There was an incredible post about tea and consent that went viral, written by an amazing blogger that I have never met but I fell in love with her words. It is one of my very favourite articles. It came to mind, because the last time I wrote about rape culture, I received a rape threat. For this reason, I was not surprised when I wrote about body positivity and was called out for being fat. Apparently, I’m a fat apologist, which is silly. When I look at the word ‘apologist’ I think it couldn’t possibly be right, because I’M NOT SORRY. Not sorry. Props to Amy Schumer for her thoughts on the subject. She’s not sorry either.
I got to thinking about body positivity and birthday cake. What if we treated birthday cake the way we do body positivity? We kind of already do, but let’s take it one step further.
Why? People who are body positive but do not meet conventional beauty standards are subversive. They are like people eating birthday cake when it’s not even their birthday. People expect you to eat birthday cake on your birthday. People don’t expect you to be body positive when you don’t fit their definition of beauty. It’s highly subversive.
Body positivity is approached with a sense of relativity around entitlement. Apparently some people deserve it more than others.
Example: You see someone eating birthday cake. You don’t think it’s even their birthday. It doesn’t look like they have anything to celebrate. You do know it’s your friend Bill’s birthday. He deserves to celebrate. He worked hard all year. You get angry. “Why are you eating birthday cake on Bill’s birthday? You don’t deserve cake. Bill deserves cake!”
Body positivity is like that. Just like me eating birthday cake on Bill’s birthday doesn’t make it any less his birthday, me celebrating my body doesn’t detract from the celebration of anyone else’s body. There’s enough birthday cake for all of us. The kitchen won’t run out, I promise. Just because you don’t think I have anything to celebrate doesn’t mean I shouldn’t celebrate. It’s my party, man, whatever.
When you are conventionally attractive, like birthday cake on your birthday, celebrating it is free of charge. They literally give it away. There are dozens of restaurants in my area happy to comp your dessert. If it’s not your birthday, you have to pay for it. When you’re body positive but not conventionally attractive, you pay for celebrating your body. Some jerk on Reddit tells you that you are fat. When I think of the joy that comes from loving my body, that’s still a hell of a bargain. I love saving money. I just saved 15% on my body positivity by not giving a shit what some jerk on Reddit thinks about my body.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.
It’s not even just that you have to pay for birthday cake when it’s not your birthday, but PEOPLE TRY TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU! Who does that? If someone walked up to you in a restaurant, looks at the birthday cake you are eating that YOU PAID FOR and they try to interfere with your enjoyment of it, would you not be horrified?
That’s what people do with unsolicited comments about someone else‘s body. Seriously, body shamers, back off, get your own birthday cake. I PAID for this. You telling me that you think I’m fat isn’t going to make my birthday cake evaporate. You just look like a jerk trying to wreck someone else‘s dessert.
The key word in all this is "someone else." As in: Not. Belonging. To. You.
As a fellow patron in Life’s restaurant, you are not impacted by what someone else orders. Someone eating birthday cake when it’s not their birthday doesn’t impact your life. EYES ON YOUR OWN PLATE.
I will order what I like. What I serve or eat isn’t your business, because I didn’t invite you. I love tea and consent. I love birthday cake and body positivity. I love me. And you know what? It’s my party. So #EffYourBeautyStandards, “friend.”