Why the world needs fat acceptance by Lesley Kinzel

I love this essay, here are some of my favourite excerpts or you can link to the whole thing

"When I first discovered the idea of fat acceptance, one of the most powerful aspects was the reclamation of sovereignty over my body, and the radical notion that hating myself for failing to be thin was not compulsory, but optional. The alternative was acceptance. Certainly, acceptance is not the popular choice. Being a fat person who is no longer invested in weight loss is choosing a life as an affront to nearly everything culture teaches us about “taking care” of ourselves. Fat people are accused of letting themselves go, failing to take interest in their appearance, or even, with the ultimate dramatic flourish, flirting with suicide. All of this takes place in an atmosphere in which our bodies are increasingly considered public property, open to criticism and debate by an entitled populace. People get angry about fat folks. Very, very angry. I’ve never understood the anger, but it’s there. Once you’ve thrown wide the windows and doors to this anger, the importance of acceptance becomes vividly apparent.

Fat acceptance is not simply about individual choices, though that is an important aspect, and it’s the one that tends to draw people in at first. For some of us, those who would identify as fat activists, it’s also about changing culture, and confronting the social pressures that seek to either depress us into fruitless dieting, or shame us into living as invisibly as possible. Every day that I get up, get dressed, and go out into the world, I am making the case that fat people have a right to exist, to participate in life, and to be seen.”

..”If I am to value myself, and my intelligence, and my contributions to the world, I must also value the vessel that enables me to engage with that world, and that helps me to experience everything that makes me the person I am, no matter how anyone else may try to tear me down. And if I am going to expect others to respect and value my body and my choices, I must value the tremendous diversity of all bodies in return. Fat acceptance isn’t just for me, or just for fat people; everyone needs fat acceptance, because this is a lesson that benefits us all.

Fat acceptance doesn’t simply advocate in favor of fatness. Fat acceptance is also about rejecting a culture that encourages us to rage and lash out at our bodies, even to hate them, for looking a certain way. It’s about setting our own boundaries and knowing ourselves, and making smart decisions about how we live and treat ourselves, and ferociously defending the privacy of those choices. It’s about promoting the idea that anything you do with your body should come from a place of self-care and self-love, not from guilt and judgment and punishment. It’s about demanding that all bodies, no matter their appearance or age or ability, be treated with basic human respect and dignity. That’s the world I’d like to build. For all of us.”

(Source: blog.twowholecakes.com)