I had the privilege of attending a large, well run feminist, sci-fi convention this past weekend. It was filled with passionate, articulate, kind people who are guided by the principles of inclusivity, and diversity. However, there was a disturbing end to the weekend. A person had chosen to spend their time at the convention taking pictures secretly with their cell phone of attendees to post them online with hateful commentary. This person decided to target fat people, transsexuals, and women in general. I was one of the many people this person tried to humiliate by posting pictures with my face covered by white out.
Yes, this is what one feminist looks like. And it’s really sad that you hate your fellow women and your normal life isn’t filled with being surrounded by smart, funny, creative people.
I am a certified massage therapist and decided to donate 3 hours of my time doing free chair massage at the conference. I didn’t see this person donate any of their time doing the volunteer work that keeps conferences running but it didn’t stop them from commenting on my work.
My business is called Bodacious Bodywork and I am bodacious. I specialize in working with women of size and women with body image issues. But they guessed my weight wrong. Bad research skills, all they would’ve had to do was ask me and I would have told them what I weigh. Because this is what I do, I am a fat activist. I am not ashamed of my body, how I look or what I do.
This incident, unfortunately, is not unusual. Fat people hear negative comments, see the disgusted looks, and feel the drawing back of people around them. It’s not a safe world to live in if you are a fat person. We lose our right to privacy. Pictures are taken for amusement. Our shopping carts are examined with the intent to judge our eating habits. Our health status is questioned. We are not treated with respect and dignity by employers, service people, or health care workers. This happens every time we step out of our homes. Unfortunately, these messages can be internalized. So not only do you face the challenges of dealing with society but you tell yourself that you are ugly, worthless and disgusting. So it becomes a radical act when you choose to live your life and love yourself despite the negativity that we swim thorough every day.
I’m not sure what this person’s objective was in posting these pathetic attempts at humor. But I know that they did not change my commitment to living my life joyfully and abundantly. And I prefer pictures to include my face.
I have been very impressed with the response from the con goers. It's nice to have allies in this fight.