Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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My Inbetweenie Thoughts

March 22, 2011

This post is a comment reply to Atchka's post up right now over at Fierce Fatties, the end result of a debate, discussion, flamewar, whatever over on Tumblr.  Basically a size 6 kid posted on Fuck Yeah Chubby Girls and was attacked for it by people who are actually chubby/small fat/inbetween.  Atchka didn't like that very much but some people thought that she was horning in on their space & deserved a verbal smackdown, if not some kind of education.  This is the very bare bones of it, as I understand it.  The whole thing can be found if you look here.

This is my take.

As an inbetweenie, since that seems to be the term, looking at a young woman of size 6 and having her say "I'm fat! I hate myself! Ugly jiggly thighs!" is painful. I feel for her, I really do.  Her pain is no less real than someone who's 300lbs and gets mooed at just for walking down the street.  Her experience is valid.  

That being said, a place like Fuck Yeah Chubby Chicks is not the place for her.  It'd be a place for me, if I were the type to post pics of myself on a specific size-type website.  Any space that has been carved out as a safe space for fat folks is not a place for average or skinny sized people to come in and say "Oh yeah, I know exactly how you feel! I'm fat too!"  That's like me dressing up in full First Nations regalia and showing up at powwow because I'm 1/20th Ojibwe and start talking about how awful the residential schools were and how it's so terrible that Anishnabe culture almost disappeared.  Fuck no.  If I'm going to try and enter that space I'm going to do so in a respectful way, slowly, learn the ropes, etc.  That's THEIR space, not mine, and I have no right to expect a welcome as an outsider just because *I* want to be accepted.  

It's not about what *I* want, it's about what THEY want, who they want in their group. Fat Acceptance isn't just about the labels; words actually do mean things and that girl? Is not chubby, or fat, or obese or anything else. She's just average, 'normal'.  If she blindly posts a pic somewhere about how fat she is where the people who normally post there are ACTUALLY FAT, she's made a mistake and needs to be corrected.  Flamed and insulted? No, of course not.  It's HER JOB, not ours, to make sure where she's posting is the right place for her, and it's HER JOB, not ours, to educate herself about this shit.  There ARE fat acceptance 101 blogs out there.  It's HER JOB to do the damn basic work on the road to self acceptance like the rest of us have.  We're here to help her out, not spoonfeed or coddle.  Fat folks absolutely do not need, and are not required, to open their doors wide open to all the unhappy 'normal' kids out there who think they're fat because the media told them so.  

Their feelings and experiences are valid, but attempting to horn in on someone elses' space to make yourself feel better is not OK.

Essentially that's what it boils down to, for me.  Who *I* choose to allow into MY space.  Who Fuck Yeah Chubby Chicks chooses to allow into their space.  Who Fat Acceptance chooses to allow blog in their space.  Safe spaces are exactly that, safe spaces, and they get to be moderated as such.  Thin/normal/skinny/average folks are more than welcome to read along, comment & learn, but they are NOT welcome to wander in, post about how oh em gee fat they are, how much they hate themselves or how happy they are to have found fat acceptance since they're fat too! and NOT expect criticism.

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