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Fat People Exist (Performative Poem)

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John Candy

New Member
Jan 11, 2023
Antwerp, Belgium
Hello everyone,
This year, I was honoured to be an editor for an issue about Fat Activism (for Rekto Verso in Belgium) and while making this issue, which had articles about Thin Privilege, Fat Suits in Media, Fat Representation in Media, A conversation with Sabrina Strings, Fat & Queer POC, etc etc. I was inspired to write this performative text/poem about people's perception of fat people.

Let me share it with you and let me know what you think.


When you see me
you see my body
you see my fat
you judge my fat
you show concern
you feel sympathy
You feel pity
for this so-called sad fat fact.
You fear for my life
you cheer when I lose
you look away when I win
my gain is your grief

You're concerned about my health
I'm concerned about your concern

I pay for two people
When I want to get a loan
I pay for two people
When I want to board a plane
I pay with my life
When I get denied proper healthcare

I have a bad cough?
‘Better get a gastric bypass!’
A swollen ankle?
Gastric bypass
A restless leg?
Gastric bypass
A migraine?
Gastric bypass
A fucking toothache?
Stop whatever you’re doing
And get that stomach cut, STAT.
It’s time to drop the BMI
That bogus biased Belgian bullshit BMI
And give us the healthcare we deserve.
So, doctors?
Start by treating us
As if we were human beings.
That would already be an improvement.

I am a risk
I am the fun blame monster
I am the ‘before’ picture
I am the headless passerby on the news
I am your problem
I am the bumbling fool
I am your villain
I am the obesity epidemic
and I'm coming for you
I'm not allowed
I am frowned upon
I bulge
I take up space
I take up too much space
I should do something about it

I need to be twice as original
Twice as brave
Twice as creative
Twice as remarkable
Twice as self-assured
Twice as certain
Twice as spectacular
For you to even notice me
For the person that I am
To acknowledge my existence
To see me beyond my body
And give me the respect I deserve

I have doubts
I have bad days
I can be lazy
But not because you say I am.
I’m human
I’m a transformer
I’m more than meets the eye.
I am neutral
I am allowed
I am the ‘after’ picture
I am beautiful
And beauty is whatever I choose it to be
I am FAT and healthy
I am fat AND healthy
I am fat and HEALTHY
And I will take no shit from you
And fuck you for questioning someone’s health
What is health
Who chooses what healthy is
And how much do they profit from it?

My body is not a puzzle for you to solve

I love my body
It supports me every day
It will never let me go
It hugs me
My body will always be with me
It carries me until the very end
It absorbs all the punches
And looks forward to the hugs
It keeps me alive and kicking
It makes me walk the walk
And talk the talk
It grants me wishes.

I am the elephant in the room
I will stomp around
And break your porcelain prejudices
You will not reduce us
With your false facts
And damaging statistics
My fistfuls of fat will fight back
You see us as an unmovable object
But we are the unstoppable force

I am fat
I am glorious
I jiggle my puffs
With rigor
With pride

I am more than my body
I am more than fat
I am obese with talent
opinion, passion and creativity
I am overweight with love