7 Secrets of Body Positivity (a printable for you)

Two posts in one week!  Crazy, right?

This time, a change of pace:  I was reading back through some of my old posts and happened across the oft-linked 10 Rules for Fat Girls.  I thought, “This is good stuff – wouldn’t it be nice if people had something like this they could look at every day?”

Inspired, I distilled my body image philosophy into seven “secrets” (obviously they’re not the only considerations when it comes to body positivity, but it’ll get you started) and made a printable file you can hang on your wall, your fridge, your mirror – or put in a binder or planner.  The pdf below includes both a full-sized 8 1/2 x 11″ version and a half-sized version (2 on a page) so you’ll have easy display options.

Enjoy! It’s been a while since I did anything body-sacred-related, so I’m excited to share it with you. Click on the image to download the pdf.

You can also get a copy of my 2004 book The Body Sacred, or read some blog posts on the subject:

10 Rules for Fat Girls

10 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love (a Valentine’s Day post, but I think it applies all year)

F*ck it, I’m Cute

 

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A Fat Rant in the Key of FU

(Note: trolls will be deleted and blocked.  No warning, no quarter. My sandbox, my rules.  Pro-diet talk will not be tolerated either. If you want to go on about “that’s all well and good, but OMGOBESITYEPIDEMIC,” there’s an entire internet out there where you’re welcome and encouraged.  This is not one of those spaces.  I’m only leaving the comments open for a couple of days anyway.)

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“But…but people saying it’s okay to be fat might make people think it’s okay to be fat! You’re PROMOTING OBESITY! The lack of self-hatred will kill us all!”

Okay, sweetie. Come here, let me ‘splain you a thing:

You’re damn right I promote obesity. I also promote thinness, tallness, freckled-facedness, and baldness. I’m down with dark skin, light skin, all the crayons in the box and any more you can moosh together. I support big butts and tiny boobs and vice versa. I’m ready to march in the Jiggly Thigh Parade and I’ll wave a flag for a big dick or a small one. Covered in tattoos, riddled with piercings, I promote all of it. I want everybody to look every way. Know why?

BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF OUR BODIES.

It doesn’t matter what you look like, whether you were born that way or had something altered or did nothing but sit on your booty and eat chips. None of that has anything to do with what kind of person you are. Our hearts cannot be reduced to a single external factor. Claiming that someone is something because of a single physical attribute or identifier is ugly and childish and, it turns out, the root of most of our societal issues.

Our appearance and our health have one key thing in common: they are not fully under our control.

Are there things you can do to be healthier no matter what state your body is in? Absolutely, whether that’s to make it easier to walk up stairs or to beat cancer. But whether you do anything or not, whether you grow gradually healthier or sicker, is not up to me. Your body is not my business or my problem. And while the math would seem simple, apparently it’s not: THAT MEANS MY BODY ISN’T YOUR BUSINESS EITHER.

When you look at me and sneer because I weigh 300 pounds, you don’t know my story. You don’t know if I’m diabetic or have heart disease any more than looking at a thin person can tell you they’re a heroin addict or have a brain tumor. You don’t know, and it’s NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

Sensing a theme here?

My ass is big, but that doesn’t mean you have permission to get all up on it.

When you look at a fat person with judgment, do you know what you’re really seeing? You’re seeing yourself, reflected back in all your bigotry and self-loathing. We are fun-house mirrors of your prejudices, and it’s not a pretty picture. In 37 years on this Earth I have yet to meet anyone who was cruel to another person but didn’t already hate themselves. That applies equally to fat people who mock other fat people.

Oh, and:

Don’t pretend you care about my health. First of all, I know you don’t. Why? Because you know nothing about it, as I said already, and because giving out unsolicited advice is not compassionate. It’s a dominance display. The great white savior of the fatties has come to Earth to tell us calories in, calories out! Put down the cake, girls!

(It’s pretty much always white people. Well, white people and Michelle Obama. Speaking of which, if you try to come at me with that whole “fat people raise the price of health care and taxes and OMG!” nonsense, I would invite you to give me an itemized list of all the things your taxes pay for and show me how many you support versus not. My taxes pay for shit I don’t like, so do yours, welcome to America and suck it up. Maybe one of these days we’ll be able to designate exactly what we pay for, and you can support nothing but anti-obesity programs and I can support the Hook Electrodes Up to Every Congressman’s Junk Act of 2014. But for now, using that argument makes you sound desperate and kind of ridiculous.)

Now, I know you’re thinking, “But people have kids and loved ones who are affected by their health. That means it’s their business.”

Okay, fine. But it’s still not yours.

Healthcare decisions are deeply personal for everyone no matter what’s going on with their bodies. You can seek your loved ones’ advice and help, or bow to their opinions about your size, but in the end the person living in that body is the person who truly has to live with it. Only you can decide how much weight, if you’ll pardon the pun, to give other people’s opinions.

I am not here to make your decisions for you. I would prefer, of course, that you treat your body with love and respect and demand others do the same, but you’re the one who has to realize you deserve it – even if by all societal standards you’re an untouchable.

I realize that saying all of this will not change your mind if you already hate fat people. Oddly enough, I didn’t write this for you. I wrote it for other fat people who don’t yet see that while being fat does not make you a bad person, being hateful does. I don’t care how huge you are, or if you’re on a scooter in Wal Mart or hooked up to oxygen. I don’t care if you’re an anoretic, bulimic, a cutter, an ultra-marathoner, or waving at me from the summit of Mount Everest which you climbed with nothing but a rope and a sheet of LSD.  Neither your size, ability, race, sexuality, nor your health should be used as a weapon against your basic worth.  You deserve dignity and respect because you are a human being, and if we can’t believe that all humans on this Earth deserve that, there’s little hope for us as a species. I like to think we can do better.

We can do better.

Let’s do better.

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