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Hi friend,

Over in the Body Liberation Blanket Fort, we're trying out a new “body doubling” project and chatting about the future of Health at Every Size®. 
There's an exclusive article about ASDAH's latest webinar and their revisiting of the HAES principles available to Activist patrons and above.

Also, there are several opportunities for fat allyship this week:
The fundraiser I shared for trans activist Felix Fern last week wasn't visible to everyone, since Felix often has to lock down his Twitter feed due to harassment. Here's the direct link.
If you're able, trans Blanket Fort member Kestrel was suddenly laid off and could use a hand as well. His Venmo is @chelsey-hadduck, Zelle is and Paypal is
Non-binary queer person D.E. Anderson is starting a new job but could use a hand till they get paid.
The husband of the owner of Fat Fancy, Portland's legendary fat-positive consignment shop, is ill with a rare cancer. Consider donating or sharing their fundraiser.
And finally, a no-cost way to help:
The child of a lovely local friend of mine is struggling, and I'd love to inundate her with cards and letters of encouragement.
The deets:
She's an Autistic and trans teenager struggling with navigating both life and the medical system, a recent insurance-forced medication change really destabilized her and led to some really scary thoughts and impulses that resulted in a voluntary psych admission at Children's and now that she's back on the correct meds and more stable, she's going to be transitioning back home. 
While she's doing a lot better, it's still a scary prospect to leave the safety of the unit. Also isolation from the pandemic is hitting her real hard.
I'll be sending something as well, of course, but I'd love for her to hear from queer and autistic adults as well as anyone who'd like to send a kind word. 
Please send your cards and letters to Dragon at this address: 14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd Ste A3 #324, Renton, WA 90858 USA.
Now, on to this week's letter:
Often when I post about the way I as a very fat person am treated, I'll get responses along the lines of, well, you just have to be confident and stand up for yourself and people won't treat you like that.

Or, here's what I would do in that situation (insert behavior that's very aggressive, would have serious ramifications for the person doing it and isn't likely to be what the commenter would do in a real world situation).

There are a few threads I want to pull out and examine here.

One thread: This is an excellent example of the just world fallacy. It's much easier to believe that you wouldn't be treated like that because you would do or be something different.

Another is that often when fat people talk about how they're treated, they aren't believed. This is particularly true when average size and smaller fat people hear about the absolutely vicious treatment that largefat and superfat people receive.

I'm not treated like this, the reasoning goes, and so other fat people can't possibly be treated that way and must be exaggerating their experiences.

These reactions are ungenerous to your fellow fat folks, and they're simply not reflective of reality. Larger fat people really are treated worse, especially those who have other intersections of oppression like being a person of color or disabled. And when you dismiss and disbelieve our experiences, you're increasing the amount of weight stigma in the world.

A third thread is how quite often these reactions and descriptions of how you as a bystander would totally respond if it happened to you are pretty obviously fictional.
You probably wouldn't actually slap someone in public, or storm out of the office of someone who services you desperately need, or find and screen five doctors in the space of a month, or start sewing every single piece of clothing you own from scratch because you couldn't find a particular piece of clothing you like.

I don't know why we have this urge to to create fanfiction starring ourselves with other people's lives, but it's kind of crappy and if you catch yourself doing it you might want to examine why.

A fourth thread is simply that there is no ideal response to poor treatment, and making it the responsibility of fat people to respond in a specific optimal way to a situation in order to deserve your sympathy is, once again, really crappy.

And let's be clear that reactions also aren't preventive. When you live in a marginalized body, it is simply not possible to look and dress and behave in a way that prevents all discrimination and poor treatment.

Even if a particular fat person were to react in a perfect way to a given piece of bad treatment, the treatment is still happening in the first place. Again, and again, and again.

The bad actions are the problem, not the reactions, so let's not pull focus away from the perpetrators onto the recipients of those actions.
P.S. Share this week's letter or save to read later here. It's only possible to offer the Body Liberation Guide and all its labor for free because people like you support it. If you find value here, please contribute for as little as $1 per month. Every dollar helps.
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The Conversation


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"I don't think that loving yourself is a choice. I think that it's a decision that has to be made for survival; it was in my case. 
Loving myself was the result of answering two things: Do you want to live? 'Cause this is who you're gonna be for the rest of your life. Or are you gonna just have a life of emptiness, self-hatred and self loathing? 
And I chose to live, so I had to accept myself." » Lizzo

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