Several years ago I had gall bladder surgery. As I was coming out of consciousness in the recovery area, I overheard one medical professional say to the other as she adjusted my blanket “…this one is obese…”.
She used that word in a nasty tone, with disgust, the same way a white racist would say the “N” word.
Even in my half awake state, I felt the shame of it, as if I should be banned from the hospital forever right at that second. Later, I met Marilyn Wann, an inspiring lady who started her own revolution from exactly that- people who are considered obese ARE banned from medical care- not able to get insurance without paying outrageous fees for their “unhealthiness”. I realized I had medical care because my husband’s work insurance was required to take his wife without any pre screening and maybe those medical personnel at San Francisco Kaiser Permanente Hospital do not do surgery on many fat people. At the same time, because I did have medical care, I went through all the normal general tests and exams. I was pronounced in “good health” except that I should LOSE weight. THEN, a doctor at the hospital told me to pay money to an extra crappy, greedy corporation of liars and thieves called Weight Watchers. So a trusted member of the medical establishment is referring me to the same corporation that “funds medical researchers who, oddly enough, interpret their data to give fat people the message: lose weight or else”? -from Fat?So?
THIS war on fat must STOP! I quote a manifesto of Marilyn’s “So there’s nothing wrong with being fat. Just like there’s nothing wrong with being short or tall, or black or brown. These are facts of identity that cannot and should not be changed. They are birthright. They’re beyond aesthetics. They provide the diversity we need to survive.” This prejudice is especially harmful to our youth. This culture prides iteself on so many great intentions to boost youngsters’ self esteem, but according to NAAFA our medical establishment needs to “Stop Referring to Kids As Obese. This is not a matter of political correctness. It is about the critical need to create environments in which children and adolescents do not feel shame or guilt about their bodies but, rather, are motivated to enjoy healthful eating and active living habits regardless of their body size, weight or shape. Recent research shows that the stigmatization of large children has increased by 40% over the last 30 years.”
We need more support for educators like Marilyn, NAAFA, WCP Project Director, Pat Lyons, (whose brocures, A Big Woman’s Passport to Best Health are available at Swankety Swank) and artists like Gabriela, filmmaker Travis Matthews and others contributing to this event. That is our goal for this month’s ANTI-DIET SHOW at Swankety Swank. Please visit their websites, buy their stuff and come to our show Opening! -Yabette
Swankety Swank presents LOVE YOUR FAT! The Anti-Diet Show
Opening, Wednesday January 16th, 2008 7pm to 10pm
Join us for free movies and order your dinner to honor the anti-diet evening.
Cafe Neon: 1801 Mcallister St. (at Baker) San Francisco
Films to view:
Travis Matthews’ entertaining, provocative and thoughtful documentary,
Do I Look Fat?
“the most interesting—and complex—documentary at this year’s [Portland LGBT Film] festival” —Willamette Week, Portland’s News Weekly
Travis Matthews, who lives in San Francisco, will be in attendance for informal talks after the film.
Also Showing Buoyant by Julie Wyman. She lives in the east bay and is a professor at UC Davis. Fat Floats. The stories of the Padded Lilies and more that leave us with the exuberant possibility of a fat body that literally and culturally rises, like cream, to the top.
Swankety Swank will be open during and after the film presentations (across the street) with our newest art by a national roster of artists in many mediums. Art will be on display and available for purchase through February 6th, 2008.
Visuals by III
Roger L. Sizemore
Orlin the Painter
Christine Donley Allababedi
Note: The above list does not include many local artists and craftspersons who contribute to the wide variety of conscious consumer commodities that are found in San Francisco’s Swankety Swank.