Several years ago, I was linked to a video of a very strong woman, who just happened to be fat. The woman, Tristy Taylor, posted her video in response to Michelle Obama’s comments about the “obesity epidemic”. In her words:
I created this video in response to all the fat hate in our culture right now. From Michelle Obama’s many comments about the “obesity epidemic” to the non-stop flood of trolls who jump at the chance to shame and attack fat people who are enjoying their bodies and living healthy and free. Hating someone “for their own good” has never worked. Fat people can be healthy. Fat people can lift heavy weights. I’m 38 years old. I weigh 300 lbs. I am in excellent health. I do not have high blood pressure. I do not have diabetes. I do not have high cholesterol. Do not judge me or anyone else by the size of our bodies. It’s time to transform this paradigm of hate to one of love. Thank you to my husband Justin for filming and editing and loving me and thank you to Myles Ahead Weightlifting in Rohnert Park, California for being some of the most amazing and supportive groups of people I have ever met.
I was very impressed with her video, and the attitude behind it, and subscribed to her channel. Over the past few years I didn’t see anything else relative to her weightlifting, or size acceptance, to my disappointment. That is, until about 2 weeks ago, when she posted another weightlifting video. I was thrilled to see that the new video had been posted, again in hopes that some people would be motivated to continue to work towards health regardless of size, and that others who typically troll the internet to spread fat hatred, would see that yet another person is destroying myths about fat people not being able to engage in healthy activities.
I was saddened to see that her most recent video had less than 20 views (as of the date of this blog). I don’t know Ms. Taylor, but I might guess that one of the reasons that there had been nearly 3 years between her weightlifting videos was because of the huge amount of trolling that had gone on after her first video was posted. While I’m pretty sure that she had other great things going on in her life (and judging by the other activities posted on your YouTube channel), having to deal with the volume of haters on YouTube to prove her point was not anything she needed in her life.
Regardless, I felt that her effort should be seen by more than 20 people. Look, I don’t expect someone who weighs 300 lbs to run a marathon, but to see her working out, and the fact that she knows the staff at the gym who work with her, indicates to me that she’s on a lifetime journey towards health, and there isn’t a hater in the world who can take that away from her.
And, isn’t health all we all really want?
**Interestingly enough, I realized that I recognized Ms. Taylor this evening from a size activist group on Facebook that I belong to. During my time in that group, I’ve seen the level of her activism, and her words & actions towards that end are far greater than mine. I think that as activists, many of us (especially me) can only devote a finite amount of time towards it, what with all the other responsibilities in our lives. I find it incredible that the trolls have so much more time on their hands.**