Thursday, July 4, 2013

First Thursday's Just For Fun: Fat Acceptance

I don't know how "fun" this topic is, but I have gotten in the habit of publishing something more typically bloggy, more personal, on the first Thursday of every month. And this is a topic that is very personal to me.

Source Unknown

You see, I'm fat. And before any of my lovely readers/friends try to tell me I'm not: stop. I'm not saying I'm lazy or stupid or any of the other negative connotations this word has acquired over the years. I'm just saying that I have a good amount of adipose tissue on my body. I say "I'm fat" with the same intent as "I'm female" or "I'm five foot four inches tall." It's a fact about me. I've been big almost all of my life and, judging from the way my mother's built, I came by this fat in the most honest way possible - genetically. The thing is, for a long time - most of my life really - I thought I could outsmart genetics. I hated my body for decades. I even managed to succeed at the weight loss game for a while in my early and mid-thirties.

Found on Tumblr, but I don't remember where.

But the truth is, I felt like hammered crap a lot of the time when I was at my lightest adult weight. I even had a doctor tell me not to lose as much weight as I did, prior to the diet that was successful, telling me it would be unhealthy for me to weigh that little (which still wasn't "skinny"). Boy oh boy was he right. I did manage to keep it off for a while, but it eventually crept back. I've weighed more than I do right now, and I've weighed less, but I've weighed about this amount for a few years now. I've gotten off the yo-yo and I refuse to diet ever again. I won't do that to myself because if I have to starve myself to fit a media inspired concept of "beauty", it's not worth it. It feels kind of subversive to opt out of self hate, especially since it's a government sponsored pass time these days. That it is tinged with subversion makes accepting my body fun.

Source: Lilo & Stitch

Now, I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm not. Not to say I never eat between meals or eat things that are "bad" for me, but how many people can honestly say that they never eat "bad" stuff, fat or skinny? I exercise whenever I can, although I hate exercising for its own sake. Rather go on a hike than run on a treadmill, any day, and I do go hiking as frequently as I can manage. And finally, I've come to realize that my body looks like it's been lived in. I've gone bungee jumping and have hiked mountains. I've stayed up late to attend rock concerts and have gotten up early to watch the sunrise. I have lived a (mostly) good life, and the parts that weren't "good" were hella fun, and it shows. Not that I never struggle with self image, but I struggle less and less as I get older. This body has served me in good stead, so why would I hate it?

Chubby cheeks and double chin, on display. The Rad Fatty in her natural element.

Want to be subversive, too? Here are some websites I like on this topic:

Health at Every Size
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)
My Happy Fat (a frequently NSFW Tumblr)

One last thing: I didn't plan this for Independence Day on purpose, but I do like the serendipity of it. Let freedom reign, right?


  1. I love it when blogs that I follow for one interest (libraries) and another (social justice/fat acceptance) collide! Thanks for writing this.

    About six months or so back, I read an article on fat studies classification in LC that you might find interesting: Angell, K. and Price, C. (2012). Fat Bodies in Thin Books: Information Bias and Body Image in Academic Libraries. Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, 1 (2), 153-165. It was the only article that I found at the time writing about information/library issues and societal attitudes toward fat-bodied individuals. I *wish* there were more. I'd love to see research happening about bias in reference interactions or even a more detailed study of the effects of bias in the classification systems.

  2. Hi, can i ask you something? You seem to know a lot about children books and illustrations. The thing is, I’m looking for children books with “scary” animal illustrations like the big bad wolf (or a fox) eating pigs (or seven kids or Red Riding hood or birds in Chicken Little) or being pictured with a fat stomach. Could be any other animal as well. I need it for my research. Any sort of help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. This is not my area of expertise, as I'm an academic librarian. You should consult with your local public library.

  3. great picture! you are a beautiful woman! thanks for sharing.