Fat Shaming is Not an Individual Problem, It’s a Cultural One
Lesley Kinzel

“Making resilience against body shaming attacks an individual responsibility is self-defeating.”

I love what you’ve written Lesley, but I think the above sentence captures where I take issue. The reality is, “culture” only changes when individual (fat, queer, or other shamed) people become resilient enough to claim their own dignity, come out of the closet, and command respect and a seat at the lunch counter. People do that in different ways obviously, but your call to “change the culture” without calls for change in individuals is (to me) less than coherent and somewhat ahistorical. Only when women and their allies, for example, began to protest against rape-culture, did we begin to see a wee bit of change. Movements for change are made up of individuals who have claimed their own power (or faked it till they made it), even if it’s only the power to be beat over the head and chased by dogs, and still get up and keep walking across the bridge to the new reality… Yes, that sucks — but is there any other way? I’m open to seeing it, but I’m doubtful…

FWIW, I say all this as Black American man whose community has (I think?) almost never had a problem with embracing our fat people — even though of course we’re affected by the same dominant-culture standards of beauty.

And I say all this with love and care and respect for you and all healthy-sized people. (Healthy = plump with fullness.) I’m even slowly becoming one with you!

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