So missdissent posted a photo of the fabulous fat model Velvet D’Amour recently and in random internet travels I came across this fabulous interview with her
She’s 41 years old, 5’8″ and 130kgs – certainly not the usual runway type but she’s done shows with Gaultier and Galliano… anyway – she’s very fabulous – and very brainy…
Lots of good stuff in the interview – but she also addressed one of the discourses that I have thought about around fat activism – that it’s “normalising obesity” and overlooking the health perspective… Here’s her fabulous response…
The reality is, yes there’s more and more fat people. But you have to look at why there’s more and more fat people. And my perception is that the majority of fat people, I certainly, and speaking for myself, don’t get that way just because they feel like kicking back and weighing a couple of hundred pounds for the fun of it. They get that way because they’re striving for a beauty ideal that is incredibly inaccessible. And the more they make that beauty ideal inaccessible, the more people are going to diet. And what is the industry that is paid the most money, that has the highest failure rate? It’s the diet industry. Ninety eight percent of people who diet, gain the weight back and more. And that’s where the vicious cycle is begun. It’s not because people are saying, ‘Oh I want to celebrate my fatness’.
I’ve never said it’s, like, healthy to be fat or you should try to be fat. But I very much understand what people, and women in particular, go through to try to achieve the inaccessible. That’s why my whole goal is to diversify peoples’ notions of beauty. Not to say we should celebrate necessarily fatness. It’s to say, celebrate who we are. Because if you love yourself as a fat person, then you are far more apt to take yourself to a swimming pool. If you feel good about yourself, then you’re more apt to take care of yourself. I’m sure even people your size take issue with swimsuit season. How many articles have we seen, where… ‘OMG, it’s swimsuit season, I’ve got to go to the beach, I’ve got to lose 5 lbs’? Well imagine when you weigh 300lbs – and probably the best exercise and the only exercise you should do is to go swimming. Go take yourself to a swimming pool. I mean I’ve been called a whale at a swimming pool. I’m very confident in my body and I know that I’m not going to stop myself from getting exercise by virtue of someone putting me down. But I know that there are tonnes of women who would never go back to that swimming pool. And so if you maintain this prejudice that’s so blatant towards fat people, if the real goal is for everyone to be healthy, then certainly you’re not going to get that way by maintaining this exclusion of fat people who do exist in society.
Lots of super cool and interesting stuff in the interview – certainly a lot more thoughtful than one would expect from News Limited!
edited to put in this footage of her on the runway… she looks so amazing!