The blame game

As I said in my first post, I’ve just started tapping into FA (that’s Fat Acceptance, for those who haven’t come across it before. For more info on what it is, check out http://kateharding.net/but-dont-you-realize-fat-is-unhealthy

One recurring theme I’ve seen in many FA blogs is the realisation that we fatties are not to blame for the dearth of good quality, fashionable plus-size clothes. It was a revelation to me. Like most fat women (and those who think they’re fat) I tend to go into a real blame cycle if (as usually happens) a shopping trip turns up nothing I can/want to wear. “Oh great” I think “My fat body has done it again: I’m too fat for nice clothes!”

I’ve always thought thinking like that was normal. And apparently it is, if by normal you mean ‘a lot of women do it’. Since I was first thrown into the depths of ‘fathood’ by those around me (ie. encouraged to go on my first diet because I was ‘so fat’) I have felt my body was deformed, unnatural and unusual just because I didn’t fit clothes off the rack. Part of it was due to my early development of my own rack! The first time I read an FA blog protesting against it I couldn’t quite get my head around the concept that I wasn’t flawed. Surely if I wasn’t there would be heaps of clothes out there for me? But just the other day I was reading about it again and I thought – “Huh, why did I think like that for so long? It’s destructive and, well… a bit silly.”

Take my hands, for example. I’ve always had rather short stubby fingers. It took a couple of decades before I found a pair of gloves that fitted my fingers instead of hanging off the end of them. But in all that time did I blame myself? Did I loathe my stubby fingers, curse myself for not sticking to a ‘finger growth programme’? Did I ever lose a minute’s sleep over my ill-formed digits?

Nope.

So why was (or, to be more accurate, am) I finding it so difficult to do that with my body? Sure, I am *very* fat (approximately 130 kilos/300 pounds odd, last time I was weighed) but aren’t we all supposed to be just about drowning under the flab of fatties like me? Am I – or rather, my boobs, stomach and hips –  not supposed to be a symbol of all that’s wrong with the Western world? If so then why are there so few clothing options for us? In New Zealand at least few shops stock plus-size clothes and even dedicated plus-size retailers usually stop at a size 24 (approximately a US size 20/22). Let’s not even talk about prices or the large amount of (overseas based) internet shops who don’t ship internationally… it’s enough to make you cry, but it should be making us mad.

Here’s the thing; our bodies are not to blame for the lack of clothing choices available to us. We are not defective, or odd, or unnatural. We are an untapped market, and man – someone could be making a fortune here, if they tried.

Instead they instigate The Blame Game.

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