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Not a single person who has ever fat-shamed me has even bothered to asked me if I want to be thin. I don't.

I hate the gym. It's a traumatic space for me. Being a fat person in public is hard, and being a fat person in a gym is even harder. It can shatter your confidence in a split second, with one chuckle, one smirk, one look of disgust, one eye roll from another patron. Gym culture is toxic, and like many other institutions centered on physical appearance and desirability, it's built on a foundation of fatphobia and antagonism, whether the gym rats on Instagram want to admit it or not. For a long time, I hated exercise, too. When I was growing up, I wanted to wrestle. I wanted to play football. I wanted to take up boxing. I wanted to lift weights. I wanted to climb the trees in our front yard. Instead, I was limited to gymnastics, cheerleading, and basketball, activities that were acceptable for a girl to be engaged in. I still defied my mom and climbed trees sometimes, and I was always reprimanded for it. I quit cheerleading after one season because I hated it, and did the same with basketball because I had no passion for it (even though it did sometimes help me feel the masculine energy that I had always longed for as a girl, but had not the language to take about it). For financial reasons, gymnastics was no longer accessible to me, and while I did enjoy it, it was incredibly gendered and classes for girls never focused on strength and conditioning like the classes for boys. I played in the marching band in high school (which burns way more calories than you “cool kids” think it does, by the way), but apparently that wasn't enough. Countless fat kids and teenagers, and people who just weren't thin enough for their family's liking, are unfortunately familiar with forced exercise and degradation from the people around them growing up. My mom forced me to exercise in the way that she wanted me to, punctuating her disgust for my lack of a trim body with comments like “You can't honestly say that you're satisfied with yourself” and “Don't come crying to me when the boys don't want to date you.” One year, I actually did lose some weight, unintentionally. It was the year I played basketball. My jeans would no longer stay up on my hips without a belt and my mom praised me in a way that she never had before, and hasn't since. It made me self-conscious. It made me anxious. It made me feel like shit. It made me hate her, and myself.
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There are still people who believe that people who are truly mentally ill don’t talk publicly about it and this movie helps cement this damaging idea in their minds.

[TW: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR INGRID GOES WEST & DISCUSSES SUICIDE] By Sarah Khan When I saw the advert for Ingrid Goes West and saw that it starred two of my personal favourite actresses working today—Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen—I was damned excited to watch it. I did so last weekend and though I went in with a decent idea of what to expect from the film, the irresponsible and problematic ending ruined the entire experience for me. Ingrid Goes West is the story of Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza), a 20-something woman who, since the death of her mother, has been developing unhealthy and one-sided obsessions with Instagram personalities. The movie opens with Ingrid spraying mace into the face of a bride, who happened to be someone Ingrid had been obsessively following on Instagram. The next few scenes show Ingrid in a mental health facility getting the help it’s obvious she needs and when she’s released (and regains possession of her iPhone), she returns home and falls back into her addiction to Instagram. In a magazine, she reads about Taylor Sloane (Olsen), an LA-based artist who documents her enviable life through Instagram. Ingrid begins to follow her and after one interaction with Taylor via Instagram comments, Ingrid takes the substantial amount of money she inherited after her mother’s death and moves west to Los Angeles. Once there, she spots Taylor at a local store and follows her home, then kidnaps her dog in order to meet Taylor and her husband, Ezra. Having successfully inserted herself into Taylor’s life with lies and manipulation, Ingrid’s new life is threatened by the arrival of Taylor’s brother, Nicky (Billy Magnussen), who eventually exposes Ingrid leading to her being shunned by her so-called friends on whom she spies through the house next door, which she used the last of her money to purchase.
Related: 5 UNLIKELY FILMS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND HEALING

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