A friend of mine sent me a necklace in the post. She’s started making acrylic jewellery, and very kindly sent me one of her finest wares: a lasercut necklace saying ‘Fat Bitch’. The other day, someone anonymously asked me, ‘Do you exclude thin attractive people from your friendship group on purpose? It seems to me that you gravitate more towards fat and unconventional than anything else? Conscious choice?’. I think these two things might be related.
I think this means that I’m somehow winning in my lifelong quest to own my fatness. It’s got to a point where I’ve managed to carve out a corner of the world (or the internet, or both) where fat is just fine. Where we’re so positive that we don’t need thin-hating slogans. It feels like there are enough exciting people exchanging enough exciting thoughts and beliefs that in this space (and maybe in this space alone, but for me at least it definitely spills over into how I live the rest of my life) there’s a new standard. I was scrolling down my Tumblr dashboard the other day and I saw someone say how one of the positives of their crushing breakup was that they’d lost 15lbs. My corner of the world is so well-protected from this kind of banal, women’s-magazine-level thought that I was genuinely confused by the comment.
So I want a necklace that says ‘Fat Bitch’. I want something I can wear on my body that proclaims ‘I know I’m fat. I own it’. The fact this is frightening to someone who’s under the misguided belief I only surround myself with fat folk is, quite frankly, exciting. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I have pals of varying levels of thinness and fatness, but that seems somehow immaterial here. I never body-shame others, so this isn’t about oppression, it’s about feeling threatened. By refusing to question my own value in relation to thinness, I’m making someone feel threatened. By not regurgitating banal rhetoric, I’m making someone feel threatened. By treating my fat body with kindness, I’m making someone feel threatened. And that’s their problem.
So keep pushing back, keep fearlessly doing your thing, don’t bow to the pressure to hate on someone else’s size or shape, just keep doing you. Keep taking stock of your personal victories. Keep an eye on your body-image milestones. Revel in the ‘ugly’ parts of yourself. Rework and redefine everything you think you know about beauty. Make ’em scared.