In our Facebook group, we talk a lot about our bodies, and our selves. Some of our most vigorous discussions center on fat shaming and body positivity. (Here are but two articles that sparked conversation on the topic: “To body positive friends who don’t wear plus sizes” and “The Problem With Body Positivity.”) With almost 25,000 women and counting, we have a kaleidoscope of ideas, opinions, experiences, and advice. Here are the words of one Woolfer:
This is a love letter, a rebel yell, a fist in the air, and a big comforting hug. This is for all fat, fluffy, zaftig, chunky, cherubic, plus-sized, round, built-for-comfort, un-kidnappable, solid, sturdy, flabulous fabulous fats.
I love you Fat Person. I love your dimpled thighs, your double and triple chins, your full round bellies, your large handed high fives. I love your arms like cinnamon rolls, your softness and your (infinite) size. I love how your body expels itself out of the tops of shoes and peeks out of clothes; it cannot be contained by flimsy materials.
Who this is not for: anyone who has felt fat. Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a reality, and a description word like tall or curly. I want you to remove the feeling of shame around the word fat and use it like any other descriptive word. If you have ever said, “I feel fat,” this is your work to do.
Here is what I want to tell you, you amazing fat person. Being fat is absolutely ok. I’m going to say it again because some people might not hear it the first time.
Being fat is 100% ok.
As a fat person, you deserve respect and love. No matter how fat you are. You deserve to have your size accommodated. The world is often not made for fat bodies. That is a societal failing, not yours.
For folks who face battles for space in airplanes, who have complete strangers give them advice on what they should or should not eat, this is for you. No one can tell how healthy you are by looking at you. And you don’t owe it to anyone to be “healthy.” The concept of health/healthiness is made up and imposed by a system that only wants our productivity, not our whole selves. We all have intrinsic value outside of productivity.
So eat the brownie. Or eat a salad. Move in a way that feels good. Don’t move if that feels good. Fat bodies can rest too. You don’t have to punish yourself with movement. You don’t have to earn food. Eat what you want, when you want. Do not apologize for your choices.
Trying to love your body in a world built and designed to make you feel bad about yourself is a rebellious act. Keep shining and taking up room. The world needs your rebellious beauty.
Resources for fat babes and those who want to lift them up:
Fat femme. Queer. Jewess. Fierce intersectional feminist. White Settler. Pronouns: she/her/they/them/hen. Gender: LadyBear. Loud mouth. Dog Mom. Theatre kid from way back. Always hungry. Resilient. Survivor. Always punching up.