So I made this because I have a great distaste for “keep calm” posters and I can’t be the only person who comes across things like this and thinks “well yes but, but…OTHER bodies!!! OTHER genders!!!”
So I made it more inclusive.
Showing love for only certain types of bodies is expected. Let’s try something new.
I propose we redirect our brainwaves to reinforcing the appreciation of all bodies.
So there has been a lot of discussion surrounding this response to white fat activism from People of Color in the fat justice movement. I have only been a spectator in the midst of the uproar until now. Even before these discussions I have been quietly watching and learning, recognizing my privilege and understanding how I can make Redefining Body Image as inclusive as possible.
Marianne Kirby’s blog post on the topic has been monumentally helpful in explaining what I can do as a fat, white ally to people of color (as well as a cis-gendered, straight ally to trans/genderqueer individuals.)
Creating a project or atmosphere of any kind that is welcoming to people of color involves more than an invitation to participate. That’s the tiniest step you can take in getting people of color involved. What you actually have to do – and if you don’t know how, that’s again why google is so very useful – is make your project or atmosphere actually welcoming. You have to create a space that invites diverse people to participate without fear of ridicule or hatred. That is hard damned work. And I don’t think anyone is perfect at it.
The really great thing though is that no one is really expecting perfection. A genuine effort and a willingness to listen when we screw up is half the battle that we as fat white people trying to create diverse spaces have to fight. Screwing up is not the end of the world! It’s uncomfortable – we’re embarrassed and our feelings get hurt and we kind of flail around a little wishing no one had scolded us – but discomfort isn’t going to kill us. In fact, discomfort is a really great teacher, if we pay attention to it.
The Rotund - Dear White Fat People
So I’d just like to take this opportunity to say, as founder and primary contributor to RBI, that I will try my best to make this space as inclusive to all races, genders, classes, and walks of life as possible. You have my support, my love, my admiration. And if I’m not doing something right, please let me know how and why so that I might check my privilege and learn how I can be more inclusive.
More from Marianne’s post:
There is a difference between saying a person of color is welcome to participate (and solve the diversity problem their own damn selves) and saying that it’s something that will be addressed. One is a deflection of responsibility – the other is an acknowledgement that it hasn’t happened yet but we want it to, we’re trying to make it happen.
I recognize that despite my best efforts, perhaps not all people will feel welcome or included in this space, and I open myself up to any and all criticism regarding this issue.
From this point forward I will be more active than ever before in seeking out those whose voices and backgrounds are different from my own. I will be dedicating my own time to improving the inclusivity of this blog, but do feel free to help guide me along the way. If you know of any body positive blogs dedicated to PoC/trans/genderqueer individuals, or possible contributors to RBI who might help diversify the content featured here, my submission page is ready and waiting!