April 15, 2018
For those who missed it in the comments:
While fat activism has disrupted many dominant discourses that causally contribute to negative judgments about fat bodies, it has not yet penetrated the realm of competitive bodybuilding.
Savour that sentence. Let it roll around your mind.
According to its author, Richard Baldwin, fat bodybuilding should be a thing that exists. Specifically, “a fat-inclusive politicised performance… embedded within bodybuilding,” in which the “assumptions” and standards of the sport would be “destabilised,” with the result that “everyone” can be “taken seriously,” regardless of their girth and athleticism. Competitors, we’re told, would “showcase fat through poses… that display fat in a body-positive way,” while wearing whatever commodious garments are deemed to enhance the, um, aesthetics of their gyrations. And hey, showcasing fat is what sport’s all about.
It takes time to make a fat body. It takes even more time to make a politicised fat body. This is precisely the message fat bodybuilding should convey: the fat body is a body built by time and work and deserves to be respected.
These are the dizzy heights of Fat Studies scholarship.
Unlike Mr Baldwin, I make no claim to being “dedicated to fighting oppression and promoting social justice,” but actually, it occurs to me that a fat body, by which the author seems to mean an ostentatiously obese one, is quite easy to arrive at, as it generally involves the abandonment of self-denial, succumbing to temptation by default, and a tendency to shun any avoidable exertion. Basically, torpidity and a lack of care. A point somewhat underlined by the unremarkable fact that the number of fat people exceeds by orders of magnitude the number of bodybuilders.