The “fat guy”, the privilege of thinness and the need for a message of bodily diversity


Brenda Mato and Agustina Cabaleiro are influencers, models and “body positive” activists. Candela Yatche is a student of psychology and raises the flag of bodily diversity. Followed by hundreds of thousands on social networks, they wage a not silent battle against the bullying, the mandate of the hegemonic beauty, the systemic oppression against fat people and the use of euphemisms. “What is not shown and what is not named does not exist and if we don’t have enough information to name ourselves as we really are without value judgments, they take away a large part of our essence. They take away the possibility of taking charge of who we are “, explains Mato.

“Terms such as Plus Size or curvie, to escape the word fat woman. It seems that in the end it ends up being scary to say fat as assuming that it is a bad thing. “How are you going to call her fat, let’s say Plus Size, because she is fat, but she looks ugly.” What kind of message are you giving there, “says Agustina Cabaleiro, activist of” Body Positive “to TN.com.ar.

According to Cabaleiro, known in social networks as “onlinemami”, in society there is a Pressure about women to be beautiful, but beyond that, there is the oppression people live for being fat. “We are very used to rules that we have to fulfill or how our bodies they have to see just for being women. The hegemonic beauty mandate has a lot of rules, but to be fat or not to be skinny It is the worst that you can break. One thing is social pressure and another thing, oppression by a system for being fat ”.

How are you going to call her fat, let’s say Plus Size, because she is fat, but she looks ugly, Agustina Cabaleiro.

Along the same lines, Brenda Mato, Pluze Size model warns: “We have been taught that our bodies have a value and unfortunately for society, having one thin is a privilege. Fat bodies are taken as from ‘transition’. The whole search for a fat person has to be the weight loss, want a body like the one they tell us that we should have regardless of whether that takes half of who we are ahead. “

Agus Cabaleiro is @onlinemami_ on Instagram. Photographer, Bachelor of Advertising and Activist.

Mato refers not only to what happens on a physical level, but to the fact that there is a health issue both when attacking the corporalities and when saying “how cute, you are skinnier”. “Many times they are people who are going through eating disorders and there is much behind that is not not healthy. It is very complicated how they lower our line of how should we be even at any cost. ”

In order to tackle the problem of violence against certain bodies, Mato believes that one would have to begin by understanding that society denies body diversity.

Hegemonic beauty has a lot of rules, but to be fat or not to be skinny It is the worst that you can break. Agustina Cabaleiro

Candela Yatche is an activist of bodily diversity and assures that it is essential to show it so that “everyone, everyone and everyone can feel identified and be what we want, without being conditioned by having to have that body that they show us as ‘the body'” .

This psychology student also explains that since we were born, we see images of certain bodies with a color of skin, eyes, hair in a certain way, and with those that the Argentine society tries to fit in or those that it tries to copy with all that that implies. “Body diversity not only means physical build, it has to do with skin diversity, hair color and eye diversity, and also includes diversity in body capabilities.”

It is not gordophobia, it is “fat fat”

The activists clarify that he identifies himself as fat phobia what actually it’s “fat hatred” and that can be verified in different areas. “In mass communication, advertising messages, slogans, the place that fat people occupy in advertising. In media discourse as the cover of Faces or what is said about an athlete who is called ‘eat fat’. There are certain speeches that were accepted and that gave a line drop on the bodies, “analyzes Yatche.

Cande Yatche is @bellamentearg on Instagram. UBA piscology student and body diversity activist
Cande Yatche is @bellamentearg on Instagram. UBA piscology student and body diversity activist

All agree that the fat man takes different forms and that ultimately he seeks to determine which bodies must be rejected. “It’s fat, when a company does not hire people with fat bodies or when brands decide not to do large sizes because they think ‘fat people use it, it lowers the quality of the brand,’ ”adds Yatche.

The problem is not the body, it does not have to do with what we are, but with what we were told we had to be. Brenda Mato

Mato delves into the origin of the concept and ensures that it is born from discrimination and it takes forms of microviolence. “It is not that they are going to hit me on the street, although it has happened to someone at some point. It occurs when you go shopping for clothes, when you want to access quality medical care or just because people consider having a body type as a insult. It is used in a derogatory and negative way, because when we say Fat, Thanks everyone these violence, it seems that we are saying that he is a person ugly, dirty, left, lazy and a lot of questions that are starting to get into this topic. “

The privilege of being skinny

Cabaleiro believes that there are problems that are solved by being skinny: “There is a special obsession with fat people, which is not social pressure but rather systemic oppression.”

The activist and influencer gives some daily examples that she identifies as questions that directly challenge the rights. “From traveling in a bus and not going into the seat, going to the doctor and the first thing I tell you is that you have to lose weight, these are all issues that go beyond mirror image

Brenda Mato, @ brenda.mato on Instagram. Plis Size model, Body Positive activist
Brenda Mato, @ brenda.mato on Instagram. Plis Size model, Body Positive activist

The Bodypositive and the Body neutrality

Both Mato and Cabalerio define themselves as “Body positive” activists. Brenda gives some clarifications: “It is that we can look at ourselves with a little love for ourselves. The world does not say that the way we exist should not be possible and must be changed. And while they lower that premise, they take care to profit from the insecurities that generate us “.

“What this movement is trying to do is bring a slightly more reassuring message. The problem is not the body, it does not have to do with what we are, but with what we were told we had to be and many times it is impossible to be able to do it, “says Mato.

The Non-bodily diversity has negative consequences on our self-esteem and our mental health and nobody is taking care of this. “Cande Yatche

Yatche goes one step further. She says that “Body neutrality” is already being talked about today, a concept that was born precisely from women who promote “body positive” who understood that it had been commercialized with the movement and the message was confused: “The focus is not on accepting the parts of the body, but in moving to another plane, that does not put so much emphasis on the physical because we are much more than a body

The change he talks about has to do with how some fashion brands talk about body positive in their campaigns, but on the other hand promote fatphobia with the lack of sizes for non-hegemonic bodies in their premises. “Today in Argentina, the body positive put on the agenda a topic that was the naturalized body dissatisfaction that existed in our society but that, as there is a commercial use of the message to communicate concepts that brands want to convey, many times collides with communication comprehensive, “he explains.

Communication and euphemisms

Cabaleiro emphasizes that there are a lot of terms that are used to not say the word fat and that, from activism, what is sought is that ‘fat’ is an adjective more like skinny or tall “.

Mato affirms that when the correct terms are not used to talk about things, the result is invisibility: “Because of the fear of labels, we end up not using it. Many fat people are afraid to take charge of what our corporalities are like and we use euphemisms for not naming what needs to be named. There is born the ‘Plus Size’, the ‘chubby’, the ‘big one’, that divert attention to say fat as opposed to skinny, as low and high. ”

Plus Size simply means wide fit. “It is a bit complicated to want to define a person because, in addition, there is not just one large size, but many, and that definition includes a lot of things.”

The model points out that when talking about clothing, there is no talk of a “cloth”: “We are talking about showing my identity, to choose how I want to show myself, and many do not have that possibility. They even have to settle for clothes that they don’t like. That makes many people feel horrible with themselves and that has nothing to do with their bodies. “

On the difficult experience of getting clothes, he denounces: “They play with the heads of a lot of people who are frustrated when they get to a place and realize that there are no sizes and they also mistreat you because of the size you use. It is a very thin line that borders on the violent the ‘for you there is no ”’.

Brands as allies, not enemies

Cabaleiro has a vision of what is happening with the topic: “Brands are becoming more aware that consumers want to talk about this and we are more demanding. Therefore, they publish videos saying ‘love yourself, your body is wonderful or not. let yourself be dominated by this system that teaches you that you have to hate yourself ‘. what make you hate yourself when you go to the store to look for a size that doesn’t exist

The amount of anecdotes of young people that Cabaleiro shared during a live broadcast with Yatche shows that it is a reality that women live on a daily basis. “It is like a universal experience for an entire generation that clearly ruined our heads. It is very difficult to unlearn those behaviors, understand that it is not your body that is wrong but the tables of the marks. It is not that brands do everything wrong and we do everything right, we must not polarize, we must promote debate, “they say.

Yatche claims that brands are essential to be able to fight for bodily diversities: “It is a topic that is on the agenda, pleasant to listen to, feminism, empowerment, self-love. Brands are rushing to give a marketing message and do not really know what those values ​​and messages are going against precisely their own Actions”.

“We need brands as a fight to make things change, because they need to expand the diversity of sizes, which advertisements represent all bodies that there is in society. Let them photoshoot the models. We are not going to fight with the marks. In fact, you have to ally. Of course, only if there is an internal job and not a marketing campaign, “he says.

All of them also want to know that this is not a fad, something temporary: “Fashions are temporary. We want to see body diversity represented because bodily non-diversity has negative consequences on our self-esteem and our mental health and nobody is taking care of this. “

The danger of the individual and wrong message

Yatche wants to emphasize that just as brands know that consumers want to hear that message, influencers also know that the public wants that, so they take an individual approach to the problem, and this represents a mistake. “Is a social issues. It is no coincidence that Argentina is the second country in the world with more cases of anorexia and bulimia. You have to be careful with giving a message that clings instead of giving it to generate a social impact, “says the psychology student.

The origin of fat fat

How does hate start? The answer to that question has to do with what happens in childhood and at home: “There is a rejection towards fat people that is tremendous and that starts since we are very young, at school where bullying starts. This is learned, they are taught that, you have to start from early education. From the speech in the houseYatche stresses.

The jokes, the memes and the mockery are also reasons for reflection: “There is something very strong in the use of images of people who did not approve of their use and jokes are made about their bodies in the networks. The joke is very naturalized and always The physical, does not mean that we can not laugh, but if it is going to hurt someone else, it does not work. Many comedians are rethinking this. At the beginning of the pandemic there were many images of fat and fat, but it is understood that not it’s good to use the body tool to make a joke. We all have to work hard on ourselves and slow down the other because it is everyone’s responsibility to make a change“explains the psychology student.

The imperative “love yourself”

Yatche invites us to rethink stereotypes and mandates: “It is necessary to work with oneself, it is a process that is not automatic, you have to work hard with yourself to know how we respond to external stimuli. Before there was a list of requirements and now, in addition, Do you have to love yourself? It is a long process in front of the media, family, couples. Working to react differently to stereotypes at a social level in order to do them with our self-esteem. It is a daily and constant work. “

Mato affirms that by individualizing the situation “we take care of all the shit thrown at us by the system” and asks the question of how the one who is already stigmatized by another manages to rearm himself: “How can I generate healthy self-esteem in a society that He constantly tells me that everything I do is wrong, that when I want to get acquainted with someone, I feel angry or embarrassed, when I want to do a medical study, they send me to a zoo to do a CT scan because if you weigh more than 90 kilos, you can’t do it. do in many places. That is not solved with self-love because obviously we are social beings and the outside defines us. It is very important to understand that self-love is not a decision, it has to do with a construction because we were taught to hate ourselves and when we summarize it in a post of ‘everything is solved with self-love’ they do not clarify that it is not something that comes out of the galley. There can be no talking about this without taking into account the context and what is happening. “