I Get Letters

[Content Note: Fat hatred.]

One of the most frequently leveled charges against people who do fat advocacy is that we don't care about fat people's health, that encouraging people to love themselves and live their lives and not hate their bodies is tacitly encouraging people to be unhealthy.

(Never mind that fat does not axiomatically equal unhealthy.)

Yesterday, I received this email from a Shaker, who wishes to remain anonymous but who gave me hir consent to share its contents:
Hi Melissa,

I'm a long time lurker/reader on Shakesville and wanted to thank you for all that you and the Shakesville community have done to educate me on my internalized fat-phobia/fat shaming.

Reading Shakesville is what convinced me that my doctors were wrong, that the excruciating pain I felt when I walked was NOT because I was fat. You made me look at myself and say, "Wait, why do I believe that I'm lazy about this when I work 80+ hours a week?" Your writing gave me permission to believe that I deserved to be able to walk without pain, that the stabbing pains I had in my lower leg were not punishment for being fat, but an indication that something was seriously wrong and my body needed help.

I found a solution because of you. Not because of doctors. Not because of medicine. Because you and Shakesville told me I deserved it.

Thank you so much.

[Name Redacted]
I do fat advocacy because I care about fat people's health.

And anyone who purports to be concerned about fat people's health will stop trying to demonize our bodies and shame us for having them, and instead get on board with the idea that there is little incentive to take care of a body you hate, that fat hatred is a barrier to seeking care, that fat hatred kills.

My inbox is always open, if you need emotional support in seeking healthcare while navigating fat hatred.

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