Now Reading:

How body positivity can objectify fat people like me

Warning: Discussion of fatphobia, body shaming, eating disorders, weight loss and diet culture below.

Holiday szn kicks my internalized fatphobia in full gear. 

It might be how people proudly proclaim that December is their cheat month. Or, you know, how weight loss is already in everyone’s New Year’s resolution agenda. Relatives straight up telling me how I gained so much weight every year doesn’t help either. 

Being fat all my life, I’ve gained and lost weight in intervals. I’ve been insulted for my full cheeks, protruding stomach and thick thighs since grade school. I’m always unsatisfied even when I reach my weight goal. These days, I just leave diet culture altogether and tell my body dysmorphia to fuck off 24/7.

My body dysmorphia still peers in every now and then though. I guess that’s what fat people like me never tell anyone: We’ll always see ourselves as fat.   

But times have changed. Or at least, that’s what people say. “Curvy is hot now,” says the internet. Still, did they say they’ll finally leave us alone? Did society get the memo yet that we, too, are saying “my body, my rules”?

And to be honest, I just want to go through a single day when my body doesn’t dictate how people should see me and how I should see myself.

It’s no secret that body positivity has been mainstreamed for some time now. But if I’m being honest, I don’t feel my fatness accepted at all—I just feel objectified.

That’s why instead of body positivity, I want everyone to choose body neutrality instead. 

“Overweight people face plenty of discrimination, particularly in the workplace, and battling that is worthwhile. But objectifying women of all sizes is the effect of many efforts currently made in the name of body positivity,” writes the Washington Post. “Body-positivity advocates’ desperate attempt to label all women beautiful reflects what they know deep down: that they can’t afford not to be.”

I’m not trying to get body positivity canceled. If saying “I love my bod” every day works for you, then it works for you. But can we admit how tiring it is to love our body every day? Why can’t I just be okay with it? Other people have that luxury—and I want it for people like me too. 

Jameela Jamil, although she can be problematic at times, summarized body neutrality the best. In her Glamour interview, she describes it as “Imagine just not thinking about your body. You’re not hating it. You’re not loving it. You’re just a floating head. I’m a floating head wandering through the world.”

“Imagine just not thinking about your body. You’re not hating it. You’re not loving it. You’re just a floating head. I’m a floating head wandering through the world.”

Being fat in a body positive world means I’m fuckable too. Yes, I can be the subject of your wet dreams. I, too, can wear lingerie and give an asshole a boner. It didn’t shut up body shaming during holidays. And it didn’t make me less anxious about eating too much in public.

The thing is, I don’t want Megan Trainor’s “All that Bass” type of fat positivity. I want Lizzo’s “Juice” where my number in the weighing scale doesn’t dictate my fucking worth.

Body neutrality doesn’t demand me to love myself every day. Of course, there are times when self-love is necessary. But I just want to go through a day like everyone else. And to be honest, I just want to go through a single day when my body doesn’t dictate how people should see me and how I should see myself.

What Lizzo said in her October Vogue interview stuck with me. She said she didn’t want body positivity, she wanted body normativity instead. “I want to normalize my body. Not just be like: ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal.”

That’s all I really want in the end. I don’t want people to say how brave I am for being fat, I don’t want anyone to say anything. Period.

Read more:
Stop fat shaming people if you want them to lose weight
Beauty pageants fail to be as progressive as their candidates
Choosing yourself: Why self-love is anything but selfish

Still from “Euphoria”

Comments

Rogin Losa
Written by

Input your search keywords and press Enter.