Our bodies are not public property

Here is a You Tube promotional for a new series on WE called I Want to Save Your Life.

I found this on Feministing, where they take apart the whole stalker-ish feel of the piece. 

Last night, while standing in line at the grocery store, Conall and I saw the cover of Life & Style.  You know, the one with Kim Karashian’s untouched picture and the headline stating “I have cellulite, so what!”

These two items really are alike, even though it may not seem like it at first glance.  What they both are saying, in their own way, is that our bodies are public property.

People may almost be excused for that idea with Kim Kardashian, after all, she is a model and we all know models (or anybody in the public eye really) give up all rights to privacy.  (I’m sorry, was my sarcasm showing?)  The new WE series though?  What makes anybody think they can film anybody without their knowledge, go through their cupboards, and make judgements based solely on what they eat?

Oh, right, I forget, this IS modern society we’re talking about.  Anybody can make judgements on other people based solely on what they perceive the others to eat.  If you doubt me, just read any responses to “fat news” on the internet.  It runs the gamut from “they deserve what they get” to “we are only thinking about their health” to “they are costing me money” to “they shouldn’t be allowed to live!”

Honestly, our bodies individually, whether female or male, are NOT public property.  If I want to eat baby flavored donuts every morning for breakfast, I can.  If my baby flavored donuts habit makes me fat (and I am not saying it does, but let’s just go with the “common knowledge” that it does) what business is it of anybody else?  If Kim Kardashian has a bit of cellulite, SO WHAT?  If Kirstie Alley gains weight again, after getting off Jenny Craig and eating real food again, SO WHAT?

I’m getting so sick of society thinking that it owns my body.  I get so sick of people telling me (whether in person or online) that they “care about me” and just want me to “stop lying to myself” and see how sick (read: fat) I really am.  I’m tired of society trying to force people (women most specifically, but men are getting it too) to be thinner and thinner and thinner.

My body is not public property.  And neither is anybody else’s body.  If society doesn’t like it, tough.  Nobody gets to say what I’m supposed to look like, or whether I’d be “beautiful” if I’d only lose weight. 

Honestly, if the only thing you are basing your criteria of my beauty or health or fitness or anything else is on something as superficial as my weight, I don’t want to know you anyways.

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12 Responses

  1. what i feel like doing sometimes is going up to a person who is making those ‘you must be (fill in the blank)’ statements and start picking apart THEIR appearance. and when they start screeching, politely remind them “you thought it was ok to do the exact same thing to me.”

    because you’re right. its NOT right. my body belongs to me, and to the ones i chose to share it with. they may say things about things i do *related to my health* because i do have food related heath problems (high blood pressure means less salt allowed, diabetes means being very careful about sugar intake) and those remarks are about loving me. but not to say things that will hurt me.

    i am allowed to remind my husband to use the exercise bike because he asked me to.

    but i dont belong to the public, i belong to *me*. its not right for me to tell someone else how to parent their children….why, then, is is ok for someone to judge me by my appearance and decide they can tell me what does and does not go into my mouth?

    again, a very good post. 🙂

  2. I wonder if the producers would actually AIR an episode where the woman in question told them to take a flying leap before she called the cops.

    I have noticed that What Not To Wear episodes always include the women who say yes…the ones who say no do not have shows made about them. This does respect the wishes of those who say no but also creates a false impression that EVERYONE says yes.

    • (Well, it wouldn’t be much of a episode if they said no! but they could mention “The first two candidates in this city said no, will the last one say yes?” type thing – don’t even have to SHOW those who said no, but acknowledge that it happens.)

      • Who would say no to being told they’re not at all ok the way they are?

        Honestly, I sometimes like watching that show because I like to look at pretty things, but sometimes I hate the fact that some people on there for the most part are ok, just a little plain. And that’s OK. The last show I watched the girl’s style really looked just fine, no ill-fitting pants, no bizarre holiday tops or anything, she was just really pretty plain. But so fucking what? A dude who dresses plainly is just fine but no no, a girl has to glitter like a holiday all the time, just, you know, without the holiday tops *eyeroll*

        The whole body as public property thing just really irks me and I feel like it’s the root of the fat issue anyway. Our society has so ingrained that beauty = good and ugly = bad when time and time again real life has proven that assholes abound no matter what you look like and that beauty and ugly are subjective anyway. Only now, in our “health” obsessed society beauty = health. Which of course is why logically we have the “health and beauty” aisle/section in most stores. Gah.

  3. Actually, What Not to Wear *has* shown a few cases in which people said no, though it was in some sort of retrospective a while back. I do wonder how often it happens…

  4. […] Read more: Our bodies are not public property « A Day in the (Fat) Life […]

  5. I think you picked the wrong horse talking about the new WE show, the reason this man is following these folks is because THEY requested help. He’s not picking random fat folks and stalking them. These people wanted to be on the show. They were asking for this “invasion” of their privacy.

    As for Kim K ( and others) I totally agree. While I’m so tired of see her booty all over the place, I agree the media is fat crazy. They’re worse than the crocodile hunter (RIP) when it comes to ANY and ALL fat. It’s just sickening. “Crikey she weighs more than 100 lbs pounds, just look at her! Let’s get a closer look shall we.”

    • Is it that they have requested “help” or their families? Because the commercial posted above, she’s not aware she’s being followed, and when she comes in to her house, he introduces himself to her.

      There is a difference if it’s the families who request the “help”.

  6. I think that as long as a person can be legally fired for obesity, the statement of the “ownership” of one’s appearance is an ethical assertion but not really a reflection of reality. There is a locus of control outside the individual, at least to a practical degree.

    • Which is why we have to fight to stop things like people being legally fired for obesity.

      To say that because people can be fired for obesity implies we don’t own our bodies leads to a slippery slope that can include defenses of “She was dressed provocatively, so she was asking to be raped.”

      Oh, wait, we already have defenses like that, don’t we?

  7. THIS!! Is what I’ve been trying to say for so long. You’ve hit the nail on the head! I’m tired of people stepping into my life and treating me like I’m damaged somehow. I’m tired of being judged without ever bothering to know me or ask me. I’m tired of having to keep fighting to get just the same respect, dignity and fairness as everyone else takes for granted.

    Great post.

  8. Urgh. That series looks really creepy and invasive. And it seems like he does it, at first, without the person knowing. So that means that someine amongst their family or friends has decided that the victim (oops, sorry, “person needing help”) is going to be stalked without their knowledge or consent. That’s creepy even if you accept (as I do NOT) the premise that fat people are “eating themselves to death”. Oh, and the whole “fat people only eat junk” bulldust. So dodgy.

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