Many of us did a Girl Scout-ing stint back in the day, and we have hardcore nostalgia for the camping trips, mouthfuls of ‘smores, and, of course, our sash chock-full of merit badges. We thought we had left badges back in our elementary/middle school days, but one body positivity superhero is bringing badges back for adults in the best way.
As Mic reports, self-described “fat activist” Stacy Bias was one of the many, many people who was upset by the Nicole Arbour’s”Dear Fat People,” the controversial viral video in which Arbour mocked those who weigh more than she does.
“I thought, ‘Wow. This is super abusive,'” Bias told Mic. “I started thinking about people who weren’t going to [be able to] stop subjecting themselves to it and were going to sit through that whole thing and to internalize all those messages. I woke up the next morning and said to myself, ‘I should get a merit badge for not flying to Canada and sitting on her.'”
In Arbour’ video she made some particularly cruel comments about interacting with people she deems fat in an airport setting.
“The morning after that terrible woman’s ‘Dear Fat People’ video launched on YouTube, I woke up thinking, ‘I deserve a @(#&(* Merit Badge for not flying over to Canada to sit on her.'” Bias explained on her blog. “So, I designed one (and a few others) and posted them on Facebook.”
The crowds went wild and Bias’ fans clamored for stickers, buttons, patches, basically anything they could wear with pride. Bias ended up rapidly raising about 500% of her modest $625 goal and “Rad Fatty Merit Badges” was born.
Bias is no stranger to body-shaming. Although Arbour’s video was a particularly rough viewing experience, Bias has unfortunately experienced her fair share of body negativity. That’s why it has been so important for Bias to find ways to create ways to foster not only solidarity amongst diverse sizes, but celebration of body types that don’t receive enough love.
“In order to survive that with any sense of self-worth, we have to do a lot of work that we’re probably not even always conscious of,” Bias told Mic. “So I think that taking a few moments and saying, ‘Yeah, actually I did take up space today,’ or ‘Yeah, actually I’m a side-eye survivor,’ [or] ‘I got through being stared at by random strangers who didn’t like me just because I’m fat and that’s okay, and I still like myself,’ is pretty amazing.”
If you’re as madly in love with these merit badges as we are, there’s still about two weeks left on the Indigogo campaign’s clock. To donate/order, head over to the crowdfunding campaign here.
(Images via Facebook.)