Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fat among the feminists

So, I've seen this photo a few times this week around the blogosphere. I thought the model was pretty, looked good and was glad she was included in a major runway show. I don't follow fashion, so I don't know a damn thing about the designer, etc. Mostly, it was just something that caught my eye, I appreciated it and moved on.

Well. Over at Feministing it got posted with some questions about what the designer intended by putting her in his otherwise thin-model show. No big deal there, for me, at least. Seems something worth discussing, even if I don't follow fashion.

And then I got to comments. And started to get pissed off.

It devoled quickly from addressing the topic at hand to remarks like "this model does not look good in those clothes" to "no one wants to see this" to "this woman is morbidly obese". She was called not normal, extremely large, couldn't be healthy and fit. There's one poster there who is convinced, completely, that obesity is a horrible, horrible disease and will kill all us fat girls one day.

A few people came in and spoke, for which I'm grateful, but -- again with women bashing women! What the hell? It's not bad enough we all have to live in this society where we're generally undervalued, we have to put up with comments like this from other women?

No one wants to see women like this? Then tell me how this woman is a professional model. (Living in Paris, not America, of course.) If no one wanted to see her, how would she be making a living? No one wants to see a size 20? Have you ever taken a quick skim of all the Plus-Size Porn sites? Not only to people want to see women who look like her, in sexy clothing, they're willing to pay to see them in a great deal less. (Not that I suggest basing your worth or body image on porn, but the fact remains that there is a market for fat porn and there wouldn't be if it were true no one found fat bodies sexually attractive.)

Again with this stupidity! How does my (or any other) fat body affect you? Seriously? I mean, you can't catch it. If you don't want to look, don't look. I don't expect everyone to find me attractive or want to have sex with me or whatever. But I do expect to be able to enter a discussion with people who are supposed to be my fucking allies and not be so offended I leave. I do expect a little respect. I do expect to be able to have a discussion that doesn't devolve into "yes, but fat is unhealthy. My fill-in-family-member has X disease because s/he is fat." No. You relative has X disease for whatever actually causes that disease. Their extra weight may not be helping their health, but it did not, on it's own with no other factors, cause that disease. There is not a single illness that has been proven to be caused by fat. Ever. Why? Because being fat doesn't make you sick! If it did, with our 'obesity crisis' in this country, we should all be dropping dead at alarming rates. And we're not. We're living longer. Because being fat, by itself, isn't going to kill you. Or make you sick.

I'm just really fed up with the fat bashing I've seen lately. There's this post, then there was fucking Dennis Miller on The Daily Show a few nights ago who spent the whole segment making cracks about fat people. I mean, it's the fucking Daily Show! You'd think Miller of all people would have something better to talk about than how fat people are worth mocking. You know, like all that political and religious shit he didn't got to talk about on Katie Couric's show? But noo...let's talk about the fatties!

So you know what? Leave us the fuck alone, really. Especially you people who are supposed to be our feminist/progressive allies. If you don't understand how sizeism is just another form of social repression and control, you haven't been paying attention and I'm just too fucking tired of this shit to explain it to you. Again.

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posted by Zan at 6:18 PM


I thought this woman looked amazing, but I fear that the designer put her in the show merely as a one-time attention grabber. I would bet she will not be hired for future shows. Which is too bad.

9:45 PM  

She does look amazing. I was glad to see she's wearing some rather revealing clothing and not a potato sack, which so many people seem to think fat girls wear all the time. And frankly, she's got the body that most of the women of my aquaintance have, so she's much more realistic than the typical model.

I got really insulted by the comments. The notion that this woman isn't what a lot of women look like just pissed me off. I mean, she's about my size (although my hips are smaller) and they're over there saying no one wants to see her in these sort of clothes. What they mean is that /they/ don't want to see her like that. Which is fine, they don't have to. But to suggest that she not wear these things or that she can't be healthy just because she's bigger than what they're used to pisses me the hell off.

7:20 AM  

Ah, Zan, surely there were Chinese women who objected to seeing unbound feet because it was unhealthy!

These people infuriate me. Fat doesn't make you sick. And even if it did, since when is my health a subject that makes other people angry? I have never heard non-smokers who had to breathe second-hand smoke get as angry as I hear thin people who have to look at fat people. It is the most amazing case of prejudice and irrational hatred I have ever encountered!

6:52 PM  

I used to hate fat people, and I don't know why. I guess I thought it was unnecessary and couldn't be healthy. Until one of my sisters got her stomach stapled, I was the thinnest person in my family, though I am not thin. Maybe I was determined to stay within a certain range so I wouldn't be fat like them.

Now, this sort of thing bugs me in a really weird way. I don't know what the mockers fear. And they're usually people who can be easily ridiculed themselves. So when I find fat-hating comments, and I think it's worth it (recent and not overwhelming, for instance, as opposed to an old post), I comment in favor of the fat.

Unfortunately, I have many examples (first clause) of this (I think it was a Sept. post about a sheriff's wife who had a business posting nude pictures of herself).

I just don't get it. Why document and preserve viciousness? And I hate assumptions, especially when we're assumed to agree that we hate certain people.

8:48 PM  

One should never assume the best about Dennis Miller.

3:35 AM  

Well, no. Perhaps one shouldn't. However, he generally has better things to talk about than fat people. I mean. . .he wasn't even trying to use it to make a point about something. . .he was just "ooh, fat people are gross!" Gah. (Not that it would have been much better if he'd been trying to make a point, but at least I could have maybe, possibly, seen what he was trying to do. As it was, he was just fucking insulting. Gah.)

7:09 AM  

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