The hard truth is, whatever our size and shape we still live in a world that actively hates us and tries to cloak that hate in fake concern for our health. It is exhausting to deal with.
Lesley Kinzel decried these unspoken fashion dictates because “while the boundaries of what is culturally acceptable and ‘normal’ are being slightly broadened, we’re usually trading one restrictive standard for another, and no culturally acceptable standard can accommodate the natural diversity of human bodies and experience. As much as we want to believe we are expanding the universe, we may only be adopting a new set of limitations.”
This stuff about fat bodies — the truth of lived experience — isn’t easy to speak about publicly because it’s not the joyful, uplifting message of acceptance. What Gay’s talking about is the harder, more candid reality of what it means to take up space in a body that doesn’t grace the cover of a Torrid catalog. At the end of the interview with Ira Glass, she says, “And even when you’re Lane Bryant fat, it’s a struggle. But at least you have that. I don’t even have that. And so it’s like, let me feel the way I want to feel. Just let me be me.”