I’ve had so many moments where I’m engaging in media, when *BAM* there’s a fat joke or diss. It feels like the cartoon equivalent of getting hit in the head with a frying pan. It reminds me *pang* that I am the invisible consumer of this media who is being shamed *pang*, that I’m not the imagined thin consumer *pang*, that I don’t belong here *pang*, that I’m the joke rather than the reader.
I’m done listening.
Working in higher education, I’ve heard a lot of conversations about students wanting trigger warnings, not being open to engage with controversial topics or strong stances, etc., and I wonder about my own refusal to go any further with media like this. What does ignoring this media do for me or others? I tried to “talk back”, but that didn’t seem to do much at all. Again, at what point do we decide to disengage with people we like because they make it apparent that they can’t stand our bodies? Does that mean being really selective of what we read from certain people or cutting off consumption of their media all together? I have to admit that my gut instinct is to unfollow, unsubscribe, etc., and to not allow one more penny or minute to go toward them, but is that realistic? I only experience this with topics of fatness, and so I can only imagine how this issue is compounded for those who have multiple marginalized identities. Well, I can do more than imagine it–I can listen to people’s experiences with it.
Words become us – our thoughts, our beliefs, our actions, our views of the world. To consume these words feels wrong because they feel like violations against myself. My only option seems to be more selective of whose words I let become me and to be more considerate of what I create and put out in the world too.
vadess40: I am considered obese, I have Asperger’s syndrome and borderline personality disorder, I consider myself part of the LGBTQIAA, and I am person of colour. One of those alone is grounds for me to be ostracised. The whole package? It’s amazing I connect with anyone at all, never mind listen to anything in the media. What I can say in response to this article is I too refuse to entertain these “jokes” anymore. Humour that’s clearly designed to hurt isn’t humour at all.
Thanks for the excellent blog article, Rebecca!