My friend Kelli Dunham, a stand-up comic and nurse, posted a video she made about planning for unplanned health care and I think it is one of the most brilliant things I’ve seen about how complicated it is to have a non-normative body while trying to navigate the health care system. I absolutely had to share it with my readership.
One of the biggest motivating forces behind my work as a body liberation activist is getting people to love their bodies enough to take care of them and to dismantle the system that pathologizes fat people just for their fat. My beloved step mother died at age 48 after being prescribed fen-phen–she was being treated for her fat not her actual symptoms. What a fucking hassle to have a body that is immediately targeted and treated incorrectly because people buy the myth that fat is automatically unhealthy. This happens far too often.
I really hope you’ll pull up a cupcake and cozy in for 13 minutes. Heather’s piece is very accessible, chronicles the history of the Fat Bottom Revue (the fat burlesque troupe she founded) and also speaks to the need to use the body in order to work against fat oppression.
“We will never have our freedom if we only live from the neck up, yet that is the way that many fat people live, even, or especially, the fat activists and academics among us… The oppression of anti-fat hatred is sited on the body, and it is in the body that these wounds can be healed.” —Heather MacAllister