The Political Body: Translating the Assorted Works of Lino Arruda and Virgie Tovar


The Political Body: A Brief Introduction

By, Jules Franco

            This translation portfolio includes works from two activists/writers, Lino Arruda and Virgie Tovar. Lino Arruda, who is based in Brazil, is interested in looking at trans* and travesti images of the self, as well as reflections of speciesism, particularly in non-hegemonic, marginal spaces. While Lino Arruda is interested in zine-making and zine-circulation (which usually targets smaller audience pools), he also makes graphic memoirs intended for larger consumption pools. The works of Lino Arruda’s included in this portfolio are of his choosing. Virgie Tovar is an activist and self-described “expert” on fat liberation. On top of leading retreats that focus on fat liberation and body image, Virgie Tovar writes articles and columns for various platforms, and runs a blog. The works of Virgie Tovar’s included in this portfolio are of my own choosing as she was unavailable for communication.

            When I asked Lino if I could include a biography of him along with translations of the pieces that he chose to submit (I thought it would be best to ask), he very kindly sent me a biography of himself, written in Portuguese, that he uses frequently. My translation of it is presented here below, and while I am not fluent in Portuguese, I consulted online dictionaries/translators, as well as utilized my own understanding of Spanish to complete it. I believe that Lino Arruda’s chosen biography should speak now, as it is a chosen representation of his self:

“Lino Arruda is a trans-masculine activist, researcher and organizer of the distribution of zines “Breaking: Precarious Issues”, which is an autonomous project of the production, archiving, translation and distribution of sudaca zines with a focus on lesbian, bisexual, and travesty/trans* authors. He has studied the visual arts in the Universidade Estadual de Campinas and in the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain), and received a Master’s in art history from the Universidade de São Paulo and a doctorate from the department of literature at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Currently, he is collaborating on LGBT*Q+ zines, and is developing a series of vignettes for a graphic memoir, “Monstrans: experimentando horrormônios”, que will be released by Itaú Rumos in 2020.”

The works of Lino Arruda’s in this collection will be part of his graphic memoir. They are “Quimerda,” and “I still have been” respectively. Besides the fact that Lino Arruda needed these works translated specifically, another reason they are fantastic for inclusion here, are that they are beautifully demonstrative of his nuanced style, ripe with double-meaning, and capable of conveying a tremendous emotional experience. Like many of his works, these two pieces stand out for their captivation potential and humanity writ in joy.

            The most stand out element of Virgie Tovar’s biography[1] is the repeated mention of the numerous accolades she has accumulated that fit neatly into “mainstream,” non-dissident society. She has been profiled by The New York Times, worked for Buzzfeed, and is awaiting the publication of her second book (to be released in 2020). In many ways, her resume reads as antithetical to the focus of much of her work. While she promotes “dissident” views in the pieces that she writes, although admittedly fat liberation is growing increasingly less dissident/more accepted in the societal “mainstream,” she appears to take a rather uncritical, ethically flexible position in terms of working with Forbes and like publications. This is, of course, not to diminish the value of her work, nor is it meant to be overly critical, after all, people have to eat, and perhaps Forbes is a means of sustaining herself and her work. Rather, the exploration of her seemingly odd coupling of personal viewpoints and accolades suggests that her work does not merely exist in itself per se, rather it is the manifestation of myriad social relationships and complications. The works of Virgie Tovar’s presented here are “20 ways to be fat positive no matter what size you are” and “Fat people deal with fat oppression in different ways.” These works are different from some of her others because they give very specific advice on how to behave in specific situations based on different positionalities. Much of Virgie Tovar’s other work focuses on her personal narratives, and is not so much general advice given from a rather omniscient perspective.

            While the works presented here, and their respective authors, are widely contrasting, they all allude to how the body is made political and how it can be a tool of political resistance. It was this theme that interested me, and I think the depth and breadth of how this theme is addressed in the subsequent translation is imperative to any true comprehension of what it means to be a political body.


[1] This autobiography can be found in the “About” section on her website https://www.virgietovar.com/about.html.

Rationale for Translating Political Bodies

Jules Franco

            In my major translation project, I have explored the concepts of fat liberation and the political body. Fat liberation meaning the attitudes, theories, and behaviors that work, while acknowledging the intersections of fatness with other social identifiers, towards the creation of an equitable society for fat people. The political body meaning how bodies take up space in the socio-political sphere, and how different bodies are made political based off of their physical appearances. Further, the works I have explored all focus on how and why some bodies are politicized, while others are not.

            While I had initially aimed to include more activists and their writings in my project, (in an ideal world I would have included La Cono and others), because the works I initially chose/was asked to complete were longer, I could only include works by Lino Arruda and Virgie Tovar. Still, both of these thinkers are interested in how systems of privilege and oppression facilitate the repression of all non-normative bodies, particularly those of fat and trans* people.

            Because the documents I found/received by Virgie Tovar and Lino Arruda respectively were written in English and Portuguese, the translation component of the project was all in Spanish. I have, however, included the original English and Portuguese texts in the hope that future translators will be able to more effectively develop the pieces. My methodology in translation was less literary and much more pragmatic, because it is my great hope that the translations are not for the sole use of those who inhabit academic spaces. I hope that people who might not have studied such concepts in the classroom can gain an interest and/or an easily comprehensible sample of this kind of thinking by reading the works I have translated here.

            There are few qualities of note within the translated works that I think are important to be made aware of. Firstly, none of these translations is finished. While I have translated all of the words into something that is comprehensible, it would be foolish to suggest that these were finished products. There are a lot of choices to be made given the content of the texts that can only be made by their authors. Thus, what is presented here should be seen as a first draft, a kind of tool from which future translators might use as a starting point. Next, there are footnotes dispersed throughout the texts. These footnotes comment on questions that I had while translating, and offer potential solutions and/or critiques of what I present in the bodies of the works. And finally, a problem I wrestled with throughout this project was how to diminish my role and voice. As a student whose translating, it was hard to not at points center myself in the work, simply because of all the questions that I had. I went back and forth on whether to include footnotes because I thought that they might privilege my voice too much. Ultimately, I made the decision to include these because, as was noted above, these are merely first drafts, learning tools. It is also why this rationale is included last. I wanted to make sure that the works spoke for themselves first, un-tainted by my voice and opinions.

            This project is important because while fat liberation and notions of the political and politicized body are accepted, for the most part, within academic spheres, and certainly within specific activist spheres, these concepts have not reached broad, non-academic and non-activist audiences. It is imperative then that these works be translated both for the edification of the general public, as well as for the unification of fat liberation and political body activists across “borders.” Activist liberation work can only be improved by the incorporation of the thoughts and ideas of counterparts who may not speak the same language, but who share similar commitments and truths.

Fat people deal with fat opression in different ways by, Virgie Tovar

Personas Gordas Viven con opresión en diferentes maneras por, Virgie Tovar

Over the past several years I have spent so much time arguing with other fat people about what fat liberation or fat positivity is or isn’t. I have spent so much time being so very confused about why yelling at other people on the internet had not gotten me the results I’d hoped for, i.e., every fat person in the world rising up, recognizing their bodies are precious and perfect, and becoming unflinchingly hardcore fat feminist soldiers for body liberation.

I decided that — maybe — I needed a new approach.

Durante los últimos años, he gastado mucho tiempo en argumentos con otras personas sobre que es la liberación gorda, o sobre que la positividad gorda es o no es. He gastado mucho tiempo en un estado de confusa sobre el hecho de para gritar a otras a través del internet no ha reproducido los resultados en que esperé, por ejemplo, todas las personas gordas en el mundo levantando (metafóricamente) y reconociendo que sus cuerpos son preciosos y perfectos, y transformando a soldados feministas fuertes para la liberación del cuerpo. Entonces, decidí que quizás, necesité un método diferente.

My goals were (1) to become less of a screamy jerk baby toward fat people who deal with fat oppression differently than I do, while (2) still being very clear about my boundaries, desires, vision, and intention to honor the principles of fat activism I learned from other radical fat people.

It turns out these are ambitious goals! If you too are grappling with this, maybe you can benefit from reading about the following 5 realizations:

Mis metas fueron 1. De transformar desde une persona quién grita todo el tiempo a otras personas gordas quién no vive con opresión de gordura en la misma manera en que yo vivo, hasta una persona quien hace el opuesto, 2. pero quien puede mantener los deseos, la visión, y el intento del activismo de gordura que aprendí de otras personas gordas y radicalistas.

Me di cuenta que estas metas son ambiciosas. Sí también estas tratando de hacer estas cosas, quizás puedas beneficiar de leer sobre mis cinco realizaciones.

1. My Idea of Utopia Isn’t Every Fat Person’s Idea of Utopia

I decided to start with my own political position. My political background is in feminism, anti-racism and fat liberation. My political ideology is mostly anti-assimilationist. When it comes to the issue of fatness, I want fat people to be free from external and internal fatphobia. I want us to love and date and have sex with other fat people. I want us to build radical futures together. I want us to be hanging out in muumuus, drinking pina coladas, petting chihuahuas, buying old Victorians and turning them into gaudy palaces where we make strange art, teach each other how to make tinctures, journal and cry every night in our hot tub. I literally can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want that life, but the truth is – many, many don’t.

Decidí para empezar con mi propia posición política. Mi fondo político es el feminismo, el anti-racismo, y la liberación gorda. Mi ideología política, por la mayoría, es anti-asimilación. En términos de la cuestión de gordura, quiero que personas gordas sean liberados desde la fobia de gordura a dentro de sus mismos y de factores exteriores. Quiero que construyamos futuros radicales en juntos. Quiero que podamos gastar tiempo en juntos, todavía nos llevemos muumuus[1] tomemos piña coladas, acariciemos chihuahuas, compremos casas viejas y las transformemos a espacios en que podamos crear are ridículo, ensenemos nuestros mismos cómo crear tinturas, cómo escribir en un diario, y en que podamos llorar todas las noches en nuestro jacuzzi. Literalmente, no puedo imaginar quien no le gustaría esta vida, pero en la realidad, muchas, muchas personas no la quieren.

2.  Fat People Are In Survival Mode

I then moved onto a very basic reality: fatphobia is unjust, fat people are oppressed, fat people are being forced every, single day to navigate fatphobia while attempting to keep their dignity, heart, and spirit intact. People experiencing oppression are forced to make decisions from a place of self-preservation. Self-preservation looks different to different people.

Después, pensé sobre la realidad básica: fobia de gordura es injusto, personas gordas son oprimidos, personas gordas son forzados, todos los días, para navegar la fobia de gordura todavía manteniendo su dignidad, sus corazones, a sus espíritus. Personas quien sufren la opresión son forzados a hacer decisiones desde un lugar de preservación de sus mismos. Preservación de sus mismos aparecen diferente a personas diferentes.

3. It’s Important To Me That Fat People Are Honest If They Are Engaging In Fat-Negative Methods

Fat-affirmative or fat-positive methods include things like moving toward weight-neutrality, getting rid of size-based bigotry, dismantling the diet industry, ending weight-based notions of health or worth, and reclaiming movement for the sake of pleasure.

Fat-negativity looks like insisting that fatness is a sign of mental or physical illness, insisting that thin bodies are superior, participating in diet culture, and perpetuating weight-based notions of health or worth. An easy test for whether something is fat-positive or fat-negative would be to ask, “If every person did this or thought this, would this end fatphobia or end fat people?” If the answer is the latter, then in my world that means it’s fat-negative. When determining whether something is fat-negative or fat-positive, it is irrelevant why someone participates in one or the other. 

Métodos que son Gordura-afirmativo o gordura-positivo incluso cosas cómo mover a neutralidad del peso, abandonar la intolerancia del tamaño, desmantelar la industria de dieta, terminar percepciones de salud o valor a través del peso, y reclamar movimiento para el propuesto del placer. Negatividad de gordura se aparece cómo persistiendo de decir que la gordura es una señal de una enfermedad mental o físico, persistiendo de decir que cuerpos delgados son superiores, participando en la cultura de dieta, and perpetuando percepciones de salud o valor a través del peso. Una prueba fácil para reconocer sí algo es positivo de gordura o negativo de gordura es para preguntar, “¿sí cada persona haría esto, o pensaría esto, terminarán la fobia de gordura o personas gordas?” Si la respuesta es la segunda, en mi mundo esto es negativo de gordura. En determinando sí algo es negativo de gordura o positivo de gordura, es irrelevante porque alguien participa en uno u otro.

When someone does something fat-negative and insists it’s fat-positive, that is dishonest and erodes the integrity of fat politics. If they insist on being dishonest regardless of how it harms me that is a boundary violation and may veer into gaslighting. I cannot abide gaslighting, and I have the right to take care of myself if I suspect that someone is gaslighting me or violating my boundaries.

Cuando alguien hace algo que es gordo-negativo e insiste que es gordo-positivo, esto es deshonesto e erosiona la integridad de políticas de gordura. Sí insisten en ser deshonesto, no importa cómo me afecta, esto es una violación que puede ser abuso mental. No puedo permitir abuso mental, y tengo el derecho de cuidarme sí sospecho que alguien me está abusando.[2]

Some fat people are going to participate in fat-negative methods of survival at least some of the time. I understand that. We are all very complex beings. Even the most radical fat activist on planet earth is sometimes going to engage in fat-negative thoughts or behaviors because we live in a culture where the default is fatphobia! But if overall I’m engaging with someone who primarily relies upon fat negative actions and language, I have decided to empower myself to listen to my body around what I feel is happening and make the choices I need to make in that moment. “Does being around this person’s views do justice to the political movement I am a part of?” If the answer is no, then I give myself permission to step away. Likewise I might ask myself, “Does it feel like I’m being confused or harmed by being around this person?” If the answer is yes, I give myself permission to attempt to set boundaries and ask for accountability. If I don’t get that on a timeline that feels good to me then I step away. I can always return later.  

Algunas personas gordas van a participar en métodos gordo-negativos de sobrevivir en algunos momentos. Lo comprendo. Somos seres humanos muy complejos. La activista de gordura más radical también va a tener pensamientos gordo-negativos o comportamientos gordos-negativos, porque vive en una cultura en que la condición base es fobia de gordura. Pero, sí por la mayoría de tiempo, estoy conversando con alguien quien depende de acciones y lengua gordo-negativa, he decidido de empoderarme a escuchar a mi cuerpo, y hacer las elecciones necesito hacer en el momento. Sí involucrando con las opiniones de esta persona no hace justicia al movimiento político, puedo salir.[3] También sí estoy confusa o sí estoy experimentando dolor a través de estar en conversación con esta persona, puedo instituir limites o demandar responsabilidad.

4. I Have to Trust Other Marginalized People to Be The Best Author Of Their Own Lives

I’ve come to realize that each fat person’s relationship to fatphobia depends on grounded realities, like access to a political education (which are sometimes class-specific or geographically-specific; for instance, I’ve gotten all of my political education from either academia  or political communities in the Bay Area), how much they feel they benefit from the status quo based on how much privilege they have, or how much they feel they can afford to stand out if they depend on money or safety from someone or something that is invested in maintaining the stigma. Each person’s relationship to their method also depends on other less tangible and quantifiable things, like how their brains and bodies deal with the pain of discrimination.

Tengo que creer en el hecho que otras personas marginalizadas son los mejores autores de sus propias vidas.

Me di cuenta que la relación a fobia de gordura que tiene cada persona gorda depende en distintos realidades por ejemplo, acceso a la educación política (esto puede ser dependiente en la clase socioeconómica o geografía, yo he recibido mi educación política en academia o en San Francisco, California), cuanto sienten que benefician desde el statu quo dependiente en cuanto privilegio tiene, o sí sienten que pueden resaltar sí son dependientes en dinero, o seguridad de alguien que está dedicado a la perpetuación de estigma. La relación de cada persona a su método también depende de otras cosas que no pueden ser contados. Por ejemplo, cómo sus cerebros y cuerpos experimentan el dolor de la discriminación.

When we recognize that weight stigma is a form of injustice that fat people can’t control, we are left with the uncomfortable truth that each of us is compelled to do what feels right and legitimate in order to deal with an uncontrollable and painful reality. I believe every fat person deserves to have access to liberatory politics, but it is not possible and not ok to attempt to force every fat person to adopt and enact those liberatory politics.

Even though we are in the age of consciousness around fatphobia and fat liberation, fat people interact differently with the realities of weight stigma. Some fat people become fat activists, some fat people diet, some fat people commit themselves to deprogramming self-hatred, some fat people assimilate into thincentric expectations, etc.. If we look deeper we usually come to the conclusion that each of these methods — no matter how fraught they may feel to us or them — makes sense within the overall schema of that fat individual’s life. We will also usually come to the conclusion that their relationship to that method feels right (even if it doesn’t feel good) to them in a deep way.

Cuando damos cuenta que estigma del peso es una forma de injusticia que personas gordas no pueden controlar, tenemos que vivir con la verdad incómoda que cada de nosotros tienen que hacer lo que siente correcto y legítimo para vivir con una realidad dolorosa. Pienso que cada persona gorda tiene el derecho a acceder a políticos liberadores, pero no es posible y no es correcto de forzar a cada persona gorda a adoptar estos políticos liberadores.

Mientras vivemos en la edad del reconocimiento de fobia de gordura y liberación gorda, personas gordas interactúan diferentemente con las realidades de estigma de gordura. Algunas personas gordas se transforman a activas de gordura, otras personas gordas participan en la cultura de dieta, otras personas gordas comprometerles a abandonar odio de sus mismos y otras piensan en expectaciones de una cultura que es delgada-central.[4] Sí examinamos estos métodos, usualmente concluimos que cada puede hacer sentido en el contexto de la vida de un individual. Usualmente, podemos llegar a la conclusión que el método de su preferencia puede sentir correcto a la persona todavía no tiene que sentir bueno. 

5. But It’s Totally OK to Have Boundaries

Thankfully fat liberation has already been defined by fat activists, like the Fat Underground who wrote the Fat Liberation Manifesto in 1973 and Charlotte Cooper who wrote Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement in 2016. Once a fat person has been introduced to these concepts and has shown me through words or behavior that they have no desire to respect them, I have decided to stop allocating energy and time to arguing with them about it because it is almost always utterly ineffective. Instead I’ve adopted the following tools:

  1. Figure out where I stand and the kind of fat community I want to build
  2. Trust other fat people to be the best author of their own story
  3. Set boundaries that honor where I’m at
  4. Be generous in my willingness to educate when I have the internal resources
  5. Articulate the request for accountability in the face of violated boundaries or gaslighting

Cinco. Pero es totalmente Bueno de tener limites

La liberación gorda ya ha sido definido por activistas de gordura, cómo lo “Fat Underground” quien escribió “El Manifesto de la Liberación gorda” en 1973, y Charlotte Cooper quien escribió Activismo de Gordura: Un Radical Movimiento Social en 2016. Cuando una persona gorda ha sido conocido a los conceptos y ha demostrado a través de sus palabras y acciones que no tiene el deseo de respetarles, he decidido de parar de usar energía y tiempo para pelearme con ellos. Usualmente, el debate no es productivo. En vez de discutir, yo he decidido de hacer estas cosas:

  1. Decidir mi opinión e imaginar la comunidad de gordura de mis sueños
  2. Creer en otras personas gordas, para que podan escribir sus propias historias
  3. Instituir limites que me honra
  4. Ser generosa con mi deseo de educar a otras, especialmente cuando tengo los recursos internos
  5. Expresar mis dudas

As thought-intensive as all of this has been, writing these things out have led to healing. I’m always both a human person — who needs boundaries, limits and care — and a political activist — who seeks to achieve enormous cultural change. This is not an easy task, and I know that what I’ve presented here is nowhere near complete or perfect. I hope that it moves conversation forward, though.

Honestly, I think fat liberation is the best thing ever, the only method that works, the top shelf wine (so to speak). But I’ve seen in my own life that things are complicated.

Wanting isn’t the same as doing.

Thinking isn’t the same as feeling.

It’s painful to see people like you suffering, and feeling so clearly that you have the solution. But, honestly, it’s my job to resolve that pain inside me — and it’s also my deepest truth and deepest calling to continue to dream the dream of a future where there are a thousand fatty palaces and we are all free.

Este proceso ha sido muy intenso, pero de escribir estas cosas me ha ayudado en el proceso de curar. Siempre soy al mismo tiempo una sere humano—-quien necesita limites y cuido—y una activista política—-quien quiere realizar cambio cultural inmenso. No es un trabajo fácil, y conozco que lo que he presentado aquí no es completo, ni perfecto. Aunque, ojalá que mueva la conversación.

Para ser honesta, pienso que la liberación gorda es la mejor cosa del mundo, la única cosa que funciona, el vino mejor, en otras palabras. Pero, he visto en mi propia vida que cosas son complejas.

Para querer no es el mismo de hacer.

Para pensar no es el mismo de sentir.

Es doloroso de ver que personas, como tu está sufriendo, mientras tu piensas que tienes una solución. Pero, para decir la verdad, es mi puesto de resolver el dolor a dentro de yo mismo, y es mi verdad más fundamental y es el presupuesto de mi vida de continuar a soñar el sueño del futuro donde hay miles de palacios por gordos y todos de nosotros son libres.


[1] I wasn’t sure how to translate this, nor if there was some sort of better clothing word to put in its place.

[2] Gaslighting was a really complicated word to translate, and obviously what I did here does not even begin to cover it and its complexities.

[3] Step away was difficult to translate because its context was more metaphorical than literal, and I couldn’t really find a word in Spanish that conveyed that.

[4] Thin-centric was another term I had difficulty with. Even after scouring the internet, I couldn’t find a real translation.

20 Ways to be Fat-Positive No Matter What Size you are. By, Virgie Tovar                                         Veinte Maneras de ser Positivo de Gordura, no importa tu peso. Por, Virgie Tovar

I recently wrote an article about how fat people deal with fatphobia in myriad ways, and how having compassion for that can absolutely go hand-in-hand with having boundaries with individuals who insist on engaging in methods that feel harmful or hurtful. One of the concepts I covered in that article was the difference between “fat-positive” and “fat-negative” methods. A lot of people seemed to find those categories really useful or have questions about them. So, I decided to do a deeper dive on these concepts, and offer a list of examples.

Recientemente, escribí una noticia sobre cómo personas gordas se encargan de fobia de gordura en muchas maneras. También escribí sobre cómo la habilidad de tener empatía por eso puede existir con la necesidad de tener limites[1] con personas quién deciden utilizar métodos que son dañinos. Uno de los conceptos sobre que escribí en la noticia fue la diferencia entre métodos que practiquen una “positividad gorda” y los que practiquen una “negatividad gorda.[2] Muchas personas encontraron que estas categorías son súper útiles, y otras tienen preguntas. Entonces, decidí explicar más que significan estos conceptos, y también decidí ofrecer una lista de ejemplos.

I was introduced to the concepts of “fat negativity” and “fat positivity” when I was a baby fat activist back in 2010.

I learned about them in fat liberation community, in particular the NOLOSE Conference. We used these phrases freely, and at the time they required little exposition. Why? Because anyone who identified as fat and was in fat activist community at that time was pretty much on the same page about what fat positivity and fat liberation meant. The community was small, and that meant new members were likelier to already be on the same page (or were at least excited about getting there) and could quickly be immersed into the language, context, culture and ideology. Further, the concept of “body positivity” as we know it now wasn’t really around at that time, and so we weren’t dealing with the dilution of core concepts.

Aprendí sobre los conceptos de “negatividad gorda” y “positividad gorda” cuando era una activista de gordura nueva en el año 2010. Aprendí sobre los conceptos en la comunidad de liberación gorda, particularmente en la conferencia de NOLOSE. Usamos estas frases con facilidad, y en el momento no requieren mucha explicación. ¿Por qué? Porque todo el mundo quien identificaron cómo gordo, y estuvieron en la comunidad de activistas de gordura, por la mayoría, pensaron en las mismas cosas. También compartieron las mismas definiciones de “positividad gorda” y “liberación gorda.” La comunidad fue muy pequeña, y por eso, los miembros nuevos también pensaron en las mismas cosas (o estuvieron emocionados para pensar las mismas cosas) y pudieron aprender el vocabulario, contexto, cultura, e ideología rápidamente. Más, el concepto de “positividad corporal” cómo lo conocemos ahora no existía en esto tiempo, entonces no tuvimos que trabajar en el contexto de una dilución del concepto.

Let me explain this dilution bit a little further by using an extended metaphor. Let’s say, for instance, you found a community of people who were really into, like, bread pudding. You joined this group of friends who love bread pudding because you shared a passion for bread pudding. Your friends love bread and cooking bread and nerding out about bread. You guys hang out a lot because you share so much in common. You’ve found your people! Finally! And then let’s say bread pudding started to trend. Now all of a sudden people who maybe never even really thought about bread pudding want to be part of the bread pudding convo. Some of those people love bread pudding, some of those people are just ok with bread pudding, and some of those people kinda actually just hate bread pudding but want to feel like they’re part of a cultural zeitgeist. Now all of a sudden you’re sort of being forced to figure out who’s really into bread pudding and who isn’t – when you never had to do that before. All of a sudden you’re sort of being forced to explain what bread pudding is to people – when you never had to do that before. Maybe you’re even sort of dealing with getting tricked by people who seemed into bread pudding for months and then all of a sudden it slips that they’re actually pudding-phobes. Now you’re having to do labor around vouching for authenticity and it’s perhaps stressful. 

Me permito explicar la dilución con más claridad por el uso de una metáfora.[3] Finge que encontraste una comunidad con personas que les gustaron mucho budín de pan. Juntaste con un grupo de amigos porque comportaron una pasión para budín de pan. Tus amigos aman pan y aman cocinar pan y hablan todo el tiempo sobre pan. Gastan mucho tiempo juntos porque tienen mucho en común. ¡Has encontrado tus personas! ¡Por fin! Ahora, finge que budín de pan se transformó en una moda. Ahora, personas quien nunca pensaron antes en el budín de pan quieren ser partes de la conversación sobre budín del pan. Algunas de estas personas aman budín de pan, algunas sienten así sobre budín de pan, y algunas no les importan budín de pan, solo quieren sentir que son partes de un movimiento cultural. Ahora, tienes que encontrar quien aman budín de pan y quién no. No nunca has tenido hacer eso antes. Quizás personas quien se comportan cómo aman budín de pan por meses son mentirosas – y ellos en realidad odian budín del pan. Ahora, tienes que hacer labor para autenticar, y quizás esta labor es estresante.

Because I was already into bread pudding (fat liberation, in case you didn’t catch that) before it was trending, I can’t say that anyone ever sat me down and gave me the talk I’m about to give you.

Porque ya amé budín de pan (liberación gorda, en caso no entendiste) antes que se transformó en algo de moda, no puedo decir que alguien ha tenido la misma conversación conmigo que voy a tener contigo.

“Fat-positive” is a phrase that describes behaviors and ideas that promote fatness and fat people as rad, beautiful, stunning and amazing. This phrase promotes the idea that fat people are a natural part of body diversity and human diversity. It goes beyond the idea of weight neutrality, and into — as the phrase suggests — affirmative attitudes. Yes, this phrase includes the idea that there is nothing wrong with fatness or fat people, but it goes farther into asserting that fat people have unique qualities that should be celebrated. People of all sizes can be fat-positive.

Positividad gorda es una frase que describe comportamientos e ideas que promuevan la gordura y personas gordas cómo chévere, hermoso, e increíble. Esta frase promueve la idea que personas gordas son partes naturales de la diversidad corporal y de la diversidad humana. Es más que la idea de neutralidad del peso, y promueve actitudes afirmativas. Si, esta frase incluye la idea que no hay nada incorrecto con la gordura ni con personas gordas, pero también afirma que personas gordas tienen capacidades singulares que deben ser celebrados. Personas de cualquier peso pueden ser positivos para la gordura.

“Fat-negative” is a phrase that describes behaviors and ideas that promote fatness and fat people as always mentally or physically ill (more specifically that fatness is an illness or a sign of illness or lack of balance), intellectually or physically inferior, or less attractive. “Fat-negative” attitudes happen on a spectrum, and can go from latent bias to outright abusive behavior. People of all sizes can be fat-negative.  

Negatividad gorda es una frase que describe comportamientos e ideas que promueven la gordura y personas gordas cómo gente que son enfermos del cuerpo y de la mente. En concreto, es la idea que la gordura es una enfermedad, o es una señal de una enfermedad, o una ausencia del equilibrio. También es la creencia que personas gordas son inferiores en una manera física y una manera intelectual, y que no son atractivos. Actitudes que son negativos de gordura ocurren en muchos lugares, y pueden manifestar en cosas desde prejuicios hasta abuso. Personas de cualquier peso pueden ser negativos para la gordura.

Because we live in a fatphobic culture, we are taught that fat-negative attitudes and behaviors are normal, baseline attitudes and behaviors (the way that, like, breathing is a normal, baseline behavior).

Porque vivimos en una cultura con una fobia a las personas gordas, estamos ensenado que actitudes que son negativos de gordura son normales. Pensamos que son actitudes y comportamientos básicas, cómo el hecho de respirar es un comportamiento básico.

This is how people of all sizes can have latent bias or subconscious attitudes they may not entirely be able to access. Some people are just naturally good at seeing the multiplicity of worthiness and beauty in others. Most of us, however, have to work very hard or deprogram the bias we have been taught by our culture. Most fat people have been taught to have fat-negative attitudes toward ourselves and other fat people. This is how we’ve been taught to cope with fatphobia, which is a very harmful form of cultural trauma. Good news: you don’t have to hate yourself or other fat people! Literally no one benefits from the belief that an entire group of people is less worthy or bad.    

Personas de todos los pesos pueden tener prejuicios e actitudes subconscientes que no pueden reconocer. Algunas personas son mejores en la habilidad de ver la belleza y valor de otras personas. Aunque, la mayoría de nosotros tenemos que trabajar para abandonar los prejuicios que hemos aprendido a través de nuestra cultura. La mayoría de personas gordas han sido ensenado para tener actitudes negativas de gordura, que podemos apuntar a nosotros mismos o a otras personas gordas. Esto es cómo hemos sido ensenado para vivir con la fobia de gordura, y esto es una forma de trauma cultural. ¡Buenas noticias: no tienen que odiar a tus mismos, o odiar a otras personas gordas! Nadie gana de la creencia que un grupo de personas tiene menos valor o es malo.

It’s important to understand if you’re engaging in fat-positive or fat-negative methods or thoughts for two reasons: 1. When you pay attention to how you behave and think, you have the opportunity to make life-enhancing changes for yourself, and 2. When you pay attention to how you behave and think, you have the opportunity to be accountable to others. Accountability is a core building block for creating community and deep intimacy.

Es importante de comprender sí estás involucrando en métodos y creencias que son positivos de la gordura o negativos para la gordura por dos razones:1. Cuando estás prestando atención a cómo tu comportas y piensas, tienes la oportunidad para crear un cambio que puede mejorar tu vida, y 2. Cuando presta atención a como tu comporas y piensas, tienes la oportunidad de ser responsable a otros. Responsabilidad es una herramienta integral en la creación de comunidad y en la intimidad fuerte.

You can test whether something is fat-positive or fat-negative by taking one person’s behavior and extrapolating it outward:“If every person did this, would this help to make the world better and safer place for people of all sizes, including fat people?” or “If every person on earth believed this, how would this affect fat people?” Fat positivity creates room for fat people to be seen with full humanity — not as failed thin people, but as complete and precious. 

Puedes probar sí algo es positivo de la gordura o negativo de la gordura a través de utilizar el comportamiento de una persona cómo un ejemplo: “Sí cualquier persona del mundo haría esto, el mundo sería mejor y más seguro por personas de todos pesos, incluso personas gordas?” o “Sí todas las personas en el mundo pensaría esto, cómo afectaría personas gordas?”[4] Positividad gorda crea el espacio en que personas gordas pueden ser vistos con su humanidad total. Positividad gorda piensa en personas gordas cómo personas completas y preciosas. Ellos no son personas delgadas quien fallaron.

10 Fat-positive methods I love to suggest to not-fat people:

Diez comportamientos que son positivos de gordura que me encanta sugerir a non-gordos.

  • Recognize when your fat friends are killin’ it – with their outfit, their professional life or their crafting skills. Take a second to internally (and silently!) recognize they’re thriving against a lot of odds. Tell them they’re killin’ it.

Reconoce que tus amigos gordos están siendo increíbles – con sus ropas, sus vidas profesionales, o con sus destrezas de crear. Tome un segundo para reconocer que ellos están siendo increíbles en contra de las fuerzas negativas sociales (en silencio). Después, diles que son increíbles.

  • Speak out against weight challenges at work.

Hable en contra de desafíos del peso en tu lugar del empleo.

  • Change your industry standard (especially if you’re in medical care, fashion or beauty).

Cambie las normas de tu industria (especialmente sí trabajas en el sistema médico, moda, o belleza.)

  • Pay for your fat friend’s coffee if you benefit from the wage gap between fat people and thin people.

Page por la café de tu amigo sí beneficias desde la diferencia del sueldo entre personas gordas y personas non-gordas.

  • Date and have sex with fat people.

Ten relaciones sexuales y románticos con personas gordas.

  • Buy fat-positive books.

Compre libros que son positivos de gordura.

  • Actively refuse to engage in food surveillance or food shaming behavior.

Rehúsa activamente para involucrarte en vigilancia de comida y comportamiento que avergüenza a la comida.

  • Boycott and think critically about movies that promote bigoted representations of fat people (yes, the ones with fat suits, but also movies that make fun of fat people or consistently portray fat people as asexual or unintelligent).

Haz un boicot y piense en una manera crítica sobre películas que promuevan representaciones intolerantes de personas gordas (si, las con “vestuarios gordos,” pero también las películas que se burlan a personas gordas o representar personas gordas cómo asexuados o tontos.

  • Support fat-owned businesses.

Soporta negocios que son propios por personas gordas.

  • Call or check online to see if a restaurant, bar or theater has accessible seating before you hang out with your fat friend or date.

Llame o busca en el internet para ver sí el restaurante, el bar, o el teatro tiene asientos accesibles antes que pasa tiempo con tu amigo o amante gordo.

10 Fat-positive methods I love to suggest to other fat people:

Diez comportamientos que son positivos de gordura que me encanta sugerir a otras personas gordas:

  • Date and have sex with fat people.

Ten relaciones sexuales y románticos con personas gordas.

  • Take the time to recuperate negative self-attitudes.

Tome el tiempo para recuperar a actitudes negativos sobre tu mismo.

  • Hang out with other fat people — a lot.

Pase tiempo con otras personas gordas – mucho.

  • Celebrate your fat body by spending time doing pleasure-based movement or self-massage.

Celebre tu cuerpo gordo a través de gastar tiempo en la práctica que movimiento que es basado en placer o darte un masaje.

  • Don’t take shit from doctors — you know your body best.

No te preocupes con doctores- conoces tu cuerpo el mejor.

  • Set boundaries and take no fatphobic shit.

Ten límites y no te preocupes con mierda gorda fóbico.

  • Watch porn that features people as close as possible to your body type.

Mira porn en que hay personas quien tienen tu tipo de cuerpo.

  • Stop dieting.

No te pongas a dieta.

  • Create loving representations of fat people.

Crea a representaciones amorosos de personas gordas.[5]

  • Understand that you do not benefit from engaging in fatphobia — not even a little!

¡Comprende que no beneficias de involucrarte en fobia de gordura – en ninguna forma!


[1] I’m sure that there is a better way of phrasing this.

[2] I went back and forth on phrasing these terms as “positividad/negatividad de gordura,” but settles on these because they mirror the language of liberación gorda.

[3] This extended metaphor was the source of great frustration for me. I wasn’t sure bread pudding would be universally comprehensible, but I chose to keep it because it is a prevalent piece of cuisine in some cultures.

[4] These complicated, extended questions were grammatically difficult, and if I were to do it again, I might cut these down drastically because I don’t think they’re super accessible to understand.

[5] I was unsure here whether loving meant romantically or friendly, but if I’m not mistaken amorosos only carries a romantic conext.

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