Here’s an obnoxious trend I’ve noticed: Sometimes, when people talk about fat acceptance or body positivity, they will put a limit on their support.
This is not OK.
There’s far too much “I’m all for fat acceptance, but…” or “body positivity is great as long as…” out there. Those statements are usually ushering in some kind of cap on a person’s politics. Often it’s an upper weight limit. Or an assertion that you should still be healthy. Either way, limits to acceptance are garbage.
Liberation should not come with conditions. When I say I want fat people to be treated with dignity and respect, I mean all fat people. I mean that, no matter what, their body size should not be a source of oppression. Full stop.
Yes, even if they weigh [insert number people think is too much]. Yes, even if they are unhealthy. Even if I don’t like them or they’re not otherwise conventionally attractive or some other condition. THEIR BODY SIZE SHOULD NOT BE A SOURCE OF OPPRESSION.
Sometimes this puts me in an uncomfortable position. I’ve had to defend truly awful people like Donald Trump or Chris Christie because people were using their bodies as punchlines. Because while I find them truly repugnant people, my fat politics won’t allow it. (Plus with people like that, the ones you’re actually harming are the people who hear those comments, not the subjects of them.)
For what feels like the millionth time, you also don’t have to be healthy to deserve dignity and respect. The concept of “health” is elusive and subjective, anyway, and not accessible to everyone. It looks different to all of us, and it’s not a universal priority. It doesn’t have to be. People with health issues deserve as much fat positivity as people without them — yes, even if their condition is something “caused” by being fat. It doesn’t matter.
There simply can’t be conditions on acceptance.