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Your Concern Is Giving Me a Headache

December 12, 2013

Rebel Nation

Coming in 2014.

Weight LossFat HealthExerciseFat NewsDickweedDiet TalkEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeWeight Loss Surgery

Trigger warning: Maria Kang is still an asshole.

The last month or so I’ve been completely immersed in writing the sequel to my novel Viral Nation. It’s called Rebel Nation, and it was the hardest, scariest story I’ve ever told. I dug deeper for this one than I ever have before. I had the added pressures of having already sold it, a publisher that’s expecting it on deadline, and people I don’t know waiting for it.

A few days ago I looked up from my self-imposed sequester, and saw that my Facebook feed was full of stories and comments about a woman named Maria Kang who was banned from Facebook for a few hours for posting comments about fat people that Facebook recognized as hate speech.

I have a couple of things to say about this.

First — Way to almost be supportive Facebook. Apparently they retracted their ban within a day with a “Whoops, our bad.”

Second — Kang is so wrong on so many levels. Bronwen and Gingeroid have already written about this, so I don’t want to repeat what’s been said. I’m just so offended at the idea that anyone thinks they get to decide when it’s okay for me to love my body.

This is what I look like. This is who I am. I’m not going to hide to make you comfortable. I’m not going to stop loving myself because you’re afraid that might lead to some wild epidemic of fatty self-love — and then where will it stop? WHERE WILL IT STOP?

Will fat people start thinking they have the right to walk around without being  made fun of?

Will the fatties start to demand respect from the world at large?

Will they stop spending boatloads of money on ineffective weight loss products, diet books, and dangerous surgeries?

Maria Kang, listen. We all come in different shapes and sizes. There isn’t a product or a surgery or a level of willpower out there that will make me not be a 42-year-old, 5’9″ woman with a large build. Nothing will make me tiny. Posting a picture of yourself — ten years younger than me with a completely different body type, and asking me what my excuse is — that’s just silly. You say you’re concerned about my health. You’re concerned that being exposed to a normalization of my body type will lead to — well, God knows what kind of world destruction.

Know what might have helped my health, since you claim that’s what you’re so concerned about?

Not spending 20-plus years buying into the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. Not hating myself. Not ruining my metabolism with diet after diet after diet. Not developing disordered eating patterns. Not being afraid to be active and athletic once I stopped looking like an athlete.

“We need to change this strange mentality we are breeding in the U.S. and start celebrating people who are a result of hard work, dedication and discipline.” Really Maria Kang? Do you really think you can know anything about my work ethic, my dedication, my discipline, simply by looking at a photograph of me? How about my health, while we’re at it?

Women who look like you are the center of the universe, Maria Kang. Does Body Acceptance really threaten you that much? Do you think that in our society there is even a single woman who looks like you who will read a blog like this and say “Eh, fuck it” and stopped doing their crunches and eating their paleo meals, or whatever it is that hard work, dedication, and discipline looks like to you?

I’m going to love myself and continue to do everything I can to take care of myself — emotionally, as well as physically.

If that bothers you, Maria Kang, or anyone else, that’s not my problem.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Calantheliadon permalink
    December 12, 2013 1:46 pm

    Great post! And I’m one of the people waiting in great anticipation for “Rebel Nation”!

  2. Theresa permalink
    December 12, 2013 5:21 pm

    Great post! And I loved “Viral Nation” so much. I can’t wait for “Rebel Nation!” Will pre-order on Amazon once again. 🙂

  3. Kala permalink
    December 12, 2013 5:49 pm

    I saw a clip her speaking on CNN, and she doesn’t come across as even remotely intelligent. Whether that’s ignorance or true stupidity, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t even think it dawns on Kang that other people, who are not ditzy fitness bloggers with wealthy husbands, have other types of careers and pursuits.

    But we have to give credit that Kang knows what she’s doing, and it’s using the fact that she’s conventionally hot and then proceeding to shit stir to get attention and build her personal brand. She waits for the media uproar to come to defend the hot woman oppressed and drowning in a sea of fat people. She has nothing original to say, she’s not as muscular as other attractive female fitness models/bloggers, there are others out there even more conventionally attractive than she is, she’s by far not the only one with the mother angle, and she’s not particularly intelligent, so she desperately needs this hype to fluff up her business. She can’t rest on skills, talent, physique, or even her looks, because there are hundreds of girls and women out there doing what she does already, and a lot of them doing it more successfully.

    I eat well and I get quite a bit of exercise, but those things are always going to wind up playing second fiddle when the crunch is on with my work, which is stressful and not physical. And I feel good about that, I have my ducks in a row and I have no problem with where they lie.

  4. December 14, 2013 6:47 am

    I’m just disappointed that we still haven’t found a fungicide that’s effective against Maria Kang.
    I think you look like a very cool person, and I’d rather hang with you than some boring individual obsessed with counting every calorie who only talks about their workout any day!

  5. December 25, 2013 3:09 pm

    Hang me for being the shallowest of the shallow, but that outfit is adorable, Shaunta. I think I’ll put on a short skirt to go out tonight, too. (No fancy tights, though. Have to make do with the plain navy ones.)

    Merry merry, Everyone. 8)

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