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Agent Provocateur —

December 11, 2012

Trigger warning: Discussion of eating disorders and weight loss.

Note: You’ll notice we have a new rating above. The DW stands for Dickweed, and it indicates that the subject of the post is generally being a douchebag. So, if you don’t want to read about someone saying or doing terrible things to fat people, you may want to skip it.

Last week, the internet briefly exploded (as it is oft want to do) when a Kickstarter launched with the title, “I’m learning to apologise for my Metabolism :: Photo Book.” Its creator, Britton Delizia, is attempting to raise $20,000 to fund a “Collection of images of women standing up against a society that protects fat culture while bastardizing thin and athletic women.”

The response from fatties was predictable: “‘A society that protects fat culture’? What in the ever-loving fuck are you talking about?”

But, okay, let’s run with Britton’s premise: our society protects fatties and treats them like a modern day Venus of Willendorf, worthy of adoration and respect. Let’s just imagine for a moment that television viewers aren’t about to embark on the 14th season of celebrating shit like this:

Jillian v Fatty

Let’s just say that thin, athletic women aren’t the standard template for lead characters in virtually every television show, movie and pop group produced for at least the past 40 years. Let’s just agree that Britton is an oppressed minority, subjected to harassment from strangers because it has been “encouraged and beat into our children’s heads from birth to judge, bash, and condemn anyone who is of a more statuesque build than you, or fits more ideally inside of the model of the golden ratio.”

In this Bizarro World, where thin people are demonized by society because they’re too perfect, Britton has arisen to lead  her sylphic sisters in a search for self-worth and self-acceptance. Let’s call her movement, Thin Acceptance.

Fair enough.

That Thin Acceptance comes into existence in response to cultural oppression puts Britton’s next comment into context:

Its undeniable that when we stand a skinny, athletic or even average sized female next to a larger (even if less healthy, overweight or obese) female, that unless we live outside of this stigma, we as Americans will assume that the heavier person is funnier, smarter, nicer, and less sexually promiscuous, all because she is not as thin or physically fit than the girl next to her.

This thing she just wrote? Yeah, that’s the underlying principle of Body Acceptance, a correlate of Fat Acceptance.  Even if you disagree with the premise that fatties have the edge on positive stereotypes and skinnies are opppressed, that doesn’t change the fact that an assumption based on physical appearance is always wrong. Body Acceptance seeks to teach everyone who has a body (i.e., all of us) that our worth, our value, our personal traits are not determined by the body we inhabit.

I’m not nice because I’m fat, I’m nice because I was raised by nice people. I’m not sexually promiscuous because I’m thin, I’m sexually promiscuous because I love sex. The body is merely vessel through which we express those pre-existing traits.

Now, body size and shape can influence a person’s feelings of self-worth and even the traits they exhibit. A fatty can be less sexually promiscuous after a lifetime of being treated like an unattractive, unfuckable blob monster. But a similar sized fatty raised under those exact same circumstances can revolt against those assumptions by becoming an insatiable fuck-monster.

There is no one factor which determines how much you like to fuck. Your body size or shape may affect how others respond to your interest in fucking, but you may also have a foundation of self-confidence that supersedes a person’s initial physical disinterest. Because, let’s face it, there are plenty of fatties out there gettin’ some action right now and who have no trouble doing so on a regular basis. Same with skinnies and in-betweenies.

And there are members of all three groups who also find the whole dating and mating thing interminably frustrating. They either want to have sex and can’t get any, or they aren’t interested in sex at all. I truly believe that body shape has less to do with which group you belong to than other factors that that are determined through nature and nurture. For example, I always had trouble dating because I was annoying and weird. That was my cross to bear.

But Body Acceptance is about detaching the person you are, or the person you want to be, from the body you have inherited. You cannot look at a person and know what he or she is like. I mean, you can try, but you’d be wrong most likely.

So, in that sense, I agree with what Britton is saying. In fact, Fierce Fatties once hosted a guest post on this subject by Lux from “Fuck Yeah, Skinny Chicks.” If people see Britton standing next to a fatty and ascribe negative stereotypes to her because she’s thin and and muscular, then they are shallow dickweeds and should be treated accordingly.

But this is where my agreement with Britton ends, because on the same page where she makes her appeal for Body Acceptance, she writes this…

The premise of the book is not to bash or assault any single body type, quite the opposite. I want to share the stories of women who have dealt with this discriminatory action.

… she also includes this photo:

Sorry

That completely destroys any and all credibility she had in terms of Body Acceptance.

Essentially, Britton has said, “Stop making assumptions about me!” then pointed at the nearest fatty to said, “Stop being such a pig!”

But one thing I noticed about this photo is the wall of motivational posters. It’s like the Jame Gumb’s workout room. “It puts the lotion on its skin!”

So, I got to wondering who exactly this confused woman is.

And there, on Kickstarter, is a link to her Facebook page, where we learn that Britt is both a traditional motorcycle ass model…

Bitton

… as well as an internet fetish model (NSFW).

Britt

There’s nothing wrong with either of these professions. It’s your life, what the hell do I care.

But the reason I mention her two occupations is that in both cases, she is no doubt deriving some financial benefit from staying thin. If she were to gain weight, she would not be getting paid to show her butt to bikers and she might also risk losing paying customers from her fetish site. Much like female entertainers, staying thin is part of the job. In fact, it was British pop star Claire Richards who said that staying thin “is like a full-time job.”

The fact that Britton Delizia works very hard to maintain her body does not bother me in the least. It’s her body. Why would anyone care what it looks like or what she does with it? I could care less.

It seems, however, that the opposite is not so true.

Britton’s Kickstarter, including the plea for civility toward thin and athletic women, launched December 3rd. Meanwhile, the day before, Britt posted this on Facebook:

This and This

Wow… dissin’ fatties and the developmentally disabled in a single post? Double whammy!

And the day before that?

Cheeseburger

It also seems that Britt may have Photoshopped this fat joke herself:

Fat Celebs

HAHAHA! It’s funny because it’s fat people.

Reading the exchange that takes place under that photo, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the project that inspired Britton to start her Kickstarter:

Britton Revolt

Ya know, Britt, there’s a huge difference between having an eating disorder and being the heavier versions of the pop stars above. Calista Flockhart described the situation herself in 2006:

“I started under-eating, over-exercising, pushing myself too hard and brutalising my immune system. I guess I just didn’t find the time to eat. I am much more healthy these days.”

Oh, and then there was the time she collapsed on the set from dehydration and exhaustion. But I think it’s telling that Britt’s best example comes from the late ’90s. Yes, when a celebrity gets Calista Flockhart thin, people start whispering “anorexia,” because eating disorders are rampant among female celebrities. It doesn’t justify a stranger telling a thin woman to “eat a sandwich,” but it does put Britt’s persecution complex into context.

Staying pop-star thin is not a prerequisite for health. For Britney Spears, that meant eating 1,200 calories per day and “obsessed with working out,” in her own words. Eating healthy and exercising can improve your health, but the amount of exercise necessary for health is not nearly as much as the three pop stars have admitted to engaging in to stay thin. And eating a healthy diet without caloric restriction is still healthy

If you want to be healthy, then the goal should not be thinness, it should be to improve your metabolic indicators: blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids. Get those to healthy levels and stop worrying about making your body look a certain way.

But Britton, like most people who whine about how thin people are treated worse than fat people, doesn’t care about health. In all honesty, it seems like she uses her “oppression” to justify her fat jokes. As in, “See, since the world hates skinny people, it’s perfectly acceptable to post fat jokes. After all, it’s the jealous fatties who are the ones oppressing the poor skinny people.”

Even worse, Britt sees a double standard:

[T]he insurgence of women who feel they have been put into box where they are allowed to be attacked but are not allowed to defend themselves, where they can be mocked and assaulted for having an ideal size, or for working on their body , but where the inverse is a protected category of people who if you were to repeat to them the inverse (Girl you look like you need a sandwich VS You should skip a meal) you could be fired , assaulted, or arrested for a hate crime.

Um… Britt? You can’t be arrested for telling someone to skip a meal. It happens all the fucking time, and the jails aren’t full of those assholes.

As far as being assaulted goes… you mean to tell me that you have told someone to skip a meal and they assaulted, verbally or physically, you and you were surprised by this? And by all means, if someone tells you to eat a sandwich, feel free to respond. Nobody’s stopping you.

And, finally, fired? Yeah, if you tag your customers as “fat girls” on their receipt, you should be fired. The same should happen if he wrote “skinny chicks” too. But when’s the last time you heard about a waiter insulting a thin person at a restaurant? Doesn’t happen. Instead, you hear stories of the server who was not only not tipped, but the asshole customer wrote “You could stand to loose (sic) a few pounds.” Hell, this Bed, Bath and Beyond employee even took a non sequitur swipe at fatties on the way out.

It seems like the only people who like to insult people on receipts are fat haters and racists.

So, no, I don’t think Britt or her svelte sisters are oppressed. Maybe people make comments about you being “too thin,” but being thin does not lead to discrimination on the job or by doctors or by strangers. Being subject to assumptions and stereotypes does not make you oppressed either, especially when research shows actual, real-world benefits from being a thin woman:

Women who weighed 25 pounds less than the norm earned an average of $15,572 more per year, and those who weighed more were penalized as their weight increased—a woman 25 pounds above the norm earned an average $13,847 less.

That’s a $29,000 difference in annual pay between the oppressed thin and the oppressed fat. Thin oppression must be nice.

In the end, I think Britt launched her Kickstarter as an attempt to satirize fat people by turning the oppression table around. But her premise is flimsy at best, as there are a whole list of privileges that come with having thin, socially acceptable body.

But it doesn’t matter what kind of body you have, nobody has the right to tell you what your body should or should be be, let alone how you should treat your own body. We’re all grown-ups here. We can take care of ourselves.

So, if you want to respond to Britt’s passive aggressive whinging, my recommendation is to find a Kickstarter that is actually legitimate and support them. For instance, Rebecca Jane Weinstein, author of the book “Fat Sex,” is now raising money for her second book, “Fat Kids.” She needs $5,000 by January 29th, so help out if you can.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    December 11, 2012 10:44 am

    I just want to say that I love the fact that this post has a tag that reads “passive-aggressive douchebaggery.” :-)

  2. vesta44 permalink
    December 11, 2012 12:04 pm

    The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so I’ll be surprised if she makes enough money to get her “book” published. If she does somehow manage to get it published, I’m betting it doesn’t sell like hotcakes (yeah, yeah, I know, I’m just full of witticisms today).
    She can do whatever she wants with her body, but when she starts bashing other women for their bodies, then she’s crossed the line into bigotry and hatred, and that’s not attractive on anyone of any size. So while she may have physical looks, she’s basically an ugly person because of the way she treats anyone who doesn’t meet her “standards”. Yeah, I think I’ll take a pass on her book, if it ever ends up being more than a flash in the pan.

  3. bronwenofhindscroft permalink
    December 11, 2012 12:18 pm

    I have to wonder if her complaint about “skinny girls are thought to be promiscuous” actually stems from her jobs rather than from her being skinny.

    Like you said, there’s nothing wrong with being a butt model or a fetish model. If you have the personality and the body people want to look at, go for it and more power to you. To say people call you promiscuous because you are thin, when you have those two things on your CV … well, to me that would take an awful lot of self-deceit. I mean, if she really believes that.

  4. December 11, 2012 12:33 pm

    Fuck this bitch. And I say that not because she’s thin, but because she’s a brain-dead double-standard whining shithead. What a poisonous person.

  5. Alison permalink
    December 11, 2012 2:43 pm

    My husband came up with the name “The Skinny Bitches Defender Brigade” or SBDB to describe this phenomena. She should hang out with the poor, oppressed white men of the Men’s Right’s groups! (Sarcasm off)

  6. December 11, 2012 3:53 pm

    She’s… living in another world? Could I please have some of the stuff she’s on?

    Her butt is… a butt, though. Maybe she should insure it so it’s more valuable? Might help her deal with her passive-aggressive DB inferiority complex/Napoleon complex issues.

  7. December 12, 2012 1:44 am

    Wait… She’s a TICKLE fetish model. Ugh. As part of the tickle fetish community AND the fat acceptance community, I’m doubly bothered by this post. There is some serious body shaming in tickle fetishism (I have been told my feet are too fat). But there are also issues with sexism, ablism, racial representation, cishet-sexism, and plain sexual harassment. I’m hoping she just took a job and doesn’t actually share my fetish… Just… no.

  8. Sean of In My Place permalink
    December 12, 2012 10:14 am

    Poor oppressed author who is only trying to balance the scales (tongue firmly in cheek there), who is in no way whatsoever providing a cause celebre for her noble brethren to go and put the fatties in their place, noooo…

    Still, I’m feeling magnanimous. If she’s feeling that fat people have so much an easier time of it in our society, then may she be treated in EXACTLY the same manner as her “oppressors” are treated.

  9. December 12, 2012 7:56 pm

    As seen on her FB profile:

    “Write a book about Fat Pride?
    YOU’RE A HERO!!!!
    Write a book about Black Pride?
    YOU”RE A REVOLUTIONARY!!!

    Write a book about how thin, average or athletic women suffer from size discrimination too?
    Youre a racist bigot who should kill yourself.”

    Yeah, because racism is THE EXACT SAME THING as being “oppressed” for being fit.

    I’m done with this bitch. I’m so done.

  10. violetyoshi permalink
    December 19, 2012 2:22 pm

    Thin people have proven that they can pretend they’re the victims of their privilege over fat people, and that they have an amazing ability to claim they’re victimized by being the standard of beauty.

    I had to leave Tumblr after being doxed by a thin girl who thought I was a bully for pointing out to thin women who kept posting in fat acceptance spaces on Tumblr, they are not victims. Doxing is slang for documenting, meaning to gather info on a person’s activity on the net, usually to blackmail or expose them. For the record Tumblr seems to care more about not being held accountable for denying someone their freedom of speech, than combatting cyberbullying. I suggest staying away from them.

    From the nonsense like the “If you can love your curves, why can’t I love my bones?” meme which has the sentiment of a manipulative child trying to appear upset by making puppy eyes and pouting. Yes all the fashion designers love your bones, but that’s not enough is it, being able to shop for clothing wherever you want. No you’re still victims, right? Yes, I have a huge chip on my shoulder about lack of clothing available for fat women.

    The disgusting thing about all of this is people will listen to thin people crying victim. Many people on Tumblr compared this to the notion of white tears when it comes to racism, by creating the thin tears meme. It’s the idea that of course people will believe the privileged when they’re crying victim.

    Meanwhile, it’s oh boo-hoo people call you a slut, whule they tell me I’m too disgusting to *bleep*. Boo-hoo the store didn’t have a shirt you liked in extra small, they never would have made that shirt in a plus size. Back and forth, and it’s rather pointless to engage in it, but it’s what has happened. The privileged just can’t handle they might be losing the benefits of having that privilege. So they lash out, crying “I’m a victim too!”, being as obnoxious as a small child crying “But it’s not fair!”

    We need to try and ignore them. Like small children most thin people seem to thrive on constant attention. If we ignore them making their pouty faces, tantrum throwing, and crying for sympathy in having everything given to them just for being thin, they’ll stop. There’s nothing else we can do, telling them they’re wrong just fuels their belief they’re a victim. Explaining all they have results in the tantrum of the spoilt child given everything and wanting more. We need to just put these victim playing thin people in the time-out corner.

    Why do I use language suggesting thin “victims” are childish? They are extremely immature, and virtually impossible to get through to. Telling them starvation eating disorders are just as unhealthy if not more so than they claim being fat to be, they cry “But it’s a mental disorder!” They will preach about how fat people will die sooner, and then ignore that Anorexia results in death. They refuse to acknowledge they are begging for the right to starve themselves near to death, but fat people are always making themselves sick.

    Their hypocrisy knows no bounds, and while I appreciate the serious of mental disorders, there are thin women who claim having a mental illness absolves them from responsibility for bullying fat people. If thin people wanted to prove that they can be highly manipulative, victim blaming, and victim playing they have accomplished this in spades. I don’t see what’s to gain in proving that the stereotypes of thin mean girls are true. Perhaps if they stepped back and saw just how damaging their behavior is to themselves, they’d stop.

    I really don’t want to seem like I hate thin people, but they are hardly victims. It’s disturbing how desperate they are to see that no one is allowed to say bad things about them. All fat people want is basic respect and the same availability in things like clothing that thin people have. Thin people want to prohibit everyone from suggesting they might be imperfect.

  11. The Real Cie permalink
    December 20, 2012 6:30 am

    The only thing I have to say is that this woman seems like she has some serious issues. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who was diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I am saying straight up, this woman has serious issues. I’d rather have my issues than hers any day. At least I try not to be a hateful bitch.

    • violetyoshi permalink
      December 20, 2012 7:38 pm

      Everyone has issues when it comes to living in a fat biased society, and facing the reality of thin privilege on a daily basis. More people should be airing their “issues” that is how change happens. Well behaved women rarely make history.

      I said I did not hate thin people, clearly you must be in the wrong place if frank discussion of the reality of fat oppression upsets you so. Do you know what it’s like to face day in day out the message that your body is wrong? If your mere existence offended people’s delicate sensibilities you might end up being a “hateful bitch” too.

      I’d rather have my issues, than be someone who drops by just to snark how they’re a better person for not having as many issues as them. It’s not a competition, you can help or hinder. You’ve chosen to do the latter. I hope I never become the type of person who drops by to make a completely unnecessary comment, with the intent of pulling themselves up by bringing others down.

      What I stated in my comments is my experience from the lines of the war on fat. Upset that fat people have their voices being heard, then this isn’t the place for you.

  12. December 30, 2012 4:03 pm

    Somehow I missed this! My piece in xoJane Fri was indirectly about her. “Max McCain Hopes I Die Of A Hear Attack” http://www.xojane.com/issues/max-mccain-hopes-i-die-of-a-heart-attack#disqus_thread. Dear Max found me through her somehow. He donated to her campaign, commented on how pleased he was that her project would enrage size acceptances activists, then wrote me that friendly little death wish email. I then proceeded to say his name about 5000 times in a national publication. Poor Max McCain.

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