A couple of months ago, I blogged about former Travel Channel host Adam Richman (of Man vs. Food fame) for tweeting some hateful comments about a fat woman while traveling on a plane. For those of you who haven’t read this blog, here’s the link: http://thenatural54.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/celebrity-former-fatties-separating-themselves-from-the-pack-aka-not-cool-adam/
The Richman story in and of itself is not the purpose of this blog. The reaction of some who purport to be part of size acceptance is.
From a forum where my blogs are often linked and posted (referring to the Richman blog):
So a D-list a-hole whose entire showbiz shtick is based on unremitting gluttony is hating on fat people? I see some very serious karmic payback in his future. At a minimum, he can only rent a thinner body for so long… (He’s too much of a foodie to stay “thin”.)
I don’t know Adam from the proverbial “Adam.”
Mr. Richman is, as far as I’m concerned, irrelevant. So is his former show.
I can understand your point but taking exception to references to weight can be a problem all it’s own.
I mean, that guy’s, like, not really even famous. -You basically helped to make him more-famous than he previously was.
Or going-after Michelle Obama.
Your counter measure is of some (very limited) help. But, don’t get it twisted. I mean, what % of people are going to sit-there carefully cutting and pasting a link?
So: Selective. Targeting. Careful, controlled, better-measured, more-disciplined…that’s the way the way to go.
Otherwise, then it’s really all about you, right? And that’s not what we want. Not really, right?
I highlighted those last two sentences for a reason. When I started writing my blogs on the old MySpace back in 2009, most of it was theraputic for me, as I was coming to the end of my marriage, and questioning my involvement in the very sexually charged BBW/FA events that I ran with a partner. I wondered what those events really had to do with size acceptance, and my blogs (which were mostly private) at the time helped me work through the many questions that I had.
Not so in the years that followed.
My blogs aren’t about me at all these days, they’re about size acceptance, which involves many different things for me, including:1. Being size positive in my writings.
2. Motivating others to get active in size acceptance
3. Pointing out my experiences in the social part of the fat community
4. Reflecting my own fat activism, how I post in other forums where fat hate & prejudice take place
5. Using my “Resources” page to link people to other activist blogs & forums & fat positive studies in the medical field.
So, the question is, why would people who purport to be part of fat/size acceptance would not be interested in my pointing out when fat prejudice & hate takes place, particularly with regard to celebrities that engage in it, like Adam Richman, or anti fat activist MeMe Roth?
I’ll be damned if I know why anyone would allow a transgression against someone to go unrecognized for what it is. It reminds me of the old NY news story from nearly 50 years ago about Kitty Genovese, a young woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York City, on March 13, 1964. The circumstances of her murder and the lack of reaction of numerous neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later, the common portrayal of neighbors being fully aware but completely unresponsive has since been criticized as inaccurate. Nonetheless, it prompted investigation into the social-psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect or “Genovese syndrome” and especially diffusion of responsibility. (courtesy Wikipedia).
It was inferred in another discussion thread that celebrities & companie/websites often do or say outrageous things to draw attention/traffic to them or their websites. Part of the criticism about pointing these people/websites out is that it draws traffic to those sites, potentially putting money in their pockets. Well, there’s a solution to that. A friend of mine (thanks again, Liz!) has linked me to a page that will allow you to click a link without adding any traffic to that site. I’ll be using this link going forward, whenever I want to link my readers to a page that is potentially harmful to size acceptance, or promotes fate prejudice and hate, but for now, here’s the link: http://www.donotlink.com/.
Years ago, I had an opportunity to attend a seminar that featured motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. During his speech, he mentioned that there were 3 types of people in the world: people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who have no idea what’s happening. I think this can be applied to size activism as well, with those who’ve criticized my blogs as counter productive to fat/size activism, because they call attention to the wrong people. Obviously I disagree. While I think their heart may be in the right place, I think some of them may be part of the “Genovese Syndrome”.
Doesn’t it make sense to point out and counter every example of fat hate/prejudice/judgment that takes place? Isn’t important to know who is who when it comes to people engaging in it? Do you want to be a bystander, or part of a movement that may help put an end to the many examples that are pointed out in my blogs? Honestly, I’d rather not have to write them, but I’ve been motivated by many of my friends (who also work diligently for SA0 to continue pointing these people/companies/websites/articles out.
Of course, you could keep your head in the sand about these things, and remain on the fringe of size acceptance, or even keep your head somewhere else.