Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Opinions rooted in racism, sexism, homophobia are commonly unacceptable to express in public or in polite company. Michael Richards shouted down a black heckler by yelling, “Shut up!” followed by “He’s a nigger!” and gave his already dormant career less of a chance of ever reviving. When Isiah Washington called a co-star on Grey’s Anatomy a “fag,” his contract was not renewed.
None of this would have happened to either actor if instead of racist or homophobic terminology they had said, “Shut up, fattie!” or “Fat ass!” It’s not an easy time to be fat in America. A fat person is seen as weak-willed, as suffering from an addiction to food, as unhealthy and deserving of ridicule. It goes without saying that people who are overweight are, indeed, people with a full range of emotions and feelings that are as easily hurt as a thin person’s.
Wikinews reporter David Shankbone met Kira Nerusskaya, a documentary filmmaker, at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Her film The BBW World: Under the FAT! is in production and post-production. She is a self-described Big Beautiful Woman (BBW) and she hosts the website TheBBWWorld.com; she is also one of the leading voices that has recently emerged for fat acceptance. In researching her film she has traveled to Russia, London, Paris, Ireland and all over the United States to interview fat women about their obesity and their place in their respective societies.
Below is an interview with Nerusskaya about the health, issues, public reactions to and sexuality of a BBW.