Kate Winslet Takes on Fat Shamers & a Groundbreaking Book asks, “What’s Wrong With Fat?”
I love Kate Winslet. I want to invite her over for dinner.
This desire was compounded when she started a fire using only lip balm and a tampon on Running Wild with Bear Grylls last week and yesterday when she took a stance against online bullies by posting a photo of herself without hair & make-up accompanied by this message:
“I know I am chubby, I have big feet, and have bad hair days. When I grew up and even now sometimes, I hardly hear any positive reinforcement about body image from any female. I mostly hear negatives. But I know most of the negatives come from the people who are busy rejoicing other people’s insults by liking demeaning posts on Facebook, when in reality they don’t even like themselves.
“Today, I want to put up a zero makeup photo. I know I have wrinkles on my skin, but today I want you to see beyond that. I want to embrace the real me and I want you to embrace who you are, the way you are, and love yourself just the way you are.
“Share the message everywhere and let it reach the haters and let them know that you don’t give a damn about the negatives and you choose not to be a victim to those bullies who make fun of others based on appearances, race, gender, etc. And also share if you love yourself the way you are and don’t want to change anything about it. People should appreciate you, the real you.”
I will cook you lamb chops Kate and pour my finest vintage Pinot Noir. We can be chubby together. Because according to Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at UCLA, Abigail C. Saguy’s groundbreaking book, What’s Wrong With Fat?, chubbiness is not a sin worthy of bullying and weight-based discrimination, but is actually considered desirable by many people in many cultures.
Saguy, who spent ten years researching and writing her book, also challenges the perception that fat is a public health crisis.
Health At Every Size (HAES) advocates back this up by citing epidemiological studies showing that “rates of mortality only increase in the very highest (and lowest) extremes of BMI, so that people who are ‘overweight’ or ‘moderately obese’ are not at heightened risk of mortality.”
Saguy writes further along the lines of divorcing “Fat” from a disease frame and treating it as a civil rights issue:
Rejecting the obesity problem frame entirely would imply different conclusions about what should be done and why. For instance, fat acceptance groups assert that the central question is not about medicine or public health but about civil rights. They reclaim the word “fat” as a neutral or positive descriptor, as the civil rights movement reclaimed “black” and the gay rights movement reclaimed “queer.”
Further on she writes:
The argument that obesity is unhealthy is deployed to various ends. It is used to invalidate the claim that fatness should be accepted, treated as a basis for rights claims, or valued as a form of human diversity.
Unfortunately a short blog post can’t do justice to the depth of Saguy’s work so you’ll have to buy the book for yourself (this is not a sponsored post). It makes the reader question how we’ve been programmed to think about fat, both directly and subliminally, by the media, medical and pharmaceutical industries.
As a 50-year-old woman I still struggle to accept the fat that’s accumulated in my midriff. I’m working to love that fat as being a soft, comfortable place for my man to land during certain conjugal endeavors. Conversely, I easily accept and even celebrate the fat in my face for providing a luscious, youthful visage.
And I can embrace the fact that “fat nekked woman” is one of the top search keyword for my site as charming and funny, not insulting.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to lay down our swords and live in a place and time when Fat isn’t the enemy?
Also and always, if you like it please share it. Shares of any kind just makes my day. xo S