The Best of Your Fat Friend, 2017.
Highlights and favorites from the last twelve months.
2017 has been a big year for fat activism — body positivity has gone undeniably mainstream. And in an unruly, unreliable, ever-changing political landscape, there has been so much to digest about our own bodies, and what they mean for our place in the world.
This year, I’ve tried to drive closer to the root of those implications, especially as they relate to the size of our skin. Below are some of your favorite Your Fat Friend pieces from this year, followed by some of mine.
If you’ve been following, reading, sharing, responding: thank you for taking part in this conversation, for your attention, your vulnerability, your willingness and your honesty. If you’re new: welcome. Start here.
Your Picks: The Most Popular
I wrote for The Establishment about the complexity, conflict and heartache of weight loss surgery in On Weight Loss Surgery and the Unbearable Thinness of Being.
And I shared some requests of straight size friends in To Body Positive Friends Who Don’t Wear Plus Sizes.
There is no telling a fatter friend that I hate the way I look, but it’s fine for you. There is no safe haven of hating your body that doesn’t also rely on logic that marginalizes mine. Like any virus, you do not get to decide that you are resistant. You do not get to decide whether it is communicable.
In A Letter from the Fat Person On Your Flight, I asked what passengers will do to counter public bullying of fat people on airlines, and offered actions each of us can take. And I wrote about concern trolling and what happens If You’re Right About Your Fat Friend’s Health.
My Picks: Five More Favorites
Body Positivity and Its Discontents. What happens when your body doesn’t qualify for body positivity?
This newly popularized body positivity whitewashes so many of us, reducing problems of social exclusion to issues of self esteem and body image.
To them, I didn’t have to be queer anymore. I was thin enough to earn men’s affection. I no longer had to shoulder the burden of queerness, the weight of its failure. As a smaller woman, I was free now. I could be straight.
I stopped seeing doctors because doctors stopped seeing me. So many wouldn’t touch me, wouldn’t examine me, wouldn’t ask questions, wouldn’t refer to specialists or write prescriptions. Everything, I tell him, led back to the weight loss that years of dieting and disordered eating never delivered.
You were quick to remind me how much you hate fat shaming, but even quicker to make an exception for someone you find ethically and politically repugnant. If you are willing to shame the bodies of the people you disagree with, body positivity and fat acceptance aren’t your values. They’re your hobbies.
There Are No Right Answers for Your Fat Friend. Scenes from a Thinterrogation.
She will offer to spot me at the gym, go grocery shopping with me, coach me through the rookie mistakes that must have led to my body. I have proven myself to be an irresponsible owner of a body. My size is evidence that I am either too stupid or too weak to be thin.