Tuesday, 6 March 2018

This Is Me In A Fatphobic World

Actual SizeAt the Oscars, Keala Settle performed the song This Is Me from The Greatest Showman. I hadn’t heard the song before and it hit me right in the feels.

Size-based oppression is structural, institutional oppression. Sadly, we are often told that the only option is to change ourselves – whatever the cost, whatever the risk, whatever the harm.

We are told that we should spend our time, energy, and money trying to force our bodies into someone else’s ideal with diets, dangerous drugs, even surgeries. I recently spoke with someone who was at a seminar on weight loss surgery where one of the “benefits” mentioned was more right swipes on Tinder. Our bullies aren’t even expected to engage in basic human decency, while we are expected to risk our lives so that they find us more pleasing to look at.

Size-based oppression is not in our heads and it’s not something that we can just overcome with body love, confidence, and a can-do attitude. We need social and structural changes to put an end to size-based oppression.

In the meantime, fatphobia isn’t our fault, but it becomes our problem. We each have to make our own decisions about how we interact with a world that shames, stigmatizes, bullies, and oppresses us. To me, Fat Acceptance is the first necessary step. In order to fight for our humanity, we must claim and own our humanity for ourselves.

It happens when we say I am a fat person, not a thin person covered in fat, and I am worthy, right now, in this body. I will wield my beautiful fat body like a weapon – I will love it, I will care for it, I will give it my full-throated support, and I will viciously defend my body against anyone who seeks to classify it as anything but amazing. I will not apologize, I will not back down. This is me.

 

That was the workshop version, for the Oscars version you can go here.

Lyrics:
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)
I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me

and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
Oh
This is me

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