I’m sad to say that this has actually been one of the easiest lists for me to compile into an article during my time writing with Wear Your Voice. Yes, you read that correctly; this article on Fat Phobic Facebook memes has been all-too-easy to assemble. If you have read any of my other work, I don’t think you’re wondering why this is the case. If you’ve never read a word I have written before, I’m still venturing to guess that you’re not at all baffled by this insider tip I’m sharing with you today. In fact, if you’re simply a humyn living in the world, navigating the interwebs in general, or specifically even just your own personal ego glorification center (aka Facebook page) – I am certain that you know all too well that today’s social media scene is laden with Fat Phobic land mines…waiting to explode their Fat Shaming, body negative hatred all over your self-loving happiness. Usually, I do my best to scroll through these hate spreaders as quickly as possible, but recently I realized that I now have an even greater space here at the magazine to shed light on the images and messages being shoved down your throats as you click away in your digital zen zones – sometimes so pervasively that you don’t even realize what’s happened until it has been pointed out! So, over the past month, I have been putting aside some of the most blood-boiling, detestable, lie-spreading memes that crossed my Body Positive path, in the hopes of exposing them as part of the pervasive symptoms resulting from the Disease of Fat Phobia. Unfortunately, this is but a microcosmic view of what exists out in cyberspace, but hopefully it will begin to help our readers lend a more critical eye to hatred veiled as cuteness, phobia veiled as concern, and lies veiled as the truth (and even more importantly, encourage them to wear their voices the next time such an injustice pops-up on their pages).
1. Baby-Fat Shaming
If I see one more meme validating the concept that one’s body should and could be “summer ready” I may accidentally throw my laptop across the room (cue: “no, awkward genius bar worker, I have no idea what happened to my hard drive!”) because we already know that #EveryBodyIsABikiniBody, but this ad trying to make shameful what I thought was the final celebrated fat frontier (yummy baby rolls!), makes me want to just throw a good old fashioned massive temper tantrum on all the womyn who are currently swallowing the Patriarchal BS and vomiting (aka re-posting) it back out in body negative visuals such as this!
2. #EndTheDrugWar but #KeepTheWarOnFat!
I found this meme amongst the therapy community I belong to, and was so disappointed to see how many likes and buzz it was getting! Beyond the fact that the link between “Obesity” (quoted because it is a falsely constructed concept as we now know it) and Diabetes is one of the most PERVASIVE SYMPTOMS of the actual disease of Fat Phobia in America. The assumption can absolutely not be made that a fat bodied person is in higher risk than a thinner bodied person (i.e. a fat active individual who eats whole foods vs. a sedentary skinny individual who eats predominately processed foods – which one would actually be at a higher risk for Diabetes (skinny), but which one do you find yourself wanting to say, oh so badly: the fat individual. BOTTOM LINE: IT IS NEVER OK TO USE THE AMPED UP LINK BETWEEN “OBESITY” AND DIABETES AS THE NEGATIVE COMPARISON HERE! It does, however, highlight how feared fat is in this country that this was chosen to stir individuals into understanding more fully the link between childhood trauma and addiction (newsflash: any fat child may end up being a fat adult who has experienced complex trauma over their lives due to society, and then being re-traumatized by seeing this very ad on their Facebook feed!) Next time, “uncut media” why not use a statistic such as the link between Tobacco use and Lung Cancer!? Oh yeah, because smoking is a billion dollar industry (as is the diet industry of course) – readers please start questioning who is making even these “uncut” ads and why!
3. Fat Shaming + Slut Shaming = Adorable Greeting Card!
Be careful little girl, the Misogynist Patriarchy is already upon you – ready to claim your body as theirs from childhood!
4. Fat Phobia From a Fake Doctor!
My first thought about this complete and utter Fat Phobic Propaganda? (besides that it further reinforces the dangerous mythical link between food and fat)… PHIL, YOU’RE NOT A DOCTOR. STOP SUGARCOATING IT, CAUSE YOU’RE GIVING ALL US FATTIES DIABETES!
FAT PHOBIA COMIN’ ATCHA LIKE… A lovely reminder that fat bodies aren’t actually safe within the gay community, no matter how intersectional. I personally have a theory that I’ve found some gay men to be even more degrading of my body than straight men, because it serves no sexual purpose for them, so they literally don’t need to hide any of their hatred in order to get laid. Still working out the kinks of this theory, but the amount of times I used to get perceived as a “Fag Hag” – don’t even get me started on the fucked-upness of that term – and had my breasts grabbed at in West Hollywood is pretty much immeasurable at this point. #RUDE
6. PETA Poison in Propaganda Fat Phobic Form!
Since this last gem comes straight from the Facebook page of yours truly, I will let you in on my exact reaction when coming across this Fat Phobic ad: “What the fuckkkkk is wrong with you #PETA – you “fight” for the ethical treatment of animals but not the ethical treatment of womyn?! I’m so over your patriarchal, pretentious, and righteous ways – oh ya and…the medication that saves my life is made from the protein of mice DNA. yes, MICE die in order for me to live. It’s taken me a long time, but I am more than ok with it, I am grateful for it, and I thank the lil mouse kingdom every time I have an infusion in this large body of mine that would hate getting body scanned regardless of my size, you body negative creeps!” Side note: I AM PROUD OF MY BODY SCAN JUST AS I AM NOW (not that I ever had the deeply ingrained fat shaming thought to even be embarrassed of this!) AND AS A GLUTEN-FREE MEAT EATER, thrive on a diet that is pretty much opposite of Vegan…because all bodies are different and we have evolved to such a privileged state that we can choose which diet works best for our bodies, as opposed to our Paleo ancestors! (*this also highlights food privilege to be able to choose a Vegan diet*)
BONUS: 2 Quick Tips to Dispel the Hatred:
*Take Back the Trolling!*
Just as the Body Positive movement is taking back the word Fat, Artist Kelli Jeanius decided that Eating the Patriarchy sounded like a delicious idea to promote, when a recent internet hater created this meme with less-than-feminist intentions! Kelli quickly slapped a hashtag on the trolling attempt, and personally it’s making me feel a little hungry!
*Find Body Positive Social Media Memes to Follow!*
As always, a Wear Your Voice favorite and friend, Virgie Tovar, offers serious slices of self-love pie (throwing humble right out with that bath water) on her many social media outlets, which I highly recommend as a hardcore antidote to mainstream media memes infiltrating your safe spaces!
As always, don’t forget to follow my adventures on my Instagram @somewhere_under_the_rainbow, and please join my campaign: #FuckFatPhobia – and hashtag all your photos and sentiments away!