What looks like body positivity but is actually fatphobic? A particular popular tumblr post I see doing the rounds again ...

🌻 ✨ Body Positivity: There is no 'instead'

CW: fatphobia

Β· Β· Web Β· 6 Β· 36 Β· 36

I feel quite nervous about putting up a post on my blog about body positivity and fatphobia. It inevitably attracts unpleasantness and can't help but be incredibly personal.

Show thread

But I also think we need to talk more about fatness generally, and challenge fatphobic takes that disguise themselves as body positivity (of which there are many).

I think I have a relatively safe online social circle so hopefully this will go okay. :)

Show thread

@vicorva this is a great post; you broke it down really well. I'm adding it to the list of articles on fatphobia to reference. Thanks for the work you did putting this together.

@GwenfarsGarden Thank you! It's my first real post on body positivity (I guess sometimes being annoyed into writing is a real thing). Fingers-crossed some folk will find it helpful in examining how they view fatness.

@GwenfarsGarden Also it means a lot to hear from you. I am not generally much of a blog post writer whereas you have it down to an art. :)

@vicorva I do?! That's such a nice thing to say. And you did good.

@GwenfarsGarden I am always really impressed by your gardening posts, which cleanly explain things I know nothing about in such a way that I'm like 'maybe I should be gardening??'

@vicorva oh wow, that's impact! :D

It's really good to know my posts are so clear. It what I try so hard to achieve, so means a lot.

@vicorva thank you for this
I've never been able to fully articulate these thoughts, but now you have
So thank you

@vicorva I'm still working on internalised fatphobia towards myself, and it helped remind me that it is ok to see myself, a fat person, as attractive. So I suspect it might help others like me, as well as getting thin people examine how they view fatness.

@CorvusRobotica my site seems suddenly very slow, so perhaps it's timing out?

Not sure why, hopefully it'll clear up. I've re-tested the link and it looks okay. Sorry.

@CorvusRobotica it looks a bit faster now. Maybe there was an update going on in the background and I didn't realise or something. Sorry again!

@vicorva I'm so old I remember when "body positivity" was called "fat acceptance" and I remember people saying the change would hide its true aims. It did.

@error_1202 Oh! I didn't know this was a thing but it's so evidently true.

One reason I insist on using the words fat, fatness, and fatphobia is that if you don't specify it's so easy to either a) think 'fat' is shameful and b) pretend I'm talking about something more palatable

Fat acceptance is an excellent term and I wish I'd heard it sooner.

@vicorva Oh yes this is exactly the thinking of the blogs I read back in the 2000s, and they said exactly this: insisting on using the word "fat" made people confront their discomfort with it and the real aim of the movement. Similarly, "acceptance" is better than "positivity" because the latter is just a feeling and the former is political: it's about the access to jobs and health care and stuff, not just a vague personal emotion.

@error_1202 Wow.

I ... ugh. It makes me tired just to think about. I have wondered before why we use 'body positivity' when it's so easily co-opted. I guess that was the point. :/

@vicorva Yep, there was such a clear commercial motivation to the change, like Dove did a commercial with a bunch of women in it, and they weren't all white and extremely thin so this was a huge deal, which they loved and patted themselves on the back for their hashtag body positivity! It was all this "you can be beautiful even if your body has these flaws!" and the rest of the issues we still have with body positivity. But they weren't gonna say "fat" in an commercial! "It isn’t β€˜everyone must be attracted to fat people’, it’s β€˜people are allowed to find fat people attractive’. It’s about changing our bodies from a taboo or a fetish into a normal thing."

this is a SUPER good quote i think it made the point really clearly and concisely, it's really good

honestly the whole post was clear and well-written, i just particularly liked that quote

@InspectorCaracal Oh, I didn't say it was good. It was good! I read it and went 'that is good.'

@InspectorCaracal Oh good! This is honestly my first real foray into 'blog post about something I care about' that wasn't basically a writing diary entry so. Approval appreciated. :D

@vicorva the original tumblr post smacks of β€˜I am uncomfortable with fat people expressing their sexuality (and don’t see any connection between sexuality and respect)’

@dreadpirateyarr completely agree. I get the sense they've seen a sexy art of a fat person or something and needed to vent their frustration at its existence.

Body image, personal (-) 

@vicorva I think, and I may be alone in this, that the reason I don't like sexy images of fat people is that they remind me that I feel inadequate.

I want to love myself and own how I look. I want to not care about the weight I've gained in quarantine. I want to be as beautiful and confident as those people. But that takes energy and emotional support I don't have this year.

Body image, personal (-) 

@DialMforMara I don't think you're alone in this.This is actually something I have felt many times, and I think a lot of people struggle with. I wish I had good comfort to offer but all I have is that you are extremely cool and have every right to feel confident, and I'm sorry that anyone or anything has made you feel inadequate. πŸ’™

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Scribblers Club

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!