If there was ever a day that ignorance and hatred was welcomed into my life with open arms... today would be that day.
My "Don't like it? Don't look." image ended up in the revolting throes of fat-phobic Tumblr sites with comments ranging from claiming rights to think that I'm gross, to threats to run a "fat heifer" over with their car. Charming, really. Six months ago, this would have indubitably hurt my feelings; would have brought up years of internalized shame. But today... today I was inexplicably grateful for their asinine commentary.
You see, I may live in a culture that makes fatness a social sin... but I also live within a subculture that loves people no matter what they look like. And I've become accustomed to civil courtesy, spoiled fatty that I am. In fact, I sat in a meeting yesterday with three gorgeous women, all of us talking about burlesque contributions for the Body Love Conference that I am currently organizing. Having never approached self love in a conversation with these three before, I was amazed when we were all passionately on the exact same body acceptance page. This is what I mean by spoiled. They knew the truth, and I knew the truth, and people immediately around me know the truth... so why was I facilitating this conference again?
Too often we become lost in the personal world that we create. And as we progress, we assume the world progresses with us. But honey, it most certainly doesn't. For someone to minimize my entire worth into that of road kill, simply because of a body shape they see online is a clear reminder for anyone that we have centuries of body acceptance work ahead of us. I personally consider it a double reminder. Psychology has proven that a person who has self esteem doesn't engage in cyber bullying; they just don't. This means that these bloggers not only feel that it's socially appropriate to voice hate, but also feel an element of body hate themselves. It creates an ugly circle of verbal degradation where they project their own self animosity onto others which then causes their "victim" to feel personal failure and project that onto someone else until... You get the idea. Fortunately, today that not only stops here, but starts a ripple of the opposite action.
Another's comments cannot offend me unless I make a conscious decision to let them. Which, obviously I don't, so that ends that right there. What I take away instead, is motivation and inspiration to create a body positive world more evolved than I ever dreamed. So yes, I'll be working double time on this conference, and making sure that it's available to anyone who wants to participate.
So thank you trolls. That was just the inspiration that I needed!