I’m currently up north in the Lake District visiting family. The weather has been wonderful, the scenery has been breathtaking, and seeing my family after five months has been really amazing. I haven’t had much chance to be online aside from checking in on my phone. What a week to dip out of social media! .
This week we’ve seen Plus Size Wars hitting the tv, and like anything that puts plus size people in a remotely positive light, there is the usual furore. Then we had Jamelia, former popstar and now gob-for-hire on Looose Women (blergh), made some heinous comments about people in “extreme” sizes, noting “they” should feel comfortable when trying to buy clothes and in fact sizing that is less than a 6 and greater than a 20 shouldn’t be available in stores.
The plus size community fired back with Debz from A Wannabee Princess creating a hashtag #WeAreTheThey. You can find the original posts from her here.
The basic premise was that people like Jamelia want to talk about “they” without considering that “they” are real people. So this hashtag put faces to the anonymous people that were being spoken about with little to no thought or consideration.
The hashtag took off, and even made it into mainstream media. The plus size commnity really came together and made their voices heard. It was amazing to watch it snowball over a few hours. I felt helpless, hiding out in the middle of nowhere with barely any signal. I have been slowlyl catching up now I’m in a more signal friendly part of the lakes. Everyone’s pieces have been wonderful to read; sharing their heartache growing up fat, sharing their insecuritites and their own journeys to self acceptance.
What people like Jamelia seem to conveniently forget, when they preach about loving yourself but so long as you are “healthy”, is that health is NOT an obligation and it is certainly not a measure of worth. But most importantly is that when she, and people like her, talk about how people in these sizes shouldn’t have these things seems to think that we actually HAVE these things.
If people really knew how fat people were treated on a daily basis; how fat people are given inadequate medical care, less likely to get jobs, are physically abused, humilated, and used as a societal scapegoat for just about everything wrong, she would think twice before suggesting that simply by trying to live in peace was “gloryfying obesity”.
I don’t care if you think being fat is going to make my joints all fall off. I don’t care if you think that being fat will clog my arteries and stop my heart. I don’t care if you think that being fat will give me diabetes. I don’t care of you think that being fat is a strain on the NHS (have you ever bothered to ask WHAT the money is spent on?). Even if all those things were true (they aren’t) that is MY choice and you don’t have a say in it (No your tax money isn’t funding it.).
You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being because I am fat. You don’t get to make me feel less of a human being for anything.