When I ask Grasso whether she worried about receiving fatphobic pushback after writing the Skeleton when you’re dead inside but love plants shirt and by the same token and article, she’s very clear: “Yes, because it’s rampant.” Grasso recalls Andrew Yang’s campaign-trail fat jokes about Donald Trump. Seeing that play out reminded her that fatphobia is “one of the last remaining ‘okay’ biases to have.” Like Catherine, Grasso is glad to have gotten the vaccine based on her BMI, but she’s aware of the difficulty it could pose for others in the same position: “It must be hard for a lot of people to be like, Well, technically I qualify, but what am I allowing to be said about my body? Do I want the stigma associated with being a fat person who can get vaccinated?” Writer Samantha Grasso, 27, recently received the vaccine in Austin based on her BMI, an experience that she wrote about in a Discourse Blog article titled “I’m Getting Vaccinated Because of Fatphobia.” In the article, Grasso refers to BMI as “a white supremacist, fatphobic metric for health and health disparities,” noting that recovery from her own struggle with disordered eating was partially what brought her into the category that the medical establishment deems obese.
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to accept BMI as a meaningful indicator of your own individual health in order to let the Skeleton when you’re dead inside but love plants shirt and by the same token and medical community’s fixation with it work for you. “I think BMI is kind of a crock of shit, personally,” says Matt, 29, who will soon receive his first dose of the vaccine in the Bronx. “The human body is not one-size-fits-all in any way, shape, or form, so why would we measure body mass in this way? It makes no sense.” Matt also notes that the experience of qualifying for the vaccine has allowed him to take the loaded topic of his weight lightly: “It’s the first time I can remember in which I’ve been able to be cavalier and joke around with other friends [who also qualify based on BMI] about my weight.”