June 12, 2008 in fat, feminism
Riots Not Diets, originally uploaded by gaelx.
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June 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm
I like it!
June 12, 2008 at 2:52 pm
Okay, small observation here. I do have to point out that the photo wouldn’t be as well received had that logo been scrawled on the belly of a morbidly obese woman. We seem to receive body-affirming messages much more warmly when a thin woman or not-so-fat woman presents them. If a fat woman does the same, she’s seen as trying to scapegoat her fatness.
June 12, 2008 at 5:47 pm
I agree with Rachel. It would have been more revolutionary if it was written on a fat girl’s body.
June 13, 2008 at 7:55 am
And it would be even more revolutionary if the office of the surgeon general presented “Riots Not Diets” the official US health policy on fat or if any mainstream women’s magazine adopted it as an editorial standard.
Rachel and cyn, I think your both right that fat acceptance messages tend to go over better when espoused by people who are less fat, just like feminist messages tend to go over better when they come from women who represent mainstream ideals of femininity (think Gloria Steinem vs. Andrea Dworkin). I thought as much when I was posting this, and I would happily post a fatter belly. This is just the image that I saw on Feministing. (Or maybe Feministe. I read them both in an RSS reader and sometimes confuse the two.)
But I think that as with the basic tenets of feminism, any sincere dissemination of a message so basic and powerful as “Riots Not Diets” (catchy shorthand for the proposition that one’s time would be better spent fighting injustice than getting caught up in the morass of beauty standard obsession designed to detract women from important issues), regardless the size of the belly-as-billboard, has the potential for some impact.
This particular photograph is part of a set called “Feminist Struggle/Lucha Feminista,” which depicts a number of similar messages conveyed in similar style. If fat is a feminist issue (which I obviously believe it is), then sincere messages that encourage ALL women to avoid the beauty standard trap are welcome, regardless of the size of the body on which they are displayed.
I keep using the word “sincere” to differentiate from the type of “love your body!!!” articles in women’s magazines (or television shows or anything in profit-based MSM) that are 1) about profits above anything else; and 2) tend to contain the subtext, “Love your body as long as it fits within this still very narrow standard of what we decide is beautiful.” I think in this case, given the context of the photo (feminism), the second criticism is inapplicable. Here, I think criticizing the message as being somehow diluted because it’s on the stomach of a thinner woman comes uncomfortably close to the old “not fat enough for fat acceptance” canard.
June 13, 2008 at 8:50 am
For some reason, I first saw it as “Rights not Diets”, which seems more practical even if not catchy.
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