That’s right. I frequently make my weight scale sad, and my BMI is screaming at me. I’m working to change that, but for the time being, I’m a fatty.
But I shouldn’t be hated for being fat.
A couple of months ago I was browsing Reddit and on the front page I noticed a post from a sub-reddit called “fat-people hate.” Confused, I opened the link (which was titled something references curves) and here was a picture of a girl about my size who had called herself “curvy” next to a photo of a “curvy” model. Fine, yes, there’s a difference. However, when I opened the comment section, every part of my fat self wanted to die in a corner. The comments were so full of hate towards this overweight girl that it was unbelievable. And when I say hate, I don’t mean “wow, she’s not curvy, that’s fat. lol.” They were throwing words like “disgusting,” “lazy,” and “horrible,” around. And on top of that, they starting insulting this person’s behaviours without even knowing the person, with comments about her eating habits, her hygiene, her personal life. Nothing was free from scrutiny from these people. All based on one photo.
Now, I’m well aware of the fact that the internet is a beast, and on sites like Reddit where anonymity is key, these attitudes crop up. But I was still flabbergasted, that this much hate could exist for people who were overweight. I tried desperately to find proof that this was a (terrible) satire sub-reddit, with no luck. It is an honest-to-god forum for people to hate on fat people.
Furthermore, this sub continues to berate and shit on the body acceptance movement (note, not the fat-acceptance movement). What they don’t understand is that they are the cause of that movement. They are the bullies in elementary school who poked you and made the dough boy sound. They are the CEOs that say that their clothing line isn’t meant for fat people. They are the family members whose snide remarks never go unnoticed, and the people at the gym who insult and blatantly laugh at the newbie trying to start their weight loss journey. They have caused more mental anguish over flesh than they even realize because they forget about it and move on. But it probably took that guy at the gym 5 months to get the courage to even go, and they’ve just proved his fears right, setting him back another 5 months. And because of that, people have decided that enough is enough.
Do you know why we need the body acceptance movement? Because we shouldn’t hate ourselves, especially not over how much we weight, or don’t weigh for that matter. Body acceptance is about loving ourselves no matter what the mirror shows us or what the scales say. It reduces the value we place on image and brings it back to our self-appreciation and love. It makes people start looking at themselves beyond what they see and realize that their worth isn’t determined in comparison to others. We shouldn’t be working out and changing diets to be happy. We should be doing that to be healthy. The two are not synonymous. Happiness should come from self-acceptance no matter what you see in the mirror.
For me, it’s taken a very long time to accept myself. I’m not small. I don’t remember ever being small. But eventually you learn that you can be a good person with amazing friends and adventures regardless of your size, skin colour, sexual preference, distaste for pickles, love for the colour green, etc.
Love yourself, and the rest will follow.