When we were in high school there were the rockers, the preppies, the nerds, the jocks, the goths, the druggies, the loners and probably a few more I am missing. Depending on what era you went to school in they may be called slightly different things but they are all cliques. We segregated ourselves into groups we felt most comfortable with and while on occasion we associated with other members of other groups we pretty much stuck to our own clique.
I could not wait to leave the high school environment and become an adult. I always thought it would be different on the outside – that as adults we would all get along – dreamer!
I have pretty much lived online for the last nine years and within the fat community I have met some of the most, not only fat accepting, but human being accepting people I have ever meant. Unfortunately, the cliques still exist and sometimes they can be even more ferocious than outside forces.
There are fat feminists, fat acceptors, fat goths, fat nerds, fat fashionistas, fat activists, fat wannabes, fat lovers, skinny haters and many more.
For the most part we all get along in the Internet melting pot but let me tell you, it can quickly become an environment of unrest if someone should step out of the preconceived line because they are not pro fat enough, or have too much of a weight loss dynamic to their lifestyle, or if they step on someone else’s fat dynamic.
I find it incredibly sad that a network of people who have been put down, joked about, and insulted on a daily basis, sometimes since childhood, can suddenly put on a “mean girl” hat and textually attack a person, in their own circle (or adjoining circle), they have never met. I realize that we are at a point where we are just “not going to take it” anymore but do we really need to lose our kindness along the way? Does defending our points of view have to translate to being mean, overly sarcastic, or bitchy?
It is wonderful to have strong feelings/views on a topic but it is another to attack someone because their views do not meet your expectations of what they should be within the fat positive community (it kind of kicks the “positive” out the back door).
It is ok to educate and correct and provide construction criticism but it not ok to forget there is a person on the other end of the email, tweet, message who has a whole separate view on life and experience different from our own.
I guess all I am saying is, in this day and age, it would not kill us to try a little kindness instead choosing to bite first – especially within our own community. We all ultimately have the same goal – to live happier, healthier, productive lives.