July 25, 2006 at 10:35 am
Sometimes I feel weird being a fat person who supports fat rights and likes seeing fat people on TV, yet whose top goal of 2007 is to no longer be fat. Do fat acceptance and weight loss mix like carrots and kerosene? Or can you accept yourself and also be working to change yourself at the same time? At first it does sound like you’re trying to play both sides of a game of tug-of-war. If you really accept yourself, why are you trying to make yourself a different person?
There are several definitions for “acceptance” in the dictionary, but the one I like best is “to recognize as true.” For me, when I say I’ve accepted myself it means I’ve recognized who I am to the best of my ability, flaws and all. It doesn’t mean I’m necessarily satisfied with all the parts that make the house of me. The kitchen tile should really be replaced, the patio door may be squeaking and what *was* I thinking when I chose that wallpaper? But I’ve at least taken a look around the place and written an honest appraisal. It doesn’t mean I can’t hire a contractor.
Just because I’ve accepted who I am doesn’t mean I have to cryogenically freeze myself as that person for the rest of my life. It would be rather sad if I’m still the exact same person in 20 years as I am today. What would be the point of all that living? You’d hope I could learn something new in the next couple decades. Acceptance does not equal complacency. I don’t have to throw up my hands and say “Okay! This is it. This is as good as it gets.”
Similarly, you can support the rights of a group of people without actually wanting to be part of that group. For instance, I support gay rights, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy I’m not gay. Society gives gay people a lot of shit. Whether you think they deserve it or not, I’m personally glad I don’t have to deal with that. It’s just easier being heterosexual. I feel the same way about being fat. I support fat rights and think fat discrimination is wrong. Whether you think fat people deserve public scorn or not, if given the choice I’d rather not have to deal with any of it. Just let me be thin. I still think fat people and gay people and even fat gay people should be represented in our society and on TV, I just don’t want to be one of them. They won’t be writing any ballads in my honor, but it’s the truth.
Let’s just accept that, shall we?