This post might lose me a few friends but it’s how I’ve been feeling lately, and so I’m going to say it.
Can everybody stop being offended, please?
I’ve seen memes and links all over the place in the last few weeks, plus seen some discussions and comments on Facebook and Twitter that make me think we might be taking the obsession with not saying anything that could potentially be misconstrued as being just the tiniest bit fattist too far.
There, I said it.
To be clear, I’m not talking about the out and out nastiness that fat women (and men, of course) are often subjected to online. Trolling, nasty comments, faux health concern “You’re pretty but you’d be so much healthier if you lost weight” – that’s just tedious and should stop. People on the receiving end of that have every right to call the perpetrators out on their ignorance, rudeness and hatefulness, no question.
The thing is, I’ve seen a few things lately that just make me feel a bit bored with the whole body positive movement and I think we’re in danger of ending up labelled as miserable and humourless when the vast majority of plus size bloggers and fat women I know are anything but!
Firstly - I don’t care if you call me fat. I am fat. And tall. Boo hoo!
The plus size debate really doesn’t matter to me either; if I see ‘plus size range’ in a shop I think “Wahey! Wonder if there’s anything for tall girls?” I don’t put on my offended face and feel like marching in to the shop to complain that the terminology ‘plus size’ indicates that I am somehow outside the norm and that their sign is therefore just another example of patriarchal body shaming.
There was an article recently about a woman who took offence at a young girl looking at a plus size top in a department store and commenting that she could get two of herself into the top.
You know what? In my experience, thin people generally can’t imagine what it’s like to be fat and so when they state the flipping obvious, they aren’t thinking “Oh look, there’s a fat woman over there, I’ll just body same her by pointing out how small I am”. She’s more than likely just thinking “That’s a massive top.”
All over the Internet there are people posting things like
“7 Ways a Body Positive Person Can Unwittingly Be Anti Body Positivity”
You have to read that one. Apparently giving your Dad more chips for tea is now “horribly, fundamentally sexist.”
Come on. We’re getting so caught up in the terminology, semantics and sweating the small stuff that it feels like we’ve lost sight of the overriding reason most body positivity advocates exist in the first place - that we believe fat people, male and female, are entitled to be treated with the same respect as slim people are.
I’ll save my offence for people like Jamelia, who suggested very publically that very big (over a size 20) and very small (under a size 4) people didn’t even deserve to be catered for in high street clothes shops. That kind of ignorance needs challenging.
Katie Hopkins? She can trot on. She’s just looking for people to annoy and probably doesn’t even believe what comes out of her own mouth. Ditto Steve Miller, the weight loss ‘guru’ who thinks we should ban overweight doctors. Until he chokes on his own bile and needs resuscitating by a fat paramedic, at which point he might actually be grateful.
There’s a lot of prejudice out there, and it’s not going away. So what I’m saying, in my roundabout, rambling Eloise kind of way is – pick your battles.
Am I right? Wrong? Completely deluded? Let me know what you think!