Is she appropriating it, though? Really?
If she lived a fat experience and experienced that oppression and is, as her friend says, using the word fat in an empowering way to describe herself…I really don’t understand how she doesn’t have the right to identify as fat or support/contribute to these spaces. She isn’t dominating or imposing her thinner-fatness, or talking about weight loss, or not checking her privilege. She’s just playing a small part on a blog that is really quite inclusive and diverse in content to begin with.
I can certainly understand your frustrations, but I wonder if they may be misguided. It is of course very hurtful when people appropriate fat labels as insults, or ways of feeling negative about oneself. I very much agree with you on that. But I do not agree that she is appropriating fat labels, based on the above evidence by miss furiousdee, so I do not understand your anger. But perhaps I am missing something.
To address those who feel discomfort about their own bodies because a thinner-fat refers to her thighs as “chunky” - those feelings are real for you, there’s no denying. I don’t feel the same, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist for others, and I understand how it can. But her body is hers, her journey is hers…How does it apply to yours? Why should it? I don’t understand.
The reactions that people have to this has far more to do with the feelings that their own experiences and existence as a fat person are erased by someone with a great deal of thin privilege entering a fat positive space. That doesn’t mean her experiences are not valid but when someone who doesn’t face the majority fat discrimination it is a way different experience than someone who does. I’m a size 20/22 UK which is a 14/16/18 US. My experience is distinctly different than people who are larger than me and while I might be an ally to larger fats I cannot expect to be accepted by them or act as though my experiences are just like theirs. I’m not saying she is doing this but I do think that entering a space for marginalized people when you do have privilege is something that needs to be treaded lightly because people do have valid reasons to feel that their space isn’t theirs anymore.
I would also disagree with furiousdee that anyone is judging the submission for her body or in some way their reaction is due to their own insecurities but pointing out the valid reality that her experiences even at her former weight are totally different than larger fats. This has far more to do with not acknowledging that there is a huge difference between body sizes and lived experience. Even when someone has completely good intentions and is happy that they have a better connection with their body it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t also acknowledge that they space they take up is very different than other fat people.
This means as a smaller fat an inbetweenie whatever arbitrary name we care to label ourselves as need to be able to acknowledge the privileged space we take up and accept that without acknowledging that privilege we are erasing the experience of people who face far different challenges as a fat person in society. The same goes for numerous other intersecting forms of oppression like race, gender, ability, sexuality etc.
Thank you for making this more clear than I am capable of. And you’re right - a lot of this discussion has been fueled by emotion more than anything else.
“…entering a space for marginalized people when you do have privilege is something that needs to be treaded lightly”
This is the bit I think I was most confused about. I thought she was treading lightly enough and therefore couldn’t comprehend negative reactions, but obviously feelings being what they are, it is hard to pin them down enough to understand.
I am sufficiently exhaustified.