So I was browsing Hari Kondabolu’s tumblr account because he has amazing politics and I have a crush on him. I was heartened to find his reblog of a short Salon.com article by Haley Morris-Cafiero documenting her photography project, Wait Watchers, where she turns the lens back on people that stare or give her dirty looks due to her weight. I had seen Morris-Cafiero’s work before and I was excited to share it again on my Facebook feed. I’d shared it before, but I don’t know why this time it just felt important.
Hours later I noticed a Facebook friend of mine (not especially a friend persay) had shared my link without linking the full exhibition via Morris-Cafiero’s website and had proceeded to curate a conversation with her friends on her Facebook that consisted of breaking down Morris-Cafiero’s work and denying that the artist may experience oppression due to her size. The thing that made me angry the most was that all of these people commenting were thin. They were searching very hard to find other explanations for the subjects’ expressions around Morris-Cafiero.
This all made me angry and a bit sad, but then I remember that this person who shared the link was the same person who proceeded to tell me and another friend about how horrible it was to be around fat people in the Houston airport, and how funny they looked using the tram because they were too fat to comfortably walk the distance.
I admit I don’t understand this person very well. What I do understand though is that she does not see the people in the fat bodies. Fat people are an inconvenience to her. Fat people are subjects of jokes and derision.
What it reiterates for me is that fat people are not worthy of humanity, and because I am fat that includes me. I'm sick of being dehumanized and watching others be dehumanized because our bodies are seen as invalid.
(Please check out Haley Morris-Cafiero's awesome work here)