“When Kathleen LeBesco gave a talk at an academic meeting last fall about how, as an overweight professor, she influenced her students’ ideas about body size, there was only one problem: She wasn’t fat.”
Well. Fat’s really a relative term, isn’t it?
I mean, among a bunch of models and actresses I’d be considered a freakin’ whale. I mean, Elizabeth Hurley has nightmares about being a size 14. And, you know, I’m a size 14. And according to the BMI, still fat, though it took a diabetic coma to get me here.
I’m currently reading a volume LeBesco edited called, Bodies Out of Bounds, which is mostly pretty good (after a stop-and-go iffy sort of start).
What interests me about this article is the assumption that because LeBesco doesn’t currently have an obese BMI that she’s suddenly not fit enough to talk about fat studies. Because suddenly all of her experiences as a fat woman in society are completely invalid?
Speaking as someone who can “pass” (for the moment, in some circles) I can tell you this: no matter what the scale says or what other people say, I still have an image of myself as a fat girl who takes up too much space.
You could argue here about what’s more valid/important/real: society’s perception of you, or your perception of yourself.