The goal of the #fattituderevolution is to change the way people think about fatness and to foster a world where all bodies are treated with respect. Period.
Achieving this goal requires a shift in the cultural beliefs that allow people to demean and brutalize fat people - or anyone of any size - based on the way that they look. We are making Fattitude the movie because we think that raising awareness about how the media treats fatness and presenting other possible, more positive representations of fatness will help people realize that the cruelty and prejudice that fat people face is shameful and unwarranted. A shift in the media will go a long way to achieving an actual cultural shift.
But change doesn't happen without action. For a cultural shift to take place people need to change how they feel about fat bodies and for many of us that is a pretty personal journey. So, what you'll find here are actions that you can take to be part of the change. These actions are sometimes deeply personal and sometimes actively political but either way they are steps on the journey of the #fattituderevolution
Viva La Fattitude! Xo, Viri and Lindsey
Honestly, the first step to bringing body positivity into your life is accepting that you are valuable and that your body is valuable. This isn't always easy. Particularly because the average body in the media isn’t reflective of the many bodies that are present in our daily lives. The mainstream media’s perpetuation of a very thin, very smooth and most often very white virtually unattainable beauty ideal is one of the reasons why most people constantly feel that they aren't worthy of respect or attractive. That’s crap.
We have found that the easiest way to realize that everyone is worthy of respect and self love is to change what you see. While the mainstream media continues to do a pretty bad job of presenting bodily variation, the internet and social media sites have become thriving spaces for body positivity.
So, what we're saying here is read body positive blogs, flood your social media with body positive voices and know that quite quickly you will realize that bodies come in infinite variation and they are all worthy of respect. Including yours. Need suggestions for who to follow? Check out the fattitude facebook page and our resource page.
How many of us can honestly say that we are good with our body no matter how it changes? Literally, giving your body what it needs and loving it when it grows, ages, gets fatter, gets thinner - this is what genuine body positivity and acceptance would look like. Many of us find it easy to look at others and think that their bodies shouldn't determine how they are treated or perceived, but somehow we are still intensely critical of our own bodies.
One of the ways that you can start to love your body as it is - rather than as you wish it was - is to stop holding on to relics and tributes to times when your body was a different shape or size. Start doing and buying things that are fun now, not ten, twenty or a hundred pounds from now.
Do you have a pair of skinny jeans in your closet that you hope will fit again some day? Those are trash. Toss 'em. (Or ideally, donate them.) Go buy new jeans that fit. Have you always wanted to wear a bathing suit and go to the pool but think you need to be thinner to do that? Nope. Fat people go to the pool - you'll be fine. Swimming is amazing. Take a deep breath and leap. You're body is amazing. Don't put off your life. Live Now.
It might sound cliché but money talks. No matter what size you are you should be supporting businesses that choose to service customers of all sizes and do not use body-shaming tactics in their advertising.
A great example of a body-positive business is ModCloth. This online clothier has chosen to take a stand against the mainstream idea that you can only sell fashion using ultra thin, photoshopped models. They have also chosen to take advantage of the unsaturated marketplace that is plus size fashion! Modcloth never photoshops its models and they sell plus sizes and regular sizes. Um..YES.
By supporting body-positive business you let your dollars speak the change you want to see.
Looking for body-positive businesses? Check out our resource page.
We already covered that dollars are very powerful, and this is true both when you're choosing to use them and when you're choosing not to use them.
While there are definitely some retailers who are starting to realize that body-love and body diversity sell, there are still more holdouts than not. In the last few years retailers like Ambercrombie and Fitch and LuluLemon spoke openly about their belief that only certain bodies belong in their clothes. (If you want to know more click the links.)
When you hear of an instance like this, take a stand by refusing to buy from the brand that is body-shaming, even if you love their products. If you want to take your action one step further - go to the brand's facebook page and tell them that you will no longer be shopping with them because of their body-shaming views or policies and encourage those in your circles to follow your lead!
This is a scary one, we know. We've been there. Having a healthy relationship with your body is often predicated on having a healthy relationship with food. In other words, counting calories and depriving your body does not equate to self-love. Check out this video of Deb Burgard if you want to really think through how dieting is problematic.
When we say break up with dieting - what we mean is stop torturing your body and start loving it. Eat with body love in mind. Give you body nutrients - eat foods that nourish your body and listen when something you eat makes you feel unhappy or uncomfortable.
Also, smash your scale - or at the very least toss it in a dumpster. Stop obsessing over the number of pounds or stones you weigh. Nothing good comes from weighing yourself. Numbers on the scale very rarely equate to long term joy.
Are you struggling to develop a healthy relationship with food - check out our resources page to connect with places you can find help.
We feel bad when people call us fat because we think that being fat is unacceptable because we have been shamed. This is what we have to work on – normalizing the idea that there are fat bodies and there always will be and that’s okay. One of the ways that we can work on this is to recognize that "fat" is just a description.
Fat, like short, tall, blue eyed etc. is a descriptive word which has been taken out of context and made into an insult – much like the negative use of the word “gay” – to mean uncool. Clearly, we should stop using both words as insults – but we can still call gay people gay and fat people fat because that’s what they are and there is no shame in being who you are.
Genuine body positivity would mean that even if someone was fat, they wouldn’t have to feel body shame.
So, go ahead - call yourself fat. Maybe write a blog post or a status update about your claim to fatness so you can let people know that being "fat" is just factual not shameful!
This one is simple. Spread the word. Be pro-active about your body-positive views.
Talk to your friends about the body love you feel or that great body positive article you came across. When you see something in your facebook feed or online that is body positive - don't just like that thing - share it. Click the little button that says share and become part of how the message spreads.
Oh and by the way, if there is something amazing that you think we at fattitude should be aware of let us know! Use the #fattituderevolution hashtag or email us about what you saw so that we can amplify the volume of the body positive messages you love!
Want to start sharing stuff right now - check out our resources page to find links to amazing writers and thinkers .
Do you hear people saying negative things about their bodies - perhaps calling them fat? Do people you know make comments about other people's body based on their size? How about articles that tout that you can lose 20 pounds in ten days or a new super fat burning exercise routine, do you see these? This kind of fat hating talk reinforces a fat shaming culture.
When we choose to stand by rather than calling out negative body talk and fat shaming, we are passively supporting it's existence. Standing up for the change that needs to take place isn't always easy but it's necessary.
So, the next time you see fat hatred - name it. You don't have to be aggressive or brash. You don't have to make enemies. You just need to say, "Hey, friend when you talk or write like that you affirm the existence of fat-hatred and body shame and I'd rather we not do that."
When people ask you why you're part of the #fattituderevlution be clear about the fact that you are fighting injustice. It easy to recognize that all people of all sizes feel body shame and may experience body shaming. This universal body judgement is terrible and has to stop.
That said, what's harder to see is that beyond an individual's experience with his or her body, the greater culture demonizes and punishes the fat body not the thin body. The result is that people living in fat bodies experience more than shame - they experience systemic prejudice - meaning they are statistically less likely to be employed, to get raises, or to be treated with respect by doctors. Fat people are also more likely to be overlooked in educational environments.
Literally, all the markers that you see with other cultural forms of social injustice are present in the culture's response to fat bodies. Studies show that for women fat prejudice is on par with racial prejudice. This is not true for skinny bodies.
So do all people need body positive influences in their lives - YES. But fat people need more than that, they need systemic change and respect. Voice this - it matters.
Take a good look around your body positive circles and you will realize that the voices that are clamoring for change aren't that different from you. We are everyday people saying that we will no longer stand for the way our culture mistreats bodies - particularly fat bodies. You can join the conversation.
Start a youtube channel or a blog. If you don't feel like you have unlimited content but you want to say one particular thing - fine. Then, contact fattitude about writing one post for our blog or creating one video for us to share.
Are you having a great day where you love your body or your outfit or a fantastic body positive moment at your job? Take a selfie, post it and tell people why. (If you want to add the #fattituderevolution hashtag - amazing.)
Creating body positive media isn't just our job; it's your job too. Be the body positive thing that someone sees - because once we can see it - we can be it!