You probably saw last week’s British GQ article slamming men of size for calling themselves plus size. The author argues that calling yourself anything other than fat is a way to glorify obesity, which We Simply Cannot Have. He goes on to say that identifying as plus size is a “prissy, tip-toeing [way] around whether someone is fat or not”.
It gets classier from there:
To label someone “plus sized” is to say, “Yes you are overweight but don’t worry about the tire around your gut, you’re not fat you’re plus size! Here, have another burger. Do you want bacon and cheese with that?”
Basically, the point of this article is that fat people are only allowed dignity if it fits within a very specific mainstream ideal. Identifying as plus size husky, brawn(y), or by any term that doesn’t include the word “fat” is prohibited, because it might make you feel good about yourself. In their eyes, people who don’t fit within a specific size range are meant to be shamed, ridiculed, and policed.
The writer is missing one major point: there are a lot of people out there who prefer to be called fat. It’s what they are, they embrace it, and they’re proud of it. They choose to be called fat.
Articles like these only reaffirm the reason that the body positivity movement, and websites like Chubstr are important. We’ve still got a long way to go to show the world that everyone deserves dignity, especially people who aren’t just like us. There are so many people out there doing good work, like Jes Baker, Notoriously Dapper’s Kelvin Davis, Virgie Tovar, Zach Miko, The Curvy Fashionista’s Marie Denee, Lindsey and Viri from Fattitude, Tess Holliday, Substantia Jones, Chrystal Bougon, Marilyn Wann, and more. The point is, these people come from so many walks of life, and represent people of size in a multitude of ways, that the author of the GQ article will never understand in his narrow interpretation of what it is to be a person of size.
I do believe, slowly, that things are changing. We’ll continue to see negative articles, comments, and portrayals online and in the mainstream media, but for every shitty comment, there’s someone out there writing about fat advocacy, or sharing body positive photos, or kicking off a clothing line that offers extended sizes, effectively bucking preconceived notions that articles like these perpetuate.
Do you feel like we’re making progress? How did you feel about the GQ article? Tell us in the comments below.