What Is The Point Of Fat Activism?

A good friend of mine who I find

To be a truly special conversationalist

Asked me—

“What is the point of fat activism?

What is the end goal?

Gay people wanted marriage,

Trans people want healthcare protections and

Civil rights inclusions—

What are fat activists asking for…?”

To be honest, at first

I just

I didn’t know how much she didn’t know

So I didn’t know

Where to start, exactly

See, I have experienced

Fat discrimination

In every single aspect of my life.

During college, during

Preschool, during elementary school

During high school, after school

Youth orchestra, concerto competitions

Job interviews, job performance reviews—

I’ve had endocrinologists laugh at me

And speak slower, so that fatty could

Understand the big doctah wordz

I’ve been harassed at the gym

On the treadmill, on the weight rack,

In the locker room, while changing

I’ve been photographed against my will

Countless times

I’ve had my personal space

My rights


So many times

I just didn’t know where to start

I didn’t know how to explain to someone

Who doesn’t see the pandemic of fat discrimination

That it is everywhere— that it is

Everything, everyday, every conversation

All the time.

They never care that my blood pressure

Is 118/68

They never care that my A1C is 4.8

They never care that I exercise

They never care that I eat right

I have excess adipose tissue

All over my face, neck and upper back

From the years of Cushing’s syndrome I had

As a child.

For whatever reason

That alone

Denies me of most basic human decencies

Costs me lots of extra money, and often

Prohibits me from making

A median salary.

It also prevents me

From collecting disability, because alas

I take too good care of myself

To be completely disabled— so I have to

Work full time with a missing vertebrae

And the fattest face you’ll see in hundreds of miles.

But I guess

This is where

The bullies

Start to feel “sympathy”

Which makes their stomachs curdle

They can’t handle that

Fat is like race, it doesn’t

Fit their world view

To accept that there are diseases

That contribute to obesity—

So they deny, they ridicule

They hate.

What is the point of fat activism?

What is their goal?

Honestly I can’t say—

To me, it’s an issue

As large as climate change

So endemic, so much momentum behind it

So ingrained in our competitive jealous brains

Nothing will ever help

That’s why I write poems

Hoping to find other people on the internet

Who have similar pains

If you’re too thin and too afraid to eat

To acknowledge that

A fat person with a chronic disease

Has a legitimate reason to be mad,

Can we all at least accept

That your own problems

Are part of that…?

I’ve had to

For everything, my whole life

I’ve had to take responsibility

For every single flaw I have—

Why can’t you admit to yourself

That you might be bigoted about

Fat, weight, obesity?

What is so incredulous to you

About looking in the mirror

And seeing yourself

For what you really are?

I have to do that every day!

What is so incredulous to you

About hearing another person’s perspective

That’s different from yours ?

I have to do that

Every fucking day

Why can’t you try to reflect

On one bad thing about yourself

The way all fat people

Have to live in shame

24/7 365, even when they

Lose the weight

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