In the next few days, I’m going to debut Fat Girl on a Date to two real-life friends. I’ve been avoiding this for some time, not sure whether or when or how I would ever let my peeps know about the blog, but I trust these friends – and I want to be closer with them, want to share this part of my life with them. (Hi guys! Don’t hate me ’cause I’m cheesy.)
A few weeks ago, these friends and I were flipping through a terrible book and got to talking about some fat acceptance-like stuff. I mentioned some of the blogs I’ve been reading, and they asked for links. I said I’d send them, but then I realized if I sent them to my favorite blogs they would probably find their way over here… and I haven’t really been ready for that.
You wouldn’t really guess it, since I write about my personal life here, but I tend to keep things pretty close to the chest. I can talk endlessly about politics or books, but anything to do with my desires? Off limits. I don’t even like sales clerks to know why I’m in a store – it’s stupid, and I feel like an idiot saying it, but somehow I’m just embarrassed about what I want, whether it’s a brand of beans or societal change or vague hopes for the future.
(There are probably some interesting feminist and fat acceptance observations to be made here – women are expected to supress desire, sexual and otherwise; fat is seen as a manifestation of appetite , etc. – but I’m not up to exploring those today.)
Fat acceptance in general, and Fat Girl on a Date in particular, is all about my desires. My desire to be loved. My desire to love myself. My desire to be healthy. My desire to live simply and thoughtfully. My desire to focus my energies on the things that matter, and to limit the attention I pay to things that should not. My desire for food. My desire to push beyond the limits I’ve created for myself. My desire for community.
These are deeply personal things. Sharing them with the friends I’ve made online has been a big first step for me. Slowly, achingly beginning to share them with the people I know and love best is another big step. I am not afraid that my friends will reject what I’m doing here, or laugh at it, or think less of me. I am afraid of the act of exposing what I want, regardless of the response that I will get.
So, as I gird my loins and invite my friends on here, I wonder: How many of you are “out” as fat accepters or fat acceptance activists? Do your friends know? Your family? The people at your work? Was it hard for you, or frightening? When you came to the movement, did you want to run out and tell people (I wanted to, but I was too afraid)?