Friday, May 19, 2017

Body Wars Without Representation.

We recently had another one of the few plus-sized people in the spotlight opt for weight-loss surgery. 
Which, okay, their body, their time, their money, their health...

But boy doesn't it suck to be reminded that once any of them come into the situation where it can be "corrected" that they do not want to be like you anymore. 

Or, I think it does. 

Can you blame them for not wanting to be marginalized or abused just for existing in their bodies? It's not easy. Just existing in a super plus sized body, let alone being out there and active and happy, is an exercise in rebellion. And it's exhausting to do it all the freaking time. 

Dealing with what I am health-wise, where no surgery would even be an option, I try to keep it in perspective. And, unfortunately, one of my risk factors for pulmonary hypertension was being given a dangerous diet drug as a girl of thirteen years old. Something I was given to change my body might be playing a role in killing it. While I hope, for many reasons, that this isn't the cause, I can't understand wanting to change or hate myself at this point. I won't do it. I won't apologize for my weight, I won't be spoken over or down to. I am beautiful and worthy not in spite of my differences, but because of those. 

Our world is so large and awesome that you can't get hung up on the people who want nothing more than to see you blend in with them and accept their ideas or disappear. Even if there are a lot of them. Be so busy with life and doing wonderful things that that criticism has no choice but to die out like the useless noise it is, because if you get hung up on it...It can hurt, it can immobilize. And life is so fleeting that you can't afford to let that happen. 

There is no disputing the scientific evidence that body shaming hurts people, even those trying to lose weight, and that those who approached being healthy in a weight-neutral way were better off. But people who hate others because of their body do not care about your health. Them wanting to hurt you or feel superior is at the heart of that. 

You can tell people who care about health because they will be up to date on the science, they'll be giving their time and energy and money to ways to make that more accessible to every single person regardless of size, class, income, race. And they won't be out there abusing people in any way. 

So, yeah, we lost another representation of us. 

But, hell, maybe we don't need them. 

Maybe it's enough that the rest of us keep existing and being happy with our bodies, and doing important things. Whether we are quiet or loud about that, it's all part of showing that humans of every size can be amazing. 

The most fun I've had doing a digital piece in a long time...

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