If you’ve been reading my blog or watching my Periscopes, you’ve heard me use the term “size acceptance,” and you’ve probably used your context clues to figure out it means just what you think – accepting your body at whatever size it’s in currently. Actually, it’s accepting everyone’s bodies as they are. Seems easy enough; right? It certainly should be, but in a culture fraught with all kinds of bullshit in regards to weight, there’s a lot of baggage to unpack here.
So first and foremost, let’s just talk basics, shall we? Size acceptance means exactly that; accepting that people come in all shapes and sizes and that those shapes and sizes are all valid and beautiful. The best analogy I’ve ever read is the one which asks us to think about human bodies the way we think about dog bodies. I mean, we don’t ask Chihuahuas and St. Bernards to be the same size and shape, right? Same principle here.
Another component is identifying body shaming and calling it out. A good example is a tagline I saw the other day: “If you can’t see your wiener, it’s time to get leaner.” It’s catchy, innit? But here’s the thing – it’s trying to make fat guys feel bad so they’ll buy a product. (I mean, I wanted gender equality; I just hoped they’d bring women up instead of putting guys down.) When you try to make someone feel bad about their appearance, that’s just adding into the culture of no one’s body ever being good enough. (And let’s be real – skinny dudes have tiny wingdings, too. So what are they supposed to do?) We all have to work together to squash it.
I want to add a caveat right now because I think it’s important. We have to respect each others’ right to choose our own adventures (if you don’t immediately think of that book series, then you need to stop reading this and go find one of those books right now). If you want to attempt weight loss or have plastic surgery or WHATEVER, that’s your choice. I’m going to respect your right to make those choices. I am not the boss of you. Conversely, I’m allowed to talk about why I think dieting is problematic or why I think we need more thin allies to be actual allies or how intersectionality works.
So, there’s the intro to size acceptance. It’s extremely basic, but it starts the conversation, I think. So, what are your thoughts?