delusionalartists" is playing host to several of my photos with comments like "Not plus sized but multiplied size. Like multiplied exponentially." and "Being unhealthy isn't positive. Obesity acceptance might as we'll be called suicidal tendency acceptance."
Most of the comments aren't too bad- they're criticizing the photographers and the style. Which is fine, I don't claim that every photo I post is a magazine shot because that's not the point (although I am pretty upset on the photographer's behalves). Body acceptance isn't about who has the best photos. There are lots of fatshion bloggers, for example, who have great quality photos and some who have point and shoot photos. And they're all still awesome photos, not because of the lighting or the poses, or the angles, but because it's showcasing fat bodies in a positive way. Maybe not positive to immature misogynists on reddit, but positive to the men and women who visit this blog and gain confidence and inspiration.
The first comment in my examples above is, well, childish and typical. But I want to address the second comment because it's pretty fucking ableist. It not only ignores the fact that fat people, directly because of the abuse we face because of assholes like this, are more likely to develop mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, but it mocks and diminishes the actual reality of suicide. Depression includes suicidal tendencies and ideation sometimes by the way. I think it's ironic that body acceptance (specifically fat acceptance) is often compared to suicide when so many fat people that I know who found fat acceptance have attempted or thought about suicide because of how much they hate their bodies and, having found acceptance for their bodies, no longer feel the need to take their own lives. I'm one of these people. I have several suicide attempts under my belt (and yes, I know, it's a big belt, har har) directly related to my hatred of my body and the abuse hurled at me simply for being fat.
Many of you may already know my story, but for those of you who don't I was a pretty skinny child. As a youngster I was popular, had friends, had "boyfriends" (as much as one can have when you're six years old!), and lived a privileged school life (home life was a different matter, but anyway). When I was around 7 or 8, however, I developed severe depression, the first symptom of my bipolar disorder. I suddenly and inexplicably began gaining weight. A lot of weight. I gained about a hundred pounds in around three years. By the age of 10/11 I was wearing a women's size 22/24. Despite this I never saw a doctor or a therapist, or even a school counselor. It was assumed that I, for whatever reason, was at fault. So my home life became more abusive than it already was and school life became hell. I lost all of my friends and became the butt of jokes and pranks about my size.
I attempted suicide at 10 years old.
This isn't funny, random reddit user. Suicide isn't something you throw around to insult someone. Suicide and attempted suicide are a very serious reality for a lot of fat people, children, and their families. Studies have shown that children who even think they're fat (they don't have to actually even be fat) are at a greater risk of suicide. Whether size bigots want to admit it or not, fat acceptance and body acceptance saves lives.
Even if being fat really were bad for my health, I would much rather live a happy life until the age of 60 than a miserable life to the age of 100. And, this isn't even taking into account that I likely would die from either my previous eating disorder or suicide far before the age of 60. So what's the real harm in helping people love themselves? That they're happier? How dare they! We all know that if you're not skinny you should be unhappy and wishing for death and thinness every second of the day right?
I'm happy, my numbers are all excellent, I survived and recovered from an eating disorder, and I'm being treated for my bipolar and my hypothyroidism. My life is under control and I can say that I'll definitely live longer now than I would have had I continued hating my body (and boy, I didn't even get into the toll that emotional and mental stress take on your body!).
I understand that some of these people truly are blinded by hatred or denial or just feeling uncomfortable with a woman who's happy with herself (women, didn't you know you're supposed to stay unhappy?). They may not be able to see that what I'm doing is a good thing that helps a lot of people, but this blog isn't for them, so hey, why should I care? I'll admit that seeing that post gave me pause and a rush of anxiety, but that quickly passed and now I'm pretty okay with it. Those types of people don't deserve the time of day from me to be honest and I just hope that one day they'll mature, grown, learn, and be more kind, accepting, and decent. We've almost all been in that place at some time or another- hating ourselves and hating other fat people for reminding us of why we should hate ourselves so much. We grew as people, we learned more information and, most importantly, we now know that people like that, their opinions don't matter. We can be happy in our own skin while the haters hate and we swim in our bikinis, wear our crop tops and leggings, and be free. Being held prisoner by society's opinions is not an option anymore for me.