I’ve been trying to understand the mentality that insists that fat activist spaces that explicitly state that they don’t want pro-diet talk, actually allow pro-diet talk. Because sooo many people are pro-diet and sooo many websites, forums, tumblr blogs, etc are specifically geared towards dieting I am seriously baffled as to why this small tiny corner of the ‘net, gets bombarded by such requests. It seems that fat acceptance/activism/liberation is considered a social club to some of these pro-diet talk people, maybe that’s why they think they “should be let in” which is a bizarre way of looking at it, because it’s not a group of fatties who just happen to like each other. In fact, fat activism is a movement based on some foundational ideas. If you don’t agree with these foundational ideas, go where people do agree with you which isn’t hard to find.
I’m not sure there is much to understand. The dynamic is a pretty familiar one, albeit no less baffling. The demand that a marginalized community be inclusive of a privileged and socially dominate one comes up a lot. Its very much about denying us our spaces. Those who experience diet privilege and thin privilege want to enforce that privilege on us. We don’t get to have our own spaces because they want all of the spaces. They want to co-opt and appropriate fat acceptance spaces to silence a voice of dissent, even a disenfranchised one. The fact is, there people who still participate in diet culture who can show FA the respect to set that aside when they want to engage with fat activism on the points they agree with. That’s possible, no matter how much the “lowest common denomenator” folks like to pretend it isn’t. They don’t want to reduce fat acceptance so we can pursue a shared goal. They just want to reduce fat acceptance. I’ve seen FA spaces that eventually surrendered to an onslaught of diet-mongers demanding inclusion. As soon as they got it, at the cost of silencing and excluding anyone who disagreed, they abandoned those spaces themselves. They had no interest in community. Just in taking shots at a community they disagree with.
This is why I’m really uncomfortable with the accomidationist faming of “body autonomy” as being about reassuring dieters that we’re not going to take their diets away from them. Why do they need that reassurance? We’re no threat to do that. We have no power. Fat people actually DO have their body autonomy imperiled if they want to accept their bodies. Our body autonomy is under very real threat. Why must we constantly be trying to placate the powerful?
All these things.
You can diet if you want to. Go right ahead, however, please don’t come into MY safe spaces and DEMAND that I acknowledge you, and what you’re doing, and give you a cookie.(Or a diet cookie, whatever.)
I do not agree with the diet culture you are perpetuating. I am not required to include you.
I don’t think people take into account how triggering diet talk can be. Through out my childhood, my parents forced me on countless diets. They told me that I would be happier if I was thin, I would feel pretty. Boys would like me, and I would go farther in life if I could just take off the pounds.
In junior high school, I only chewed sugar free gum during the day, and often went without dinner.
When I was 13, I passed out from lack of nutrition because my parents had just put me on one of those powdered shake diets.
My junior year of high school I had nothing but Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch everyday.
I went vegetarian, I gave up carbs, I ate nothing but fruits and veggies for months. And I lost no weight.
I would skip meals, only drink water and hate myself continuously, day after day, because my body just wouldn’t change.
Now just talking about diets makes me feel sick to my stomach and brings tears to my eyes.
So tell me again why I should read your posts about calories in/calories out. Tell me again why I should include your rhetoric in my safe space. A safe space that I created to keep out EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO BRING IN. The whole world supports you dieting. Everyone will say “Good for you! Loose that weight!” Couldn’t we just have this ONE SPACE where it’s not shoved down our throats?
All of the above.
Can I also say that diet talk is BORING to anyone who isn’t on a diet? It’s USELESS for the discussion of FA, and it’s exactly what everyone is else is saying, even in the mainstream media. There are countless diet forums anyway, go there to talk about it.
ETA: And I’m so sorry for what your parents put you through, fattyforever. :( It’s heartbreaking to imagine having that done to you as a kid. My mother used to make fun of my weight, and while she let me eat and was on and off supportive, it hurt me a lot. She always said “it was only a joke” or “I only care about your health”. Why do parents do this to their kids?
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- bumsquash said: Still turning over-I know its triggering, but just support it anyway. I don’t want to pick on that person-all those supporting are just as bad-but it so epitomizes the inability to perceive the humanness of the person you are pressing to serve you.
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