Yesterday I caught up with a good friend to tour some of the buildings that were opened to the public for the inaugural Brisbane Open House. Since we would be doing quite a bit of walking, I built my outfit from the shoes (purple Converse hi-tops) up.
Flicking through my tops, I pulled out my “I’M FAT LET’S PARTY” t-shirt.
I looked at it thoughtfully. Bright, fire engine red, with huge white block letters emblazoned across my chest. Since I bought it about six months ago, I’ve only been brave enough to wear it down to the shops, and to the movies under a buttoned cardigan. I’ve been afraid that people might heckle me, might yell nasty things at me, or just give me that look, that “What is she thinking?” look. I’m still on my fat acceptance journey, and wearing something that might invite such comments seemed to me to be tempting fate a little bit.
That was six months ago, though. I’ve come a long way since then!
Wearing a t-shirt like this when you’re thin (and it is available in sizes from an S) is no doubt amusing for the wearer – “Haha, oh I’m SOOO FUNNY, this is IRONY YOU GUYS”. Wearing it when you’re actually fat, I think, becomes almost a little activism. T-shirt activism.
So I put it on, with a flippy grey skirt and my purple Converse, and an open grey cardigan. It felt really good. Yes, I’m fat, what are you gonna do about it? I felt almost like I was subversively calling people out as they slowed to read what that fat girl was wearing written across her chest.
I met my friend, who grinned at me, and told me that she loved my shirt. The barista who took our coffee order squinted at my chest, and asked what it said; she smiled broadly and told me “That’s awesome!”. When I went to pick up the maxi dress I’d left at the alteration shop to be hemmed, the woman serving me said my shirt was great too.
I’m sure there were plenty of people who read my shirt and thought to themselves that I was revelling in my gluttony, or giggled to their friends about the shameless fat girl, or gave me the side-eye. But that doesn’t matter to me. Because I’m sure that there were people who smiled, or thought to themselves that their fat friends were wonderful no matter their size, or that maybe not all fat people were lazy, stinky and stupid. I count that as a win for fat acceptance.
Would you wear something proclaiming your size acceptance beliefs in public? Tell me what you think!