Maggie Spear is a comic artist and identifies as a fat person. She calls herself fat openly and she has sort of reclaimed the term. Jana reached out to her after she saw one of Maggie’s comics being published on The Lily’s IG page (@thelilynews). The comic was about Maggie’s struggle with an eating disorder and the way she was mistreated or not treated by the medical industry. Maggie discusses how frightening it was to publish this very person comic about her experience, and not just by the public but by her family and friends as well. This published comic was the first time that many of her close relations had heard about her disordered eating.
Maggie shares her experiences having a healthy relationship with food as a child but as an adult, went through an extreme food allergy which led to her restricting more of her food. She lost control and talks about restricting her eating for days, months and then years. She describes feeling in control at first and as she lost weight, she kept getting praised by those around her. Because of the messages of fat being unhealthy in our culture, she felt like she was doing the right thing by censoring calories. “How many calories are in a Tylenol?” she would ask herself eventually. Maggie describes the horrific experience of being a fat person with an eating disorder and being treated with praise and accolades by all around her. She avoided the doctor for a long time.
Jana and Maggie discuss fat positivity, fat justice and they agree that fat voices are largely missing from the conversation about disordered eating. They discuss how Instagram - a place that used to feel somewhat radical in showing fat bodies - largely centers thin, white bodies as beautiful now. #BodyPositivity! It’s wild to them both how prevalent disordered eating must be in fat spaces but how few voices are discussing ED among fat communities. They talk about raising the next generation of fat positive feminists, what that requires of us as adults and how crucial this mission is for us to take on.
Follow Maggie’s comic work on IG @sparespear and support her journey and her art!
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