Living in a Fat Phobic Society

As a fat person there are a lot of things that make life pretty frustrating and hard. So many people will throw “well lose weight” into the conversation because they just can’t see that fat people deserve equal comfort and rights. Everything is narrow it seems, and it’s so much more noticable when you’re bigger, or pregnant actually because you’re constantly feeling that your pregnancy bumb gets in the way. However, if we start making spaces accessible to all, everyone would be more comfortable.

It is just another way of societal pressure to be thin and that thin is the only way you should feel acceptable. It’s reinforcing the negative, guilty, shame ridden feelings about being fat. It’s things like how baths are made just that bit too narrow sometimes. It’s how toilet doors require side stepping and acrobats to get through. It’s airplane seats and the guilt of asking for a seat belt extension. It’s googling “am I too fat to go to… with my kids” in the dead of night because you feel so ashamed of your body image, so guilty for being fat, that you start avoiding going out of your home comforts.

I know a lot of companies are not going to make things truly accessible for all because it’s not feasbile but the average UK clothing size is currently a 16/18 and things and places aren’t always accessible for every body. But what really gets me is the way it makes you feel society is shouting “you’re too big to fit here, go away, go and lose weight, you don’t belong!”

Lets be honest though. How many of us have tried to lose weight? Slimming world? Weight watchers? Gym? Atkins? Cambridge weight plan? Shakes? Walking? Apps? Smart scales? Counting calories? How many of us have binged or starved ourselves or ended up with eating disorders because we’ve been told to lose weight? And we have, and then as soon as we stop we put more weight back on. And again, and again and again. It’s because we’re not changing our relationship with food. We are focusing on all these adverts and slim people on television reinforcing the fact that thin is the only way to be. I’m not saying being thin is a bad thing, I’m saying every body is worthy of love.

I have some beautiful friends who are thin and have felt uncomfortable about their bodies. Who have been labelled a “skinny minnie” and who struggle with clothes. I’ve had friends that wish they had some curves and do you know what it’s never through a lack of eating. It’s just because that’s how their bodies and metabolisms work. Every body is worthy of love and respect. What I am saying is the desire to be thin for fat people has got to stop. Nothing truly positive comes from a desire to be thin. There is so much more you can desire to be.

You can desire to make your body strong, you can desire to feel confident in a dress, you can desire to love your body, you can desire to feel confident in your own skin. You can desire to be anything you want but I really think we need to change the narrative away from thin. We need to change the narrative to something positive. We can desire to have a better relationship with food, we can desire to give ourselves time for self care, to be more grateful, to cope better with anxiety, to unrestricted eating, to learning something new. We are so much more than a number on a scale.

I promise you, when you step away from the scale and stop making your life about shrinking yourself to fit into a society that wants you to shrink you will start feeling that weight lift off your shoulders. You will start thinking and putting your happiness before any guilt or shame for not being a made up standard of beauty. You really do begin to start living your life.

It’s a process, it doesn’t begin overnight but I’ve got a list of books that might help you get started in your self love journey.

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