G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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There are two sides to the debate about fat women and fat acceptance. On the one hand, some criticize fat people for aesthetics, lack of health, etc. On the other, fat-advocates laud plus-sized women who flaunt their wares.
I bring this up (again) after Jezebel wrote a post about “Fatkini Blogger” Gabi Gregg who appeared on the Today Show after she posted pictures of herself in a bikini which predictably caused some backlash. (pic links through Jezebel)
But here’s the thing. The fat girls celebrated by the fat advocates always have big tits. Fat advocates couldn’t even keep a straight face if they tried to celebrate a heavy-set girl with small tits and a large, distended belly. This tells us that feminists and fat advocates don’t even fully buy into their own rhetoric. What they are basically doing is trying to expand the spectrum of “acceptable” body type. They are fighting for position on that scale. By doing this they acknowledge that others don’t belong on the scale. I’ll leave the jokes about tipping the scale to the commenters.
So when Cigstache starts appearing on the Today Show or when the Jezebelers start writing letters of accolade about SSBBW, then we can consider them consistent in their activism. But they won’t because even they acknowledge that there is a point at which they acknowledge that not all body types are equally beautiful.
Gregg acknowledges that she benefits from having a relatively proportional body (which is compensated for by her large bosom) – which she calls body privilege:
Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of getting to my point: Hopefully this gallery, which features lots of body diversity, proves that it’s not only “toned” fat girls who can feel confident hitting the beach in a two piece.
So this gets down to the question of what fosters confidence. Bigger gals can create a facade of confidence by flooding the market with Fatkini photos. But that won’t ever change the internal response by others at, say, the beach who won’t be able to just switch off their mind from acknowledging that the overstuffed woman walking by in a bikini is not all that attractive. These women can feel “confident” – however they want to define that word – but they still won’t be able to shape individuals’ internally-driven attraction mechanisms. That’s something that feminism can’t change.
As for the guys who I assume are being criticized for some of the negative responses to these pictures of fat girls – I addressed this earlier this week. I know why men respond as they do to unattractive fat girls though I can’t always agree with the response. They feel that their visual space has been invaded and they are compelled to speak about it. Such guys feel that some sort of political statement is being made and they respond with contempt/disgust. Or they feel that these women are entering a realm which opens the door for criticism and they meet the challenge. I prefer to avoid commentary on this unless someone really, really wants to try to convince me of something that is clearly not true.