*Hint: It’s not to hunch over to show a stomach fold on Instagram while all your thin friends talk about how brave and inspiring you are.
If that came across a bit grouchy, then let me preface this by saying that I want us ALL to feel comfortable and safe in our bodies. In a fatphobic society, no one wins! Thin people are doing everything they can to avoid being fat while fat people know that no one wants to look like them. But the thing is, thin people struggling with body image still have equal access to employment, medical care, travel, and clothes while fat people face systemic oppression and continue to be excluded and dehumanized every single day. Body positivity goes far beyond liking what you see in the mirror. It’s about working to ensure that the most marginalized have access.
Here is a great article that talks about the harm of fatphobia in our healthcare system.
If you’ve lived your life in a smaller body, you may be unaware of the weight stigma that people in larger bodies face on a daily basis. For example, people in larger bodies may be afraid of going to a restaurant for fear of being unable to fit in a booth or because they may get yelled at or abused for… eating. Fat people often avoid going to the doctor as their medical complaints are often ignored and instead of getting help for symptoms, they’re told to lose weight. Many doctors have expressed repulsion at touching fat patients! People in larger bodies can’t even get clothes for their bodies which is so dehumanizing and makes it really hard to appear the way they’d like to appear for job interviews, let alone in life in general.
If these things bother you, here are 3 things you can do to show up for your fat friends. (more…)
Someone recently told me that if I were really “body positive,” I wouldn’t wear clothes that hide my shape. So let me remind you all that body positivity has nothing to do with how tight I choose to wear my clothes, but it’s a social justice movement started in the 1960s to ensure equal access for people in fat and other marginalized bodies.(more…)
I’ve been talking about writing an updated post on my favorite plus size brands for a few months now and have pushed it off over and over again. Confronting my body changes has been hard and confronting my current clothing options has been absolute shit. I’m the largest I’ve been in over a decade as I’ve worked to eliminate every single food rule and eating disorder behavior that has controlled my life for over two decades. I didn’t really have to confront my body changes for most of quarantine as I wore pj’s and sweats exclusively. But eventually, I knew I needed to go through my closet and was met with racks and racks of clothes that were too small.
But Shira, plus size clothing options are so great now! There has been so much improvement since you were a fat teen! You’ll be able to find clothes that work for your recovered body with ease! Um…. no.
I want to preface what I’m about to say with the disclaimer that my small fat body has a ton of privilege. I’m on the smaller end of plus size and can sometimes wear the biggest sizes in straight size stores, depending on how the clothes run. Once you get past a size 24 or 26, your options are a joke.
With all that being said, there are only a handful of plus-size brands that truly feel like “me.” And then there’s the fact that I’m really short and it appears that brands believe that you can only be thin and short as petite sizing is almost always available in small sizes only. So yes, I have way more options than someone in a mid or super fat body, and confronting my changed body and the dismal clothing options it brings has been really painful.
“Why can’t you share your message in a ‘nicer’ way without being so ANGRY?”
I’ll tell you why. Because learning to get angry is therapeutic and important AF. Instead of directing my anger inward and starving my body to conform to our society’s sick and narrow beauty ideals, I’m working on channeling that anger externally, exactly where it belongs- onto diet culture.