I like to use the metaphor of the emotional immune system, which as far as I know, was created by Deb Burgard. It’s possible she got it from somewhere else. The idea is that we all have immune systems and you can think of your immune system as it attacks anything that is a foreign invader to your body. In order to figure out if something’s a foreign invader, it has to look at, “Okay, is that thing different than what’s inside my body? If it’s different, attack. If it’s the same, ‘Oh, that’s part of me. I’m not going to attack.’” So that’s our actual immune system. But you can also think of the concept of an emotional immune system. The emotional immune system is like, “Oh, is that judgment? Is that feeling different than what is inside me?” If we think about fatphobia out in the world, if we think about fatphobia coming in and being detected by our emotional immune system, our emotional immune system is going to say, “Is that piece of fatphobia, that instance of fatphobia different than what lives inside me?” In other words, do I have internalized fatphobia as well? If it’s different, if I’ve worked on my internalized fatphobia and what’s inside me is different than the fatphobia that’s coming from outside, then our emotional immune system will be like, “Screw you! Attack!” If it is the same, if we’re hearing the same things from outside that live in us as values and beliefs about ourselves, then our emotional immune system is not going to know to attack. It’s just going to be like, “Come on in. The party’s fine.” So I’d like to use this metaphor because it shows that the more solid we can get in our own beliefs, that fatness is okay and that we accept ourselves as we are, the more we can work on our own internalized fatphobia, the easier it is to resist what’s out there. There will always be those jerks at the far end of the bell curve that you’re talking about. But it’s way, way easier to just give them the middle finger when you don’t believe what they’re saying.