If you don’t read NYLON or aren’t an obsessive Gossip fan, you might (like me) have missed a recent photoshoot with fat icon Beth Ditto that used racist imagery. Threadbared has a spot-on analysis of what’s so troubling about the image, which you can see reproduced in the post:
The housekeeper is meant to be invisible, working unobtrusively around the perceptual periphery of the guest, and this scene is no exception. She is part of the set dressing, in which Ditto’s bright and hard-edged New Wave styling intrudes to asserts itself as distinct, as foreground. This blandness, this generic and ordinary landscape, the photograph suggests, is not Ditto’s natural habitat. By implication, it is the housekeeper’s.
Is it “ok” to give fat media icons a little more leeway because there are so few of them? Is the willingness to lower the bar proof that the FA movement isn’t taking race and the racism in our community seriously? How do we hold a media icon accountable for their actions when we can’t always engage or interact with them?
Both posts engage in excellent analysis and ask urgent questions about the intersection of antiracism and fat acceptance; please check them out.
ETA: Comments that claim that the racism of this photoshoot is “just one interpretation” will not be approved because they give me a stabby pain behind my eyes.