Fatsronauts 101: Choosing to Be Fat Is Okay

[Content Note: Fat hatred; disordered eating.]

Something that comes up a lot in conversations about privilege and marginalization is that marginalized people don't have a choice over their identities, either by virtue of birth or circumstance. This is a crucial step beyond the rhetoric of bootstraps, in which marginalized people are expected to will their way to privilege by hard work and conformity.

But it is also important to move beyond the idea of not having a choice, because it tends to suggest if marginalized people could choose to magically manifest the privileged characteristic, they should or would definitely want to. And also because, in some cases, marginalized people do have a choice, which they are not obliged to make.

This is extremely relevant to discussions of fat people.

It is absolutely a true thing that some fat people have no control over being fat, either because that's how our bodies work, or because of environmental factors, or because of a medicine we take for a medical issue, or whatever.

But I also want to note that fat people don't owe being thin to anyone else.

It has to be okay for people to choose to be fat, even if we do have control over it.

I know it's tremendously difficult for lots of thin people (and even many fat people) to understand, but some fat people want to be fat.

Among the wide spectrum of humanity, there are people who simply prefer the way their bodies look when they are fat. There are women who like being fat because they are left alone by men more. There are actors who aren't handsome enough to play leads and get more work if they're fat. There are all sorts of reasons that some people actively want to be fat.

And there are plenty of fat people who just don't want to be thin. (Which may or may not coexist with actively wanting to be fat.) People for whom losing weight would reactivate disordered eating. People for whom losing weight would disassociate them from an identity very tied to their being fat. People who simply can't afford to buy a whole new goddamn wardrobe if they lose weight.

I have no interest in losing weight at this point in my life. Coming to love my body has been hard fucking won, and I do love it. I don't want to change it. I don't want to even contemplate having to love a whole new body all over again—and, contrary to popular belief, that my body would immediately be lovable to me if it were a thin body is not accurate.

My body would change. I would probably have loose skin and I would l look older and my breasts would change and there are parts of my body I wouldn't even recognize. That would be a whole new body, and it would demand a whole new process of coming to love the things that my culture tells me are imperfect and ugly and wrong.

I have no interest in that, when I am perfectly content as I am.

I have two female friends who have lost a significant amount of weight, and both of them have talked to me about what a mind-fuck it is, to have people be nice to them, who never would have been nice to them before. People who were never nice to them. It makes one see the world differently. I don't have any interest in processing that shit, just to be thin.

I don't want to lose weight, even if I could. And I need for that to be okay. With my doctors and with everyone else.

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