I’m a unicorn. FA (Fat Acceptance) is a leprechaun. Both I and this movement towards self-acceptance and global basic respect for all people as the human beings they are have something almost magical in common: people think if they don’t BELIEVE in us; that we won’t exist. Some people are so threatened by FA; by the concept of self-acceptance at ANY size. When the Internet trolling reaches the peaks of its regular cycles and comment moderation here becomes more of a vital task to retain my few readers’ Sanity Points I am struck very solidly by just how MUCH people just DO NOT WANT to believe that these things could exist:
- A fat woman with self confidence who exposes happiness and self-acceptance
- Healthy human beings who DON’T fit some arbitrary BMI standards measurements
- Universal Self Acceptance (or Fat Acceptance)
- Basic Human Respect for EVERYONE (not just the “healthy“)
Or, maybe it isn’t so much that folks unwilling to accept those things DON’T believe they could ever occur in this dimension. Perhaps it is more that the hate spewed towards unknown “undesirables” stems from a paranoid conviction that if you give something enough power of belief then they WILL exist! And, in the case of FA that is just something that can’t be allowed to happen or stars will collide and dimensions will flux!
I imagine it goes something like this: “If I believe in God; then she exists.” “Wait! That means…If I believe in Fat Acceptance that will make it EXIST! Oh noes! We can’t have THAT! What would the world be coming to if I actually believed that every person I deemed too “fat” was actually not a lying sack of poo and was somehow deserving of basic human respect??? What if I had to be a decent person to others?? Whole societies would crumble! Life as we know it would END!! I can’t give people common courtesy! I must instead show them the error of their ways and deny any chance that they might steal my Belief to somehow empower their cause! Yes yes! Time to find a blog or something so I can firmly declare just how much I am in opposition to these ideas so they don’t gain ground! I need to set these lying bitches back in their place and make things right. ‘Fat Is A Lifestyle Choice and You’re Just in Denial!’ Yeah, yeah that sounds good. Or, ooo, even better ‘Yeah, Like I Would Believe You Exercise Fatty!’ Good. Excellent. They’ll never suspect that there’s this niggling little fear inside of me that this FA crap might one day be the norm and I might lose all of my awesome Shame Giving Privileges…”
So maybe the thought process isn’t quite like that. But, I like the idea that I’m some sort of magical creature that couldn’t POSSIBLY be what and who I say I am simply by virtue of the power of disbelief. Maybe you have to be a Virgin (or Pure of Intent/Thought [aka Open Minded]) to “believe” me (or IN me).
A healthy fat woman? A fat woman who really doesn’t CARE if she sets off someone Else’s arousal meter? Someone who refuses to change to suit my image of perfection or even mere base-line acceptability? A fat woman who swims, dances, lives, loves, laughs and above all DOESN’T CARE about my desire to shun her for existing in the body that she has and won’t spend her life apologizing for existing?!?? Someone who really, truly and honestly just doesn’t give a damn whether or not I believe that she’s healthy by the definition I have? How can this be? I can’t BELIEVE such things!!!
As a co-worker of mine aptly put it when another co-worker for whom English is a second or third language asked “Do you believe in Gay?”: “It doesn’t matter if I “Believe” in it. It exists. Deal with it!”
Indeed. This here fat magical pony of self-acceptance and body confidence spreading determination is here to stay folks; whether you Believe (in) me or not. So suck it up and Deal With It. And, if you can “See” me, maybe you should make a wish on me for good measure. You never know, it just might work. Like Magic.
We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
J. K. ROWLING, speech to Harvard Alumni Association, 2008