To me, it sounds a bit like a cop out. Whereas ‘Fat Activist’ conjures up images of scary, angry women (and of course, it’s always women) waving placards with ‘Scales are for fish and not for women’ on them.
Fat activism is nothing like that at all, of course, but I’m still a bit wary. I remember when I first started my plus size blog, my then husband and best friend looked on it a bit disdainfully. When I was asked to appear in the Daily Mirror in 2008 talking about why it’s perfectly possible to be happy and fat, they said I came across well but that it wasn’t flattering to be associated with the ‘fat cause’. The stick I got when I was asked to appear on The Wright Stuff and talk about the subject was so intense that I wouldn’t do it. Although back then I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go on TV, knowing I was the token fattie, and defend my corner. If you’re fat, you’re fair game and I knew that people would have thought nothing of saying upsetting things to me, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to cope with.
I think it’s the mere fact that fat is so aesthetically, morally and generally unacceptable that makes it hard for a lot of women to align themselves with any kind of fat acceptance cause. Accepting that you’re fat is a bit like telling the world that you don’t care what you look like – and heaven forbid that as women we don’t spend all our time trying to make ourselves look better. Is ‘accepting’ your size giving up on achieving that ideal body we’re all bombarded with? Is ‘accepting’ yourself just laziness?
It’s a dilemma I’ve struggled with. On the one hand, I’m fat, I want to wear pretty clothes and I hate the fact that everyone assumes I sit around all day eating cakes. Chance would be a fine thing. So does that make me an activist, because I’m out there in the blogosphere complaining that I can’t get matching lingerie? On the other hand, I do hanker after pretty clothes that aren’t made in my size and I’m not immune to media pressure.
Fat Activism and acceptance are gathering momentum. There are some super-glamorous plus size fashion blogs like Messy Carla, The Pocket Rocket and Fat Girls like Nice Clothes too. Not so much fat activists, more fat and fashionable, these inspirational bloggers want to prove that you don’t have to be a size ten to look good. If you want to get a bit deeper than fashion and style, your next port of call while you’re dipping your toe into the world of all things plus-size, could be something like Body Gossip a blog that focusses on loving your body at any size rather than just plus-size, or The Fat Nutritionist who has a degree in nutrition, eats pretty darn well but is still fat – and wants to help people get to a better place with their food and eating. For delving into the subject of how it’s perfectly possible to live a healthy lifestyle and still be a chubster, get yourself a nice cup of tea and read up on Health at Every Size. Another personal favourite is F*** the diets. Written by Jenny, a woman who I defnitely think I’d get on very well with if we went for a drink, it’s irreverent and clever and sticks a finger up at all the ‘should you really be eating that?’ diet bores.
Accepting your size doesn’t mean you’re lazy, have given up or can’t be bothered. These women are intelligent, erudite, witty and know how to put together a half decent ensemble. Who said fat acceptance wasn’t glamorous?