Image description: A fat Hawaiian woman with brown skin and black hair lifts a long pearl necklace toward a cloudy sky and blue water.
Whose responsibility is it to fix fatphobia and weight stigma?
When I speak about fatphobic clothing companies that lie about being “inclusive” or would rather file for bankruptcy than take my money, thin people ask me, “Have you contacted the company?”
When I speak about weight stigma in healthcare, thin people ask me, “Have you tried advocating for yourself at the doctor?”
When I speak about fatphobic authors, thin people ask me, “Have you reached out to them?”
I could show you the dozens of unanswered emails I’ve sent, the snarky responses I’ve received, the brick walls I’ve run into. But it’s not my job to convince oppressors to stop oppressing me.
It will always be the duty of oppressors to stop oppressing. I do this work because I want to accelerate that process, not because it’s my responsibility as a person who is oppressed.
If you want to see change in the world, there is one person to look to: you. Don’t look to fat folks; we’re already changing the world by defiantly existing in our bodies, and our survival requires more inherent activism than you’ll ever know.
(And, of course, many fat folks are also intentional activists in one or more areas as well.)
We’re also not more inherently capable or qualified to do this kind of outreach work than you are. In fact, you have the advantage here:
– You are inherently more likely to be listened to due to your thin privilege
– You won’t be seen as “too emotional” or “just making up excuses for being fat”
There is no fat activism gatekeeper. There is no one to give you permission, so stop waiting for it. Just go do the thing.