Navigating the world as a fat person is complicated. It’s not easy to find clothes, not all spaces are fat-friendly, and some people can be real assholes. In this TEDx Talk from TedxYork University, Jill Andrew shares her experience of being fat-shamed (and subjected to racist and sexist insults) on the subway as a young woman. This experience is extremely common for fat people of all sizes.
After sharing her story, Andrew begins to break down exactly why the word “fat” brought her such shame that day on the train. I’m not typically a big fan of TED Talks. They’re mostly boring and a lot of times extremely self-indulgent, but Andrew’s analysis here is a real breath of fresh air from. Discussing everything from the stupidity of the name “plus-size clothing” and our culture’s “thin epidemic,” Andrew provides a sunny outlook for a happy life in a fat body. She also shares her tips for beating back diet culture and “fat talk” in everyday situations.
It’s important to remember that the issues of fat shaming and thin privilege don’t just impact fat people. Fat people are the ones who are most likely to experience abuse because of these aspects of our culture, but they also contribute to poor body image in women of all shapes and sizes. Arguments like this from Jill Andrew are essential in fighting back against the unreasonable standards that govern our bodies.
Check out the video below, and start to feel just a little bit better about your own fabulous body, no matter what size it is.
Image: Ted Talk