by Asam Ahmad
Asam Ahmad is a writer and a co-founder of the It Gets Fatter Project, a body positivity collective by and for fat people of color. He Lives in Toronto.
1/23/2015 04:09:04 am
I'm amazed to learn that there is any such thing as a celebritized fat activist. Or that anyone is handing fat activists a mic. The only fat activists I have ever heard of or from are, like you, independently producing their own voice.
1/23/2015 04:12:44 am
p.s., I only saw this because the awesome Marilyn Wann showcased your post in her blog/FB feed. She's happy to spread the focus. Keep up the good work reminding folks that ALL voices need to be heard!
1/23/2015 04:41:41 am
The media contact people in fat community to do interviews. I've done all sorts of media interviews over the years, from CNN to The Tonight Show. The focus on white fat activists in the media is a real and ugly bias. I haven't done enough to combat it and am happy to see how I can change that dynamic now. Also, college campuses and other institutions offer speaking gigs about weight diversity. I've done several hundred such talks and sometimes get paid. I'm interested in referring those gigs to people who haven't been heard. Then there are presentations at conferences, in activist events. All of the places where fat activists are heard from. Fat activists of color and people with other intersecting identities bring so much to those settings. I've started to see change. We can do so much more!
1/23/2015 02:04:48 pm
“When a reporter/blog/ngo/charity/community organization approaches you to talk/present/lecture about fatness, does it ever cross your mind to think about why you are being contacted and not say, a hundred other people who may as well be just as qualified as you (if not more) to speak on fatness?”
1/23/2015 05:08:54 pm
"Anyone else that might have knowledge is a competitor competing for the fame scale"
1/24/2015 02:14:04 am
I think you've missed the author's point entirely, Jack. Nothing is entirely opportunity in a system built with privilege.
1/23/2015 09:54:36 pm
Jack, you're celebrating the problem, you're doing the opposite of improving things.
4/10/2016 06:44:08 pm
I have kind of noticed this in passing, and I could be totally wrong about this. It seems like some cultures - like black and Latino - are a little more accepting of fatness in their women than white culture. In this case, it seems white privilege becomes a two-edged sword - we're held up as the "superior" model, but if we're fat, we're seen as having brought disgrace on the "master race", or some such nonsense. That being said, I totally agree that all viewpoints should be represented. People of color have unique perspectives that should be shared and not pushed to the side and not just minimized or ignored.
4/10/2016 06:50:13 pm
I think we should be careful about stereotypes that non-white cultures don't include anti-fat attitudes. Cultures are not monoliths; people don't all think alike and imagining they do is dehumanizing. Also, there can be an aspect of exoticizing (and dehumanizing) in the idea that people of color don't feel the impact of anti-fat prejudice as much as white people do. Thanks for your support about diversity.
2/2/2017 06:48:21 pm
Thank you for the article, Asam. I'm honestly not too familiar with fat activism, despite having been fat for the majority of my life. I can see how it must be frustrating to see white activists get substantially more press. I'll read more about the "celebrity culture" aspect of fat activism. Thanks again.
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