NOTE: This is a rebroadcast of a post I did in February. I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies and the rights we have to love them and care for them in any way we choose. I want to reiterate that health and happiness can be defined any way we wish and that nobody has the right to dictate what those terms should mean and how we should pursue them (or not). Enjoy your freedom my dear chicklettes.
The Fat Chick
The Fat Chick in front of Independence Hall
So on my recent trip to Philadelphia, I saw Independence Hall. Besides being a gorgeous building, this was a site where some pretty amazingly radical things happened. For one, the Constitution was created here. For another, the Declaration of Independence was both written and signed here. This along with an excellent blog post by ASDAH Secretary, Fall Ferguson, JD, MA.
All of this together got me thinking about the notion of body independence and how our current national obsession with the size and situation of bodies is so very antithetical to the ideas the founding fathers scribbled down in this building. And being the type of person who will follow an idea to its furthest reaches, beyond all reason, and with a preemptive request for forgiveness from our founding fathers, I’ve decided to lay out a draft of a
Declaration of Body Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all bodies are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
My body is my own to care for in whatever way I wish. No one has the right to tell me what to eat or how to move. If I want a cookie, I shall have one. If I want broccoli, I shall have it. I shall boogie down with my bad self, or not as I choose.
I have the right to compassionate, competent and equitable health care. This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care. Whenever any Form of Medicine becomes destructive of these ends, it is my right to alter or abolish it and institute a new form of medical care–seeking a form that will seem most likely to effect my Safety and Happiness.
I have the right to look the way I look. I may wear tiny prints or vertical stripes. I may expose my fleshy arms as I embrace my freedom. Fashion shall dictate no law that keeps me from dressing and expressing myself as I darn well please.
I am endowed with the unalienable Right to walk down the street unmolested by individuals (well-meaning or not) wishing to ply me with “cures” purported to change the size of my body to meet their ideal.
I am allowed to create my own definition of health and seek it (or not) as I see fit.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce me under the absolute Despotism of size oppression, it is my right, it is my duty, to throw off such Forces, and to provide new Guards for my future happiness.
So, my little chicklettes, cast off the chains of oppression! Launch a body revolution! Viva la resistance!