When Fatphobia and Sexism Combine...You Get One Seriously Fucked-Up T-Shirt.

Posted on 10.10.2012 by Amy

I wrote an article for Women's eNews this week about how the fat acceptance movement is helping heavier women embrace their bodies, gain confidence and have more fulfilling sex lives. The article hails some recent triumphs in the battle against fatphobia, including the video of a news anchor hitting back at a viewer who dissed her "physical condition," and Lady Gaga's half-naked launch of a so-called "body revolution."

Then comes this on my newsfeed.

A fraternity at Amherst College designed a t-shirt that features a woman with bruises or scratches on her body and an apple in her mouth roasting.on.a.spit.like.a.pig. As Dana Bolger wrote in her post on an Amherst College blog, if you want to know what sexism and misogyny look like in 2012, this is it. The caption? "Roasting Fat Ones Since 1847."

While writing my article last week I wondered if all readers, especially those with, you know, skinny privilege, would understand what "fatphobia" was. Would most people intuitively get the connection between the social messaging that casts fat women as ugly and undesirable and misogyny, which teaches all women that our bodies - fat, skinny, disabled, trans, white, Black, Latina, gorgeous - are objects subject to appraisal and not, ultimately, our own?

In my attempt to come up with a succinct argument for why feminism and fat acceptance are linked, I could not have arrived at a more powerful example than this shirt. Let this disgusting image remind us that all bodies deserve not only acceptance, but freedom from this kind of hate.