Scrolling through the news on my phone the other day, a headline caught my eye, “Turning the Lens on Fat Shaming.” Given the unusual title, I was intrigued; what was this story about? The link led to a video highlighting The Adipositivity Project, a grass roots initiative started by two photographers, Substantia Jones and Haley Morris-Cafiero.
And the mission of The Adipositivity Project?
“The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen.”
I love it! It is unique in the fact that instead of trying to promote fat acceptance by demonstrating that fat people are accomplished just like everyone else, The Adipositivity Project aims for acceptance of the physical person—not just the characteristics behind the “fat” person.
It seems that we are most often asked to acknowledge that fat people are accomplished and have great characteristics, without necessarily being asked to accept their weight as well. In many ways, when we “accept” fat people, we are accepting them provisionally—we aren’t accepting the person’s physical appearance or that being fat is actually okay.
It is kind of like baking a cake and then not frosting it. The acceptance is incomplete.
I love the fact that The Adipositivity Project captures women from all walks of life, both those who are comfortable and those who are a bit uneasy about being photographed, as a way to reinforce acceptance of the ENTIRE person, not just their characteristics or accomplishments.
This is what we really need in order to change the way that fat people, and other bodies that do not align with the “ideal”, are viewed. It is time to turn a leaf and accept people fully for who they are, not just on the inside, but also on the outside.
Tell me, what do you think about The Adipositivity Project? Check it out here. As a note, discretion is advised, for some of these photos as some are of women fully celebrating their bodies (ahem, nude)! You can also check out the video here to learn more.
Katelin Jordan is a recent university graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies, with concentrations in Sociology and Communications. While currently an eager jobseeker, her interest lies in social issues and social science research. She is the proud pet-parent of her two year-old Manx-shorthair mix cats, Chocolate Chip and Oreo.