Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Start a revolution: Stop Hating your body

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.



18 comments:

  1. Those are powerful photos, and you are truly gorgeous. I love what you're doing and hope that your project helps other beautiful women to see themselves as they really are.

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  2. You are an amazingly gorgeous woman. Keep up the awesome work!

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  3. Or do yourself and everyone who cares for you a favor and drop some pounds. This is unhealthy.

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  4. C- you may want to read the "wait, but isn't fat bad?" page. Thankfully those of us who choose to follow science and not just social stereotypes know that weight does not automatically determine someone's health- also read the page on HAES which advocates exercise and healthful eating as a means of being healthy and not a means of weight obsession.

    "every body is a good body" happy holidays :-)

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  5. C- I promote a health lifestyle and a love of your body :-) they're not mutually exclusive. I don't believe what I want- I believe the evidence. Studies are showing, quite a lot, that poor diet and poor exercise have health consequences, but that weight alone doesn't indicate anything. While I myself eat a healthy vegan diet and exercise regularly, I also believe that if someone else chooses to be unhealthy then that is their choice- and that goes along for all people- thin, fat, and everything in between. I'll try to put together a page for research and studies as soon as I can. Don't forget to eat your veggies!

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  6. I love how via the Internet, every now and then you come across some stuff that just resonates so well. I think I found you via Flickr, but have been reading some of your blog/s too. I'm fat, too (but I have to admit I AM a little bit lazy), and I deeply appreciate the things you've said about bullying, and that fat people are the new targets of many people's own fear and insecurity. Us, and smokers, are still legitimate targets for bullying and ridicule.

    C... you're the worst type of self-righteous bully.

    Good on you Heather for what you're doing.

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  7. I'm absolutely inspired by the courage and determination you're showing in your effort to try and make a change.. I just found this on GW+ where I post.

    As someone who has suffered an eating disorder & also an anxiety/mood disorder since the age of 12. I would love to help this project in anyway that I am able.. I'm not quite sure how exactly you could contact me, but I will keep an eye out for a reply.

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  8. C- I'm vegan- I don't eat in public very often at all as there are usually very few trustworthy options. I prepare almost all of my own meals (for myself and my husband and son). I'm sorry, but you don't seem to have a very firm grasp on what science seems to mean. You're simply spouting stereotypes from social programming and not looking at any actual evidence. If you'd like a rundown of my meal plans I could certainly give it to you- but I somehow don't think this would make a difference to you. Sizism is one of the last forms of acceptable bigotry.. you contribute to it and I try to fight it. I hope that, some day, you see that hating people based on how they look is unacceptable in any form and that abuse is never called for- I'll point to the recent media attention on gay teen suicides as an example of he type of harm you do. Further comments from you will be moderated.

    To Tori, Jean, Larry, Peter, and Stacy- I appreciate your support :-) Fight the hate!

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  9. This is a fantastic project and I know you're going to change the world, honey!

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  10. Wow, a friend posted a link via Facebook and I decided to take a look. Finally another person out there actually telling the world, women (and men) to love their bodies. Thank you.

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  11. To whoever C is excuse me but I did an essay on weight gain and yes it is possible to gain weight on a healthy diet due to genetics and disease, the same as it is possible to lose weight drastically while eating what would be considered a fattening unhealthy diet, do your research before bashing someone who loves who they are and what they look like, or better yet dont even comment, or didnt you mother ever teach you manners, if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all.

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  12. I am one of the people who were (and still am) constantly "bullied" because of my weight. I exercise, I eat healthy even when no one is looking but despite all that I am big. It's a genetic condition in my family that affects 1/2 the females after they give birth. No matter what measures I take to loose weight, I will never be less than 195 pounds unless I get some sort of surgery. However, I do not feel that I should go and spend thousands of dollars to fit the socially acceptable vision of healthy by being UN-healthily thin! Besides, it wasn't THAT long ago that a plump woman was seen as beautiful and a thin woman as grotesque. I do not mean that being WAY over-weight is good, but some people can BE healthy without being stick thin! Final note- In adults we call the actions of mental and physical torment "Torture." Why do we lessen it by calling it "Bullying?" In my opinion, it is torture no matter the age and reasons.

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  13. vampires- I agree. Usually instead of "bullying" I use terms like "peer abuse" "emotional abuse" and psychological abuse" (or just plain "abuse")- because that's exactly what it is.

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  14. good luck to everyone one involved in this.
    we should love ourselves no matter who/what we are.
    we only have to answer to ourselves.

    I just dropped 40+ lbs. I did it because my back hurt, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, not because society said I should.
    we all do what we can.

    loves to you
    s.

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  15. you should never hate your body, because there are many men who like fat woman even idolize a woman who has a body like you and do not force yourself to lose weight, causing pain.

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  16. Ditto Daddy Dores u said it all!!! Here I second "U"

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  17. As a plus size woman, posing nude is a liberating experience! I have done it twice now and have plans to do a photo session in the spring. So glad to see other plus size men and women stepping out of their clothes and putting themselves out there in such a awesome way!

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