“She’s not even that fat!” But I am.

But I am always that fat. When strangers bring up cartoonish numbers — I mean, would being fat be okay if she was 300 pounds? — I am their exaggerated example. I am the person they dread sitting next to on the plane; the one who avoided eye contact with strangers for fear of the slurs that would follow; the one who ordered salads in public in hope of being spared judgment, comment, or shaming. I have always been that fat. I have always been fair game.

She’s not even that fat. But they’d understand if they were saying it about me. She’s not deserving of such scorn, but there’s someone who is. There’s someone who’s that fat. There’s me…

… Many of us are comfortable saying that some fat bodies are okay. Those fat bodies are almost always exceptional, star athletes or stunning models. The kind of bodies you see alongside their accomplishments and, astonished, utter, I never would’ve guessed. The kind of bodies that check every other box: staggering beauty, visible markers of health, physical ability, youth. Women must have hourglass figures; men must have broad shoulders and barrel chests. No one can “look obese.” Yes, fat bodies are okay, but only if they are immaculate in every other way, and only if we can see their perfection. Fat bodies are best when they don’t look fat at all…

… That’s why any acceptance of fat people that expands our standards to a point is unacceptable. I do not want to be accepted into a beauty standard that has betrayed me. I do not want my acceptance to rely on someone else’s rejection.

Read more here.

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