“What I wanted to achieve with Fat Eire was first and foremost to make obesity in Ireland a subject people could recognize. It’s about starting a conversation about not just doing.” Emily O’Brien talks about her new Arts Council-funded publication, Fat Eire. It is an annual magazine that she edits with the first issue coming out this September.
Obviously, obesity is something people don’t talk about or want to be. There are people, people who are okay with being fat. For fat people in Ireland. ”
Emily points to America’s fat scene, “massive culture”, and a growing culture in the UK. “But there’s nothing like that in Ireland, and there’s hardly even a conversation about it in Ireland.”
Based in Cork, where she grew up, Emily comes from a background at Bloomers, an artist-led publishing collective and arts organization that was founded in 2018. literature manager.
As we spoke, she started getting pitches from potential contributors. Her tone, she says, is defiant. She said, “Fat people are rebelling against attitudes they’ve had in their lives, and their rebellion against having to change. It seems to be a recurring theme.”
In the first issue, she included various ideas. “In the publication, we’ve curated what it means, from an introduction to obesity, to the intersection of queerness and obesity, to fat communities, to fat pride, and finally to using one of the essay titles. To fatten up and be Irish.”
Emily, now 30, says she’s been overweight all but two years of her teenage years. “I think this is the experience of a lot of fat people. “Children are different. Children’s perception of things, especially in those days.”
She recalls seeing a woman in her life trying to lose weight as one of her chief childhood memories. I was a fat kid and that was the main term used against me in grade school. ”
Now, looking back, she can see how she subconsciously absorbed the message that being fat is bad. No, internalize the fact that if you’re fat you should always try to lose weight, that’s what you should do. It’s an attitude that you can feel even from an adult. It followed me, you know.
She added that she would try to lose weight. Whatever shame was about to be inflicted on me was always defeated, that’s exactly who I am, that’s what I look like.
There was a lot of shame, she added. Because I think, “My life would have been a lot easier if I didn’t look like this.” If I was little, it would have been so easy. ” She said, looking back, no matter what you look like, there will always be someone calling you. ”
Emily first encountered fat exercising and body positivity on the Internet at the age of 19, “through American channels.” Then, because I was fat in the past, as a child, and perhaps even as a teenager, as a woman, and because I was fat, I have never been conscious of it or thought critically about how. It was very aggravating how I was treated. It was part of discovering both feminism and body positivity. ”
She outlines some of the everyday problems you might face by living in a prejudiced society. “I never thought I’d buy a dress. If you want to stop by and get a dress, you can’t.” As far as she knows, there are no plus-size specialty stores in Ireland. “It’s about British and American societies.”
On a recent warm day, she and some friends decided on a last-minute trip to the beach. “I didn’t have a bathing suit, but someone said, ‘Get one,’ so I said, ‘You can’t do that.’ You have to order your size very specifically. As far as I know, there is no place in Ireland where you can go to a shop and buy swimwear in sizes over size 18.”
Emily explains that she has never had any recurring health problems and is a healthy person, but has been told that she should always lose weight if she has the chance to go to the doctor.
“I can’t believe how much of that happened, absolutely unbelievable. I worked in a retail store and had pain in my upper back and they were like, ‘Lose weight.’ turned out to be sleeping on too many pillows. ”
“Your body looks like this. Is it functioning properly? Are you treating it well? Can you function? Yes. Can you hold yourself? Yes’
Eating in public “is scary for me,” she adds. ”
Emily explains that the purpose is self-compassion. “Accept that this is your body. This is what your body looks like. Is it working properly? Are you treating it well? Can you function? Can you keep it? Yes.”
Discovering the fat movement and feminism over a decade ago changed her life. “It blew my mind,” she exclaims. Emily, she hopes to change her conversation with her new publication.
“We can say we’re fat, but it’s unloaded. That’s not what makes you flinch. The main thing people say is – No, it’s okay. I’m fat. “
I’m working on Fat Ale Emily was inspired to deepen her self-awareness. She’s not “that’s the way it is”, she feels she is, and she has to face it head-on. ”
Activism can be scary and stressful. “To face people, and to face the very influential culture of ‘don’t get fat’ head-on.”
“My main purpose is Fat Ale Consciousness. Not just for the entire population, but for people who can be fat and don’t think that’s a term they can call themselves without shame. There’s a community out there that they can join. You may come to realize that you are part of it, to feel that you are part of something.
“And to get that awareness you had when you were 19. You’re a person. Stop completely. It’s over. You’re not a fat person waiting to lose weight.”
Follow Fat Eire on Instagram for more information. @fateire