One of the things I love most about the FA movement is its central tenet that all bodies/shapes/sizes are wonderful and that no one has the right to pass judgment on others bodies. whatever you look like, rock on. whatever weight feels most comfortable and right to you, rock on. our job is not to tell you the “right” foods to eat, the “right” and “flattering” way to dress, or the myriad ways in which your choices are going to make you OMGDIEOFTHEFATS.
Recently, I was out with some friends at a bar. the conversation turned to a skinny celebrity and the following was stated: “she is gross,” “you can see her rib cage,” “it’s just not healthy,” “i want her to eat more.” I was extremely uncomfortable. People had opinions about what some random person they will never meet (heh, i wrote that as “meat” at first) is EATING. And opinions about that person’s health, one of the most personal aspects of our lives. How the hell do we know what she eats? How healthy she is? More importantly, why do we feel a need to comment on it?
When we body snark about anyone – fat, skinny, in-betweeny – we are just buying into the idea that there is an ideal body type, a “right” way to look. To me, there is very little difference between calling someone a fatty fat heifer and exclaiming disgust at the fact that you can see someone’s ribs. Both take place because people believe they have the right to police others’ decisions, bodies, lives.
I’ve been wondering why I didn’t say anything to the group when the snark was in full effect. I think I was just too chicken. I didn’t want to be the one to put a damper on the evening, to drag the conversation into “serious land.” Also? I just wanted to have beer with friends after work, wind down from the hectic week, and relax. So do i just ignore it and strike up a conversation with anyone who isn’t participating in the snark? Leave in a huff? silently sit and start drafting a blog post in my head? I did the first and the last. I’m not afraid that these folks will, like, cease to be my friends. And in fact I’m fairly certain they will agree with me. Despite knowing those two things, I still said nothing. I’m not mad at myself for remaining quiet. This experience is one of many like it and with each one, I learn something. Yay for learning!