There has been some discussion about fat shaming in some of the progressive spaces I follow, and I'd like to clarify a few things, because these discussions could be a lot better.
So here's a new rule-- If you are a thin person, you don't get to tell me, a fat person, what is and isn't fat shaming.
How on earth would you know? If you are a thin person-- let's say for simplicity's sake, this means you can buy non-plus sized clothes-- your experiences of life are not the same as a fat person's. They just aren't.
If you felt a little chubby; if you doctor told you to lose 10 pounds; if you didn't feel like you were as fit as you wanted to be; this is NOT THE SAME as being a fat person.
If your clothes feel a little tight, but you're going from a medium to a large, this is NOT THE SAME as being a fat person.
If you're a woman, and someone called you fat to hurt you and shut you up, I am sorry that happened to you, but it is not the same.
If you lost weight and someone made you feel bad about it-- that's not the same.
If you gained weight and someone made you feel bad about THAT-- it's still NOT THE SAME.
Fat oppression is not the same as simple body snarking, ok? It's related, but it isn't the same.
Why is it not the same? Because it just is, ok.
No one is telling you to starve yourself and mutilate your organs just to be worthy of basic human decency. No one is declaring war on your body type. So trust me on this-- I can excavate a lot of trauma to prove to you that being fat isn't like being thin, at all. Or you could just believe me.
Except no one wants to. And this is where the thinsplaning comes in.
Dear thin people--
Look, if I tell you someone is hating on me because I'm fat, stop trying to figure out ways in which they "didn't mean it". I fucking well know what people mean. I've been fat my whole life. I have a lot of practice in being humiliated for my size, so I think I can recognize it when I see it.
I realize you're trying to save my feelings here, but let's be honest. We both know I'm fat. And when I have to argue with you that yes, when a person looked me up and down and then pointed and laughed, they were making fun of me for being fat-- you are erasing me. You are telling me that my lived and very real experiences aren't true.
And goddamn it, that shit is hurtful. It's more hurtful that the stupid assface on the street who laughed in my face. I don't know that asshole, so whatever. But if I do know you, how about you just trust me on my interpretations of what happens in my life?
You aren't doing me any favors when you insist that it's not what happened. Insisting that I'm really not fat doesn't make me not actually BE fat, and it doesn't make other people stop treating me as fat.
EVERYONE DOES THIS. Just-- stop it, ok? How about you say, "Damn, that sucks", and I'll say, "Right, what a fucking cockass turd!" and then we can high five and go get a beer or something.
If it makes you feel bad that someone would call me fat (which, hello? I am), cause you think I'm awesome and gorgeous and all the radness-- maybe you could just say THAT instead. I would be down for that.
Being fat doesn't make me not the awesome, kickass person I am. It just makes me larger than the average. That's it. We can both admit that, right? The world will not end, I promise you.
Thinsplaining is also when a thin person just explains that when they stopped drinking soda or bingeing on bagels or whatever habit they personally had, they lost X number of pounds. And then they look at me expectantly.
This kills me. I am not going to justify my eating habits to you, ok? It's none of your goddamn business. Let's just say that I have tried ALL the diets, and I was still fat. Anything you can possibly think of, in your thin person brain-- I have tried that, ok?
I am going to require you to believe me on this. I am NOT going to provide you with fucking proof of what I eat or how much I exercise.
I am not going to participate in the poisonous comparing of who is restricting what from their diet. My decision to restrict meat was an ethical one, and I'm comfortable with that.
I got myself a nice little eating disorder when I was younger, and what this means for me is that I have to erect super strong mental barriers around what I will allow myself to think about when it comes to food.
I can't do restrictions, because it triggers my fucking eating disorder and my lacerating self-hatred, ok?
It is a staggering feat of self will for me to get any type of self-love around my body, as all of the entire world, including family members is happy to tell me that NO ONE will ever love or accept me because I'm fat.
Please don't try to poke holes in that, thin person, by assuming I must be dieting. I will not thank you. You may compliment my wardrobe, my hair, my accessories, or my shoes-- but don't make comments about my body. I will not welcome them.
Do not speak to me about YOUR assumptions about my health. You don't know ANYTHING about my health.
If you don't think fat people should do X-- you are welcome to keep that opinion to your own damn self.
And people wonder why I walk around "looking so mad" and with a "bad attitude". I feel like I have to have fists up, ready to scream GO FUCK YOURSELF at the entire world, just to make enough space for myself in the world to simply live.
So no. It's not the fucking same, ok?