A Few Points of Clarification

Via excerpts from another e-mail to a friend:

True story: after I’d regained all the weight I lost (65 lbs.) on my first psycho diet (Jenny Craig), plus 10 new lbs., and read No Fat Chicks, and started to become aware of the fat acceptance movement, and started to really believe that fat-hatred is UNBELIEVABLY fucked up bullshit that relies on the most stunningly blatant lies about “health,” and rooted so deeply in misogyny, racism, and classism that it is literally impossible to consider apart from those things, you know what I did?

Went on Jenny Craig again.

And bought the “platinum” package.

I am a lifetime member of Jenny Craig.

And this whole positive body image thing I’ve got going now is BRAND NEW, and not even close to completely solid–though I can’t see myself ever backsliding into total self-hatred from here, which is a massive relief in itself. The bathing suit is the final frontier. There is much work yet to be done.

One of my huge pet peeves is the argument that we should “see past fat” and focus on “inner beauty.” I really think that’s almost as insidious as fat hatred itself. For so many fucking years, I had zero concept that I had ANY outer beauty at all, because everything good about me was totally negated by fat. So I claimed it was “shallow” to consider people’s physical appearances at all–all the while judging other people’s every day, and despising my own appearance. I had no fucking framework for holding the two thoughts in my head–“I am attractive” and “I am not thin”–simultaneously. The best I could do was thinking, “Maybe I’m sort of okay DESPITE the fat.” I was a beautiful person inside, and as for my outside, well… let’s not think about that, because it’s confusing and hurty.

So, yeah… I guess the point I’m leading up to is, for as much as I preach these days, I’m both a very recent convert and totally aware of how damn near IMPOSSIBLE practically every single thing in this culture makes it to like your body just fine as it is, or to look at anyone’s fat body with something other than disgust and embarrassment. I can cite a dozen things that feel like they were crucial in my transformation to general fat-positivity–and probably will on the blog at some point–but honestly, I have no real idea how I got here. As much as anything else, it might just be that I’m fucking stubborn and contrary by nature, and I enjoy little more than feeling morally superior to other people. (I tried feeling morally superior to fat people by dieting myself into oblivion, but that was short-lived, so, you know… back to the drawing board.)

So, on the one hand, yes, I’m totally fucking proselytizing, but on the other hand… I’m not really looking to save souls here. I feel morally superior to the smug assholes who keep telling us fat kills, despite ENDLESS evidence to the contrary–not to ordinary women trying to reach some kind of detente with their own bodies.

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