Amanda Levitt, fat activist and blogger of Fat Body Politics, sat down for an interview on CNN’s New Day yesterday (12/30) with news anchor Michaela Pereira. The topic? Defending against fat prejudice.
Amanda, currently a Wayne State University grad student, started blogging 8 years ago at the age of 20, when she found fat positive spaces and communities online and as she states on her blog, “after finding peace with her own body and wanting to speak up for those who feel silenced in their own”.
Since then, she has not been afraid to speak out on topics such as fat embodiment, body politics, health, sexuality and identity politics. During her CNN interview, she spoke about the stigma placed on fat people and the repercussions of that:
“Specifically, fat people are more likely to live in poverty, we’re more likely to deal with stigma in every facet of our lives from, especially because it’s incredibly gendered and targets women specifically, fat women are less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted. Fat people in general are more likely to deal with stigma when we go to the doctor’s office. S0 we’re more likely to be not only be misdiagnosed, not be treated at all, which makes us less likely to go to the doctor.”
Amanda also talks about the negative connotation on the word fat and how she feels we should be using the word in a descriptive form and not in a negative manner:
“We don’t freak out when people use the word ‘thin’. Why do we freak out when people want to use the word ‘fat’? We’re moving negative connotations from it. Because really that is unpacking the fat stigma on fat discrimination and feelings that we have towards fat people, instead of just using the term fat to describe bodies in a neutral and often times, a very very positive way.”
She also talks about her critics and their stance that she is defending an unhealthy lifestyle as well as talking about the hateful comments she encounters on her blog.
It takes immense bravery to stand your ground and speak up for what you believe in, particularly when it’s such a sensitive topic like fat discrimination, fat shaming and the word ‘fat’, in general. We applaud Amanda Levitt for speaking up and being heard.
What do you think about Amanda’s comments about fat prejudice, the word ‘fat’ and the argument that by defending the rights of fat people, she is defending an unhealthy lifestyle? Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.