Although fat-positive feminism has been around for quite a while, with the advent of the internet and popular blogging sites, the body positivity movement has made some serious strides. We can even see this reflected in some media: a plus-size designer, Ashley Tipton, won Project Runway in 2015, a plus-size model, Ashley Graham, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and fat acceptance blogs and speeches around the internet are helping people to become more confident in themselves and their self-image.
However, that doesn’t mean we’re free of fatphobia just yet. There’s a number of studies that show that the size of your body has nothing to do with its overall health, but unfortunately, the idea persists even today that if someone is fat, it means that they’re not taking care of their body and are unhealthy. This isn’t true, but many people believe it—even doctors. Enter today’s web crush, Fat Safe Medical.
People go to the doctor for many reasons, but not usually to lose weight. However, this doesn’t stop some doctors from dismissing all of a patient’s concerns by saying “everything will go away if you just lose some weight”. Doing so is callous and irresponsible, and has led to many a patient having legitimate health concerns swept under the rug—only to be re-discovered later when they’re much more serious problems. There’s site after site dedicated to these medical disaster stories, so much so that it’s a surprise when a doctor isn’t fatphobic, and it’s clear that these sort of medical visits are not only useless but also damaging to the patient’s self-esteem and trust in the medical profession. That’s why a resource like Fat Safe Medical could prove to be very useful.
Fat Safe Medical is a Tumblr site that aims to provide a list of doctors who won’t attribute every single health problem to an individual’s weight. People can submit their own experiences to the site and note down negative or positive interactions. The site even organizes these reviews in a map format so that it’s easier to figure out which places have fat-friendly doctors. Many reviews also discuss their experiences as queer fat people or fat people of color, so this resource can be useful on those axes as well.
Although it’s a new site, Fat Safe Medical already has a number of submissions from people. Since it operates on reader’s submissions, their map is currently pretty U.S.-centric, but will hopefully become more global as it grows. If you have a submission yourself, check it out here on Tumblr!