What Is The Point Of Fat Activism?
A good friend of mine who I find
To be a truly special conversationalist
“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 didn’t know how much she didn’t know
So I didn’t know
Where to start, exactly
See, I have experienced
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
I’ve had my personal space
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
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
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
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
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