So this past weekend I logged into my Facebook account and a video popped up on my feed titled Say “No” to Fat Acceptance. I watched the entire video, looking for the “punch line,” but there never was one. The video depicted an “overweight” man on an operating table and then flashed back to his life growing up. It showed him eating fast food, his mom “enabling” his bad habits, and him not exercising.
As someone that has struggled with her weight for her entire life, this video hit really close to home. I was instantly smacked upside the head with the shame this video was promoting. I reached out to the person that shared the video and tried to gain some understanding.
Was their intention to truly say “fat” is wrong? Was their intention to really say that society is accepting of “fat”?
After the conversation, I was baffled by the scenario that I was in. I had never been hit with such dense opposition to something as unimportant as weight.
A few days later I was on my apple calendar (which, I am so proud of apple for recognizing this celebratory day) and saw the event “Juneteenth”. I have to be honest, I was super confused. After asking a few people, I finally learned that Juneteenth is a celebration of the freedom & release of the African American people back in 1865. This is their July 4th. Their day of freedom.
I, again, was stunned. I had no idea and instantly felt tremendously embarrassed and saddened that I didn’t know about such a momentous day.
As I processed my new learning, I recognized the similarities in these two scenarios.
Meaning, the lack of knowledge or information. Or, being clueless. Or, putting your foot in your mouth (sometimes majorly) because you simply do not know better.
If I am being completely honest, the experience of the fat-hate video was one, out of maybe five, experiences I have had with total ignorance. It really hurt knowing that someone hated me so badly for something as unimportant as my weight. It really hurt knowing that someone truly thought I was wrong for my body. And then here I was, living and not knowing about such a momentous day as Juneteenth.
I BARELY got a taste of what it is like to be face with ignorance. But there are all kinds of people that are faced with ignorance every day.
In regards to Juneteenth…I am lucky enough to have some friends that are teaching me. about the realities of being African American today. They are telling me the ways that they have to be humble, honor, and fight to be the people they are today. They tell me about their real and raw history (not the nicely framed history within the books I used to read at school). They tell me about what it is like to be an African American in society today: the extra conversations required, the many injustices they still face, and they correct my ignorances. I feel tremendously blessed to be extended the amount of grace they give me.
As someone that is eager to fix her mistakes, I am amazed to face people that are not.
I wanted to write this post to challenge each of you, lovely readers, to face your ignorances. Whatever it might be (sexuality, religion, race, weight, disabilities, gender, etc) get informed. Learn more (even if its hard)! Make mistakes (even if it hurts)! But always keep in mind that your little world of experiences are not all that is out there.
As much as it stings, it is always beautiful to be humbled.
What areas of life/this world are you learning about these days? Let me know in the comments!!