A guest blog article by Nikki Patin (artist, mother, world citizen)
I’m so over conversations about bigger people “needing” to lose weight and everyone expressing their “concern.” Folks aren’t concerned when people drink, drug, and pill their way into oblivion. People look the other way when they watch people get thrown into walls or hovered over and screamed on or hit in public. People invent every excuse to not speak to or support survivors of sexual violence.
Yet, we’re all so “worried” about bigger people.
No, we’re not worried about people’s health. Not really.
We’re worried about people’s size and appearance: that they’re too big, that they “don’t dress for their shape,” that we can see too much of their flesh, that they jiggle or wiggle.
My body=my business.
Whatever I need to do to take care of it, whatever I need to learn to do that, is my business. This life is a process and so many people who stay in business not their own (i.e., the bodies of other people) usually have some deep issues they’re avoiding.
Fat people aren’t children.
We’re not stupid or sad or lazy.
This is just one area of my life that I haven’t figured out yet. My relationship with that is mine and mine alone. It is not a group conversation because my body is not a democracy. The only person who gets a vote is me.
I have lots of ways that so many of you could improve that I keep to myself because how you choose to live just isn’t my business. I wish more of you would put as much effort into reading, organizing, and being creative as you put into working out. I wish more of you would work out your heart muscle and be more empathetic, listen more and judge less. I wish more of you wouldn’t drink or smoke so much, wouldn’t pop prescription or OTC medication for every little ailment.
My wishes mean nothing in the context of folks’ lives and what they’re struggling with. It’s so easy to look at the outside and draw all kinds of snarky conclusions. As much as you may wish that I and other fat people lose weight, so I wish that you lose your superficial, spiritually bankrupt narcissism.
We can’t always get what we want.