I want to take a few minutes to dedicate a post to the recent attention to bullying while I highlight a project that I'm calling "Body Revolution". You can see the second part of this project here. I was browsing good images for "fat acceptance" and came across a thumbnail photo of a woman with "Start a Revolution. Stop hating your body" written across her belly. The photo linked to nowhere- just a jpg floating around the internet- but I thought it was a fantastic idea and so I immediately set out to make my own. This is such a good idea that I think everyone should do it- that featuring bodies with messages of love is so powerful that we really need to get a thing going- so come on and join in.
As stories of suicide have swept the media, bullying has come to the forefront of many people's minds. It's fueled pro lgbtqi arguments against bigotry, brought to light how harmful sexism can actually be, and highlighted classism and shaming people simply for lacking money. One thing that I haven't really seen talked about though is sizism. Long before it was a phenomenon, bullying went on around the country- unnoticed. Teachers and parents parroted the same, useless, advice; "just ignore it". Anyone who's ever been bullied knows that ignoring it makes it worse- your bullies will try continuously harder to get a response if you refuse to give them one.
Fat shaming remains one of the last socially acceptable forms of abuse and bullying. The victim of the abuse is also usually the victim of blaming for the abuse and before our TV's lit up with stories of gay teen suicides there were fat teen suicides. And fat pre teen suicides. And fat children suicides. And even more attempted suicides. Being fat may be the number one predictor of depression in this country- not because fat people are naturally miserable, but for the same reason gay teens are now dealing with depression (gay people aren't inherently miserable either, I promise you. Ditto for anyone in the lgbtqi community)- abuse.
In school I was lucky enough not to be subject to abuse for my sexuality (mostly because I didn't come out until my early 20's). Since then I have actually experienced some abuse when people find out that I am bisexual (I've been abused by both the straight community and gay community), but I was unfortunate enough to be fat. While I won't get into the detrimental effects of the abuse that I suffered, I will say that treating anybody like that is simply inhuman. Being fat may very well be the number one thing that kids get teased about- it does an immense amount of harm and this issue needs more attention. Please, commit to loving your bodies and to loving other bodies as well.
Let's start a body revolution.