This is where we share stuff we can’t share on Facebook page for fear of being kicked out! Read why here. Usually the posts are about body image, sometimes there’s nudity but we’re all adults here. Right? Why does a fitness blog even care about body image? You can read about that here.
Being fat requires a bottomless well of forgiveness. In the face of moments like these, many fat people move on silently, head held high, mouth held shut. But it stays with us. We have to make a calculated decision, as I did with the woman at the cafe: do we meet them with a smile? Or do we take a risk, staking some small claim to our dignity and wellbeing, and resist? Because we know, at the end of the day, that if we resist, we resist alone.
When I tell people about stories like Errol’s, many scramble to defend the actions of the airline, the flight attendant, the seatmate, even the doctor who refused to treat a fat patient, the stranger who shouted “fatass!” on the street. What were you wearing? What did you say? They might have been having a bad day. It’s probably not their decision. They probably didn’t mean it.
I hear the familiar hesitation in your voice when we speak. The sharp intake of breath and the disappointing sigh of an unposed question, like the hiss of an emptying balloon. With coaxing and reassuring, you come out with a familiar question.
But what about your health? Am I not even supposed to care?
And with that, you step into a long and living history. It stings and disappoints, as it always does. As a fat person, someone is always telling me about their concern for my health, and hearing it from such a dear friend smarts. I need you to know about your companions—the friends, family, colleagues, and strangers who have expressed those same concerns for as long as I have been fat.
I have this amazing group of friends who are all incredibly emotionally intimate. We are the kind of people who are constantly in TMI mode, and there’s very little we don’t know about each other. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when frexting started to become a habit. What was surprising was how much of an impact it had on me.
In North America, we don’t see a diverse or realistic portrayal of women or non-binary people naked or nearly-naked, unless they’ve been photoshopped in magazines and movies, or carefully cast for a very curated body type in pornography. Even as a queer woman, I really don’t see a whole lot of naked ladies who actually look like me in my normal day-to-day. There is such a narrow window of bodies we see that largely do not reflect our actual reflections, that we don’t really know what real bodies look like.
When I started frexting, I obviously started seeing more naked and nearly-naked bodies. Fat bodies and thin bodies. Ample breasts and barely-there boobs. Wide hips and narrow hips. Flat bottoms and bubble butts. Toned tummies and curvy rolls. And they are all beautiful. And we all love it.
These are the types of responses we send to each other — positive reinforcement, given in a safe space.
On a down comforter-covered king-size bed, in a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, I got naked for Substantia Jones and the Adipositivity Project.
I don’t mean that I took off my pants or my shirt. I mean that I took off my clothes, all of them, even the ones underneath. Just me and my bare-naked ass and Substantia and her camera (and my daughter, Kelsey, to tell me I’m a badass).
It’s a radical act, I guess, stripping for a relative stranger — showing someone your wobbly bits, your unkempt bikini line, the topographical map of varicose veins that run across the back of your thighs.
You might be asking yourself, “Why would she take her clothes off?”
A fair question.
Let me hit you with this hard fact: Ninety-eight percent of the bodies we see displayed in the media are a form less than 2 percent of us can achieve.
(Congratulations, 2 percent. I salute your perfect bone structure.)
Have you heard the phrase “sun’s out, guns out”? Fitness-based messages like this usually include some idea of being in “great shape” to show off your body in the spring and summertime.
But oftentimes, there’s a very limited idea of what it means to have a body that you can be proud of – usually white, able-bodied, thin, and other images of traditional “beauty.” Most of us don’t fit that image, so instead of feeling proud, we can dread the idea of drawing attention to our bodies.
So here’s a comic that flips the script with a more inclusive celebration of different body types. You’ll love these images of people feeling confident in their authentic selves, with new phrases like “chips out, nips out” and “wheels out, heels out.”