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Cha-Cha-Cha-Chance —

February 19, 2013

Terrific Tuesday Horizontal

On Friday, this little blog that could celebrated it’s third birthday.

Three years.

Wow.

Some of you have been here from the beginning. Others just discovered Fierce, Freethinking Fatties last week. But whoever you are, thank you for being a part of our attempt to create a pocket of the internet just for people who wish to have frank, open, and challenging conversations on the many things that affect fat people, whether the good, the bad or the ugly.

Being fat presents a unique set of circumstances and challenges that trigger commiseration. But challenges also prepare us for those small, and not so small, victories that salvage our spirits after weeks, months or years of torment from others, as well as ourselves.

And yet,  being fat is just one piece of our individual puzzle. Depending on the person, it makes up a more or less prominent part of their puzzle, but for all there is an understanding that the size and shape of our bodies can have a direct affect on how we are perceived and treated.

The fact that society’s attitudes have grown increasingly hostile toward fat people has virtually guaranteed that sites like ours and Body, Love Wellness and Dances with Fat and so, so, so many others would rise in defense of the dignity of all people, regardless of size. And thanks to the 40+ year Fat Acceptance movement, from the Fat Underground through the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and and more, we have an incredible foundation and partnership with which to fight the escalation of the near-decade-long War on Fat.

Yet each year, it seems like there have been more and more signs that the fever may be breaking, like how Jillian Michaels came to the defense of Melissa McCarthy. In response to Rex Reed’s douchebaggery, Michaels told Entertainment Tonight:

It’s evil. It’s just plain cruelty and it’s unnecessary.That kind of prejudice is wrong in every possible way. I’m here to say when you do things like that, it’s spreading harm and it’s hurtful and it’s prejudice.

What Gif

Wait, are we sure this is the right Jillian “you’ve been wrong your whole life” Michaels?

You may also recall that last year Michaels also drew a line in the sand with Strong4Life to my chagrin.

Though you may first assume that Jillian’s good twin has escaped and begun promoting understanding and acceptance, I think the reality lies somewhere else; somewhere between the on-air humiliation she doles out for a fat paycheck and the soul and conscience she must reconcile in private, Jillian realizes on some rudimentary level that treating people like shit for being fat is always wrong.

If Jillian Michaels can realize that, even while cashing in on that same behavior, then society can too (and no, throwing an occasional token of compassion to fat folks is not enough to eradicate the damage Michaels does, which is why I continue to focus on her, as I did yesterday on Twitter when I asked her a series of serious and not-so-serious questions through Seventeen Magazine).

And that’s why we’re here. This blog stands to remind people of all the obvious reasons why fat bigotry and fat hatred is an obstacle to justice and equality for all. Because this subject is about more than just being fat. There are intersections of race and gender and and class that will require our attention long after society has accepted that some folks are bigger than others.

That’s why we’re interested in adding more diversity to our team of bloggers who can speak to those distinct, but parallel experiences. And hopefully, over time, our stories will become less about the hatred and discrimination that we face, and more about the triumphs of everyday living.

I’ve been so proud of the work we have done since February 15, 2010, and I’m eager to begin our fourth year as a bulwark against the status quo of body shaming. So long as the media and the government promote ideal bodies that substitute beauty for health, and so long as health is a proxy for morality, we will be here, shouting  down the noise.

Thank you to our bloggers for their hard work at investigating these issues from every conceivable angle. Thank you to our readers for coming back day after day after day, for adding your perspective to our stories, and for sharing our message with the world. And most of all, thank you to all of those who are fighting back every single day by simply being proud of who you are and loving the body you were blessed with. Within your heart and your head are where the real victories lie.

So, I turn this post over to you, our readers. Let our bloggers know what Fierce, Freethinking Fatties has meant to you. What would you like to see more of in the future? Less of? What have been your favorite, or not so favorite moments? Has our writing helped you on your path to self-acceptance? What can we do better to make this place your own?

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