Three months since I last posted! There have been many times I’ve wanted to write something, but I’ve been so busy finishing up grad school (and all the things that come with that–important final projects, applying for jobs, considering moving, etc.) that I just couldn’t justify spending time here writing about stuff. I have no particular “goals” for this blog–it is primarily here as therapy for me, so my only goal is to use it as I need it at any particular time, but I would like to be spending more time here in the future (secondarily–it would make me happy if anything I write strikes a chord with someone else and makes them feel like they’re not alone or not broken). Anyway, this might get a little rambly and be a little incoherent today, but I’ve got some thoughts.
I just read this after Linda Bacon linked to it on twitter, and since the comments on it are closed, I thought I’d share my thoughts here. I don’t know this blogger, but to summarize the link, she talks about how she accepts her own body, but struggles to be ok with her daughters being chubby or fat. She thinks it means that she doesn’t truly accept herself. I actually have a different take on it (though of course it’s possible that she doesn’t truly accept herself). I think it’s possible to fully accept your own body, but to still not want a (young and vulnerable) person you love to have to go through all the difficulties of living in a world that actively hates fat bodies. I also recently read Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is , in which the author tries to explain privilege without using the word “privilege” because he suggests that it can quickly confuse the issue for the people who need to learn about it (and I agree–it’s a brilliant article). Anyway, I want to be on the lowest difficulty setting, and I’m sure if I had kids, I’d want them to be on the lowest difficulty setting too. But hey, now that I’m here, on a slightly higher difficulty setting, I’m cool with it, and having tried to change it, I know that I’ve really been on this difficulty setting all along; if you appear to be naturally thin but are actually working extremely hard at it, your life is not as easy as someone who IS naturally thin, and it’s not necessarily easier than if you were fat and facing prejudice. I’ve done both, and both are difficult in different ways. When I was thin, I always felt different from other thin people, and not just because of body dysmorphia–but because I literally couldn’t live the same lifestyles as them and still be thin. This is just my roundabout way of saying that the blogger who doesn’t want her kids to be fat is totally normal, and not lacking in fat acceptance because of it.
What graduation ceremony would be complete without the mention of OBESITY? And no, I didn’t graduate from med school or anything like that. Design School. The speaker was talking about how good design can affect health, and what can good design help to counteract? That’s right, “problems like obesity and getting people back up on their feet”. That’s all. I was so annoyed. I believe that good design can affect people’s health, in many varying ways, but if I were going to speak about it, even if I believed obesity to be a problem, I would at least do a little research so I could talk more specifically instead of in general, prejudicial terms. But I’m sure he just didn’t think twice about it (living life on a lower difficulty setting as he does), because WHO WOULD in this culture, unless you are in-the-know like people in the fat acceptance community are. We hear things and think “bigoted hatred”, when most others would hear them and think “abbreviated facts”. It’s exhausting, and proof that I’m not on the lowest difficulty setting of life…
I’ve been getting cranky about bathing suits. As in, cranky that there aren’t any plus size bikinis in physical stores, and cranky that there aren’t even that many online. Cranky that I can’t have the normal dressing-room experience of trying on loads of suits until I find one that fits. I’m also cranky about the fact that people don’t want to see me in a bikini. Don’t want to see fat rolls. Relegated to a one-piece, if they have to see me. Cranky that these perceptions invade my space and affect my comfort wearing a bikini–it’s not that I’m physically or emotionally uncomfortable in a bikini, but that other people’s perceptions are too much to bear. Too much cranky?
I have secret hopes that now that I’m done with school and planning to move to a very outdoorsy place (specifically because of its outdoorsiness), I’ll lose a little weight. I literally am never going to diet ever ever again, but the thought of losing a little weight pleases me, and I thought I’d throw it out there in a very confessional and vulnerable spirit. There are things I don’t like about being fat, apart from cultural meanings, and for those reasons (which I won’t get into now) I would prefer to be less fat. But just because I would prefer it doesn’t change the fact that there’s no definite, permanent, and safe way to make it happen. Also, my desire to demonstrate that fat is morally neutral would override any “fix” that appeared that would make me less fat. I guess what I’m saying is that while this culture hates fat people, I would not actively choose to be less fat even if that were an option. It’s important to me to fight the prejudice, to not leave it behind for others to take on.
Sorry for a possibly less-than-cheerful blogging return, but I just had to get some things off my chest (I actually feel much more cheerful having done that).