Quite possibly an unpopular opinion


I'm sitting down to write a post which may be controversial, and it makes me uneasy.

I hate conflict as I don't have the spoons (chronic illness-speak for not having energy) to deal with it. Sometimes you have to step aside from that and say your piece anyway. Having chronic illness has made a mouse out of a previously opinionated woman, but once in a while I'm brave enough to stick my head above the parapet. I'll risk getting into a shit storm I have little energy to deal with if it creates a discussion.

I feel size privilege exists in the plus size world, as well as everywhere else, but lord knows how I'm going to find the words to express this without seeming like a negative Nelly. I feel I have a responsibility to talk about inequality - specific to size - even at the risk of being seen as a drag. I don't feel negative, or sad, and I'm not having a pity party. I don't hate people smaller than me, and I'm not jealous. I've been all kinds of sizes and they're all good. I do however feel pissed off and angry with the system because I want things to change and I don't know if it'll ever happen, or how we get there.

TRIGGER WARNING - within this post I briefly wonder what would change if I were to lose weight. I have no intention of dieting, but I don't want any mention of it to trigger anyone with an E.D. so please be warned.

Being in a fat body is undoubtedly political. Whether we like it or not daring to leave the house in a fat body can be like entering hostile territory. Our bodies elicit unwanted comments because we dare to exist. We are the butt of jokes, are often treated with no respect in healthcare settings and can be be passed over for jobs we're perfect for because of the size of our bodies. At the higher end of the fat spectrum I'd go as far as to borrow a Skunk Anansie song title and say Yes, it's fucking political.

Let me say LOUD AND CLEAR this isn't a snipe at anyone in a smaller body at ALL. I'm not angry at individuals because anyone deemed fat by society is already discriminated against in so many ways. I'm angry at the system which dictates even in the plus size world, being fatter is a disadvantage. I'm a size 26-28 and I sometimes feel like an spare part. I feel like if I were to diet and get myself down to say a size 20/22/24 my world would suddenly get bigger. I also feel like if I keep my mouth shut and don't bring politics into it, the same will apply. Oh well. *shrugs*

I honestly feel like I'd be a more palatable package in a smaller body. Maybe this is a neurosis, but there are signs it's not all in my head...

Although many plus size retailers do clothes up to a size 32, a great number of companies cut off at a 26. Even places like Yours Clothing and Evans stock ranges which go no further than a size 26. What message is that supposed to send, exactly? 'Hey fatties, you can buy a hideous thing your granny might want to buy, but that sexy dress you're after? We don't think anyone above a size 26 should be spotted in it.' Err, cheers. Constantly larger fats are reminded we are less palatable than our less zaftig counterparts.

For the most part even to companies who DO stock clothes up to a 32, us larger-of-the-large people are like a freak show, only wheeled out on special occasions. We are the 'Oh God, I don't want to get THAT fat!' people. We are the what if-s, the what happens when it goes wrong-s, the slide into otherness. We have spare chins and may not have the ultimate, oft-preferred fat weapon - an hourglass figure. Gasp! Even in a place where it's not supposed to be about the size of our bodies, it's always about the size of our bodies.

I want to see the size 28/30/32 blogger models. I want to see love for all bodies from the companies who are purporting to support them. I don't want to be on the fringes of 'acceptable' fatness. I don't want to face the unspoken truth - that a certain level of fatness is attractive, and then there's a cut off point after which some exist solely as a warning to others. I don't say this out of divisiveness. I don't want to drive a wedge between the super-fats, the middlies and the barely-fats. I want us to come together and challenge this body fascism where even amongst fellow fat people, it's still possible to feel like an outcast.

No matter what happens, I'm never going to stop putting myself out there. The emails I get from my readers thanking me for doing what I do prove to me the need to put my fat body out there for them, if not myself.

I simply wish there was a bit more representation for people like me, on the verge between 'acceptable-level-of-fat' and 'Oh-mah-gawd-death-fat.'

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.

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