I came across a photographer's website + blog this morning via Google's Web Alert I have set up for the term "gastric bypass" + "weight loss surgery."
Loving Our Bodies from the Inside Out
I wasn't sure as to what on her web page triggered the link to her site, but when I visited her pages, I found this. (Not Safe For Work. Could be misconstrued as something else.)
When I opened the first page, I was immediately saddened.
I really shouldn't - this is someone's art, her photography, but I couldn't help it.
I immediately saw myself and many of my peers, there, in her photos.
The photographer says, "I show the disappeared, I make the invisible visible."
I dug into the blog, and found the piece that Google sent.
It's a part of notes for a speech from a "fat activist", Heather McAllister:
"I have long held the position that there is never a good enough reason
for someone to get weight loss surgery. And I canât say that Iâve
changed my opinion on that. But there are people I know personally who
have had largely positive experiences with the surgery, and I canât
ignore that reality. In trying to answer this very complicated and
highly charged issue for myself, where Iâm at right now is here: If we
hold that it is never ok to get WLS, then we as a movement have failed
our sisters and brothers who do choose surgery. We havenât done a good
enough job of providing another option for âsupersizeâ people who have
every imaginable pressure on them to have this invasive, expensive,
dangerous, and typically unsuccessful procedure. And I am concerned
that a lot of the criticism of people making a choice to have surgery
is coming from people for whom WLS is not a serious concern,
specifically, âaverageâ or âmid-sizedâ fat people. If we continue to
refuse to listen to the personal truths and stories of people who have
had or are considering bariatric surgery, we are truly failing as
activists and more importantly as human beings. I can and am extremely
critical of WLS and at the same time I need to make myself open to
hearing about the experience of people who are much fatter than I have
ever been and why this feels like an option to them. And I need to do
it without an attitude of condescension and judgment. I donât have to
support the decision in order to support the person. Itâs tricky but
itâs possible and itâs crucial. This issue is only going to get more
important and we have got to stop hiding our heads in the sand and not
talking about it, and creating an atmosphere of hostility around people
speaking their own experience."