But You're Promoting Obesity....

Thoughtful Thursday

First a Note: For those who aren't aware, the body positive movement started with the fat activism movement. Where those who were oppressed and marginalized started by showcasing these bodies, showing they are worthy of love and respect. Showing that fat bodies should be accepted regardless of "accepted weight" or "healthy but plus size" as a qualifier. You will now see many plus size babes on say instagram showcasing that their bodies are damn worthy of the spotlight and being loved by the person in that body. It has been a movement in which is trying to let up the oppression & discrimination of fat people.

This is my Thoughtful Thursday perspective....

Since we did the BOPO body project with Kayla Logan (next one being announced soon), I've seen lots of comments like that the fat bodies showcased are not worthy of being shown, that we are promoting unhealthy habits and people. I've seen trolls come on and write horrible things to women who did such an incredible thing by showing up to be represented. They are trying to hurt and harm.

There are so many mistruths on fat, that it is what leads people to be unhealthy, that if you have fat on your body that you are a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and can't have babies. These are all untrue, in fact, what causes heart disease and diabetes is typically rooted in inflammation caused from yo-yo dieting, not from fat itself.
Did you know "the CDC has proven as well that people in the "overweight" category live longer than people in the category deemed to be "normal" and advisable , and that people who are mildly or moderately "obese" live at least as long as normal-weight people. The CDC found this to be true, and under pressure published the result in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The CDC issued a disclaimer to state health agencies, encouraging them disregard the results. Why? Because the CDC warning against the evidence distracts us from prejudice. If we are to change minds, you'd think the CDC would stand by it's on conclusions right? That's what we are up against when we challenge the status quo on weight and health! So if our ideas at first seem preposterous to you and hard to believe and incorporate, that's understandable. You're in good company with many well-established experts"
Taken from Linda Bacon "Body Respect"

So why, why is it so damn hard to believe that a fat-bodied person is healthy? is okay? and that we are not promoting death? Why is it that the stigma of fat-bodied people is that we are lazy, unaccomplished, over-eating people?
(fact note: most fat-bodied people eat the same amount as normal-weight people).

Why is it that fat people are looked over for job promotions? That our worth place in this world is of less value than someone who is "normal weight". Why are there way less "plus size" clothing options compared to others? Why is it that the fashion industry is only just getting on board with fashionable items for plus size people (we want to be fashionable and not look like our gramma's).

Why is it that people throw around the word fat for feelings, I feel fat? I feel ugly and fat? No you don't... NONE of us feel fat, because fat is not a feeling.. use the words that ARE feelings - I feel sad, overwhelmed, angry, whatever it is.

Why are plus size people not seen as sexy? Why is it that if I post an image of a plus size client I see the words "brave, courageous, beautiful" but I rarely see the words "sexy"? Why is that a plus size woman doing something incredibly powerful in her body is considered "courageous" (doesn't have to be boudoir, can be ANYTHING.. going to the gym... wearing a glamorous dress, etc).

Why do trolls think it's okay to attack fat bodied women on the internet?

Did you know there is no clear definition of thin, avg, overweight, obese? Did you know that most of us are dropping these words.. because someone who is 90lbs, or 150lbs, or 170lbs, or 250 lbs, or 350 lbs can all say they are fat, can all say they are overweight?? Do you base this on the BMI index? Did you know that it's funded by pharmaceutical companies who fund and have wrote the BMI standards - what do they gain from this? EVERYTHING! They thrive off of you thinking fat is bad, that they have a solution as they take ALL your money!

While my platforms, social media accounts and my private FB Group & while BOPO is for everyone, please understand that by fat people taking up space, for demanding it, it does not take away from others. For ALL bodies to be accepted, we must also accept fat bodies. For us to move ahead, we must accept all marginalized bodies (those differently-abled for example!).

I am on a mission to make an impact, I'm on a mission to change lives... and for this to happen, we have to start here... I may rock the boat from time to time. I may get people angry as I challenge their deeply ingrained thinking. But to move ahead we must look at what we are thinking and challenge them. For then we won't be fearful of fat or becoming so.

I want EVERYONE to feel loved and happy and worthy and respected. To do so, we must start here.

(also shameless plug, I'll be talking about this way more indepth, we will work on this together in my workshop, only 1 spot left! https://artistshannonsmith.com/private-events-1/bodyselfworkshop)

Artist Shannon Smith, Body Positive Calgary, BOPO, Calgary Boudoir Photographer, Plus Size Boudoir