be real – not wanting to get up to work out earlier than I have to after late-night working is just an excuse). But I’m not a lost cause. I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again. I just need to remind myself I’m worth it and put those thoughts and words to action.

And, oh yeah, one last fuck you to that quack Daniel Callahan.


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