Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fat-phobic Progressivism

Ban T-Shirts

When I see a shirt with the EZLN star on it, naturally I have to go check this store out, cuz I've always wanted one, and looking through all the shirts I more or less was liking what I was seeing.

Then I saw this:

Really? Yeah let's fat shame people, that's super progressive!

Maker of this shirt, please ask yourself: How does re-iterating a sexist, classist and racist beauty norm challenge the system the rest of these shirts are speaking against? I hate fast food as much as the next bleeding heart SLOW food liberal, not because they're "making people fat" but because they're loading their products up with ingredients that are fucking up our planet and fucking up our bodies. But un-health and "fat" don't necessarily go together!

Just like the "ironic racism" that seems to be so popular these days, the totally accepted and often cheered on fat-hate I so often find amongst hipster fauxgressives makes me just a tad nauseous. And clearly that's what's going on here, they're real careful to have that in fashion "alternative" type look (ohhhh tattoos!) and models of color, but, oh, all conventionally slim and pretty and able-bodied. HOW DARING.

At Feminist Review (where the EZLN shirt was reviewed and where this odyssey began) Mandy pointed out that the image is also incredibly ironic being as the model they chose is a woman of color, in a country where poor communities of color are known to have lower access to healthy food and higher rates of obesity and diabetes.

Was the shirt a rather fucked up dig at the food industry for putting their worst shit in the neighborhoods of low income people of color? A dig at people of color for their eating habits? Or a totally unconscious but really problematic aesthetic choice?

Whatever the thought process, we are left with an image loaded with messages, messages I don't particularly like.

Too bad too... Still like the EZLN shirt.