I’ve enjoyed relative anonymity during my 2+ decades of internet use, for which I’m eternally grateful considering the sort of nonsense I put online as a teenager. Of course it was easier in my former years, when Google didn’t exist and there was an honest-to-goodness directory of content on The Internet. Back then it was easy to nestle comfortably in a digital corner with like-minded souls, and avoid the global gaze of armchair-commentators worldwide. This was both good and bad.
Today, if we choose to speak loudly or boldly online, we may find ourselves the target of (perhaps unwanted) challenges or, maybe worse, uninvited commentary on our thoughts/ideas/very existence.
Ever since I made the decision to stop hating myself for my fatness (don’t even ask me how hard that was) I experienced a new kind of peace and a wonderful sense of freedom. But to be vocal about being unapologetically fat may well provide the meanest and strongest test of your resolve.
It was just recently that I was told about a vegan weight loss site that was using my image (from a piece written for the Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack! podcast website) in a post about the dangers of staying fat or, worse, getting fatter, on a vegan diet.
The website concerned is gross and I wouldn’t recommend visiting it whether you want to lose weight or not. (YOU WILL OOOOOZE CONFIDENCE!! YOU WILL LOVE YOURSELF!!! YOU ARE SO DISGUSTING RIGHT NOW!!!1!)
Oddly, the post featured only the banner image from the original piece on the VWPA podcast website. That’s a photograph of my big fat smiling face, and a bit of text that says “I am a fat vegan — by Jenny Marie”. Which is strange, isn’t it readers, because if he’d asked nicely I could’ve provided a photo that fully exhibited my entire, heaving, gargantuan frame.
The post has now been deleted (dramatic much? I only asked him to remove the image…) but you can believe me when I tell you it was merely lots of bleating about the GRAVE DANGER of continuing to be a hideous fat person whilst on a plant-based diet.
I consider it rather ironic that he was merely a click away from reading what I’d written for the VWPA site, and possibly even some insight…
“I feel like fat vegan voices are definitely marginalised within the vegan community. So much of the rhetoric revolves around clean eating or the health benefits of veganism. Fat vegans are so often seen as Bad Vegans…”
Unfortunately though, I think that’s unlikely. For someone so hell-bent on promoting their four-hundred dollar ($400) ‘vegan fat melting programme’, the idea of a little body positivity is surely a threatening one (both ideologically and financially).
For now I am pleased to say the post has been removed, though all is silent from the ‘Vegan Cutz’ camp. I was much-heartened with the swift social media response and by everyone’s shares and disapproving tones.
Learning to un-hate my body has been a lifelong struggle, and is still a work in progress, renewed afresh within the vegan community. May I wish ‘Vegan Cutz’ luck in finding someone who is willing to be shamed for not using veganism as a weight loss strategy. That person is not me.
If I may, I’ll quote fictional detective of questionable integrity Rustin Cohle in order to wrap up this missive into a neat tl;dr summary:
“Given how long it’s taken for me to reconcile my nature I can’t figure I’d forgo it on your account, Vegan Cutz.”
(I may have paraphrased slightly.)