Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brickhouse Chronicles: My Body My Healing: A Survivor's Guide to Fighting Fat Phobia

Once again at the behest of my beautiful butch wife (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed), I'm posting another self healing blog. I think she loves me or something....hee hee!

Today I am furious. I was happily browsing one of my favorite natural haircare sites looking for afro-licious inspiration when I when someone posted an asinine junk science article stating that basically sexually abused black girls become..HORROR AND GASP... fat women (I hate the term obese). Nothing makes me angrier than the assumption that being fat is a tragic consequence of being abused. So I've decided to post my replies in hoping that it can help empower other fat-tastic survivors' as well:

Part 1:

"Let me first say that I love BGLH. However….I have noticed a disturbing trend in anti-fat girl article postings lately. The audience of BGLH is sophisticated enough to know that the notion of having one hair particular type viewed as perfection and healthy is destructive in all of it’s forms, so why is it so hard for people to get their heads around the concept that viewing one particular body type as perfection and healthy is just as destructive?

We all know that the article stating that women of African descent are at the bottom of the beauty standard totem pole is complete nonsense based on junk science, and yet we happily swallow the same line of nonsense when it comes to denigrating the uniqueness of bigger bodies.

Health is about loving the skin you’re in no matter what size you are period.

Everything they’re saying about fat women is the same thing that has been said about black women, Jews, etc. You get the point. Hating yourself is a multi-billion dollar industry and putting out articles like this just adds fuel to the self loathing fire. Women of any race, creed, or color should not be vilified or martyred for having the audacity to take up SPACE!

The science of saying that being sexually abused leads to the “tragedy” of being a fat chick is just as laughable as saying that women who are sexually abused by men will all wind up as lesbians.

The subject of childhood and adolescent sexual abuse is an unspeakably widespread tragedy that deserves much more respect than the callousness that this article has shown towards women of color and women of size.

Woman are beautiful in all of the different hair types, skin colors, and BODY SIZES that they come in.

Fat Grrl Rant Over"

Part 2

After more fat bashing and classicm based nincompoopery to my reply I wrote:

"Debating what is “thick and healthy” and obese is a moot point. It’s their body. No one else’s approval is needed on what makes them “cute”, which is basically what it all really comes down to for most people when they try to throw around terms such as obese, thick, and healthy .

Health hazards such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (type 1 and 2) have more direct links to stress and DNA than it does anything else. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise is trying to sell you snake oil and self righteousness. TRAUMA AND SELF CARE are not linked to being fat. BEING FAT IS LINKED TO BEING FAT.

The concept of SELF CARE is a complex and three dimensional issue. Do you seriously believe that putting a little fat girl on a diet will somehow magically erase all of her problems? Do you really believe that a reduction in dress size will somehow connotate how much she really “takes care of herself?”

Just so I can get this straight…..Thin body equals healthy happy little black girl? Let’s forget about such factors as the generations long cycles of abuse and self hatred that is a factor in most of these cases or the overworked case workers’ who frequently overlook the dire situation of these children. Let’s forget about things such as the cutting of social programs aimed at helping lower income girls heal in a holistic and non-judgmental way. Nah….all that really matters is if they’ll grow up to be fatties. That apparently is the tragedy that most people seemed to be concerned with.

Most people who say they’re “concerned for your health” are really masking their own discomfort with their body and yours. The highest cause of heart disease and other health tragedies among black women STILL has more to do with the racism (internalized and external), class-ism, and low self image than being fat.

In other words, while we’re having a hissy fit over whether these abuse victims are attractive by narrow mainstream standards, these girls are undergoing more unwanted scrutiny over their bodies.

Once again we are linking a physical characteristic to a morality value. Thin=physically and emotionally healthy.Therefore morally acceptable . Fat=physically and emotionally a wreck. Morally unacceptable."

Part 3

So then a fat girl finally weighs in and she talks about how the fat phobia of this thread has really gotten her down and how she's struggling to accept her body. So I wrote her:


Don’t let this thread get you down sweetie! There are plenty of wonderful allies to proud fatties to cheer you on :) I find that the important thing to remember during times when it’s hard to be fat positive is that skinny women are NOT bitches and fat women are NOT lazy.

Fatties are awesome :) "

Part 4 (Epilogue)

My last post was in response to an extremely fat phobic comment equating being obese to heroin use within the black community:

" So let me get this straight. The horrors that plague the black community thanks to drug abuse is nothing compared to the devastation and havoc wrecked upon our people when....HORROR...GASP.....A fattie eats a cookie. Brilliant"

So gentle readers' I leave you with the surreal image of an entire race and community being bought down by a cute fattie munching a delicious orb of oatmeal raisin doom on the corner. Now that's Fat Power!

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