Before and after photos are one of those things that frustrate the hell out of me when it comes to fatness and weight loss. Seeing so many people congratulated on no longer having a “before body” is part of this frustration since we are taught to be in awe of those people who have an “after body.” Before images are always framed as being worse than the after image, in relation to weight loss it is the after image that always triumphs the before.
I don’t have a before body or even an after body; it’s a forever body. My body isn’t a failure and having an “after” image doesn’t make the before any less worthy / beautiful or as good of a body.
You all can guess at the things I did between the before and after.
* There are numerous forms of before and after photos that don’t frame the before in a negative way but I have yet to see one with weight loss.
I’m sorry. I think that this is bullshit.
I worked my ass off to get my “after” body. I’m still chunky, and I’m okay with that. But don’t shame me for being proud of the work I put into losing weight. THIS IS THE SAME THING AS BODY SHAMING. Shaming me because I decided that I wanted to lose weight? If you are happy with the weight you’re at, then I am just as happy for you. But I lost weight the healthy way (for the most part) with exercise and healthy eating (..for the most part). Being proud of myself and losing weight does NOT make me a bad person.
So I will continue to be proud of my weight loss, and I will be proud of my “after” body.
My body. My rules. Stop policing.
Critiquing the way fat bodies are framed through before and after photos is not shaming people for the individual choices they make. This is especially true when you factor in that participating in diet culture is supported, condoned and praised by almost every social institution if you are a fat person. You would be hard pressed to find one that didn’t to be honest. Deconstructing the behaviors we participate in by how some bodies are framed as having more worth than others is how we subvert the things that oppress us.
I would also note that I said that all bodies regardless of their size have the same worth. Turning this into a conversation that reinforces the ideals of the system I am critiquing isn’t surprising since with any form of critique to that system those participating are taught to take it as a personal attack against their own choices, I can guarantee you that is not the case. If we are truthfully interested in working against oppression we need to remove ourselves from the systems of oppression we participate in and stop thinking critiques of that system are a personal attack of individual choices.
What a lot of these responses boil down to is people don’t want to be made aware of the systems of oppression they participate in. They want people who are oppressed to stay silent and not speak out against them.
^Everything Amanda said. Also:
I’m seeing a lot of people append “-shaming” to activities and characteristics that are highly valued by mainstream culture whenever they see any critique of the social dynamic that conveys the privileges they guard and treasure. And it’s total bullshit.
Critiquing thin privilege is not thin-shaming. The vast majority of those who claim it is prize their thin privilege and will fight to retain it, even at the cost of a system that oppresses, hurts, and kills fat people.
Critiquing sexist beauty standards and objectification is not shaming people who participate in them. The vast majority of those who claim it is prize the rewards conveyed by beauty privilege and don’t want to have to think more deeply about how the beauty culture that grants them privileges might disprivilege others.
Critiquing diet culture is not shaming dieters. The only people who claim it is are people who want to believe their ‘hard work’ in achieving some level of thin privilege has some kind of real moral value, akin to learning a new skill, producing a work of art, completing a work of charity, earning a degree, etc.
This whole “$PRIVILEGE_X-shaming!” movement is little more than a manifestation of privilege denial.
And can I just note it’s hilarious and typical of the diet-culture mindset that a dieter made Amanda’s awesome post — about how her fat ‘before’ body is her ‘after’ body — about them, with this dieter wringing their hands over how subverting the power of the before and after photo will divest them of their dieter privilege?
News to dieters: You’ve been lied to. You never had a ‘before’ body, and you don’t have an ‘after’ body. Sorry you’re pissed that some of us aren’t going to buy into the mythology of ‘after’ bodies being magically better than all the fatty ‘befores.’
And I’m not going to shed a single fucking tear over the fact that you can’t see how demanding we preserve your before/after weight loss mythology is inherently oppressive.