Mary Lambert Slams Medical Office After Infuriating Fatphobic Experience
Mary Lambert spoke out about a fatphobic experience she had while trying to undergo an important medical procedure.
In a series of tweets, the singer — best known for "Same Love," her 2012 collaboration with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — documented a recent disastrous attempt to get an MRI at a Rayus Radiology center in Massachusetts after suffering a ski accident.
"Just tried to get an MRI at @RAYUSradiology, and was shocked at how unprepared they were for a fat patient," Lambert wrote in the first of a thread of tweets earlier this month. "I changed into their biggest scrubs (a 2X), and had half of my butt exposed, only to have the MRI coil not fit around my knee. I was asked my weight 3 separate times."
"They kept telling me, 'We have a bigger coil. It just doesn't work now,'" the singer later told Today about the unpleasant experience.
Since the larger coil was unavailable, she had to try to make the smaller one work. "We got the mold to snap on but I was starting to lose feeling in my foot. I finally had to be like, I don't think I could do this for a half hour."
Lambert told Today that she ultimately left the center and was unable to go through with the MRI since they were unprepared to accommodate her as a plus size patient. She added that she cried so hard during the experience that she suffered a panic attack in their office.
"I normally would have coached myself out of it and waited to pull out and cry in the car. And I was like you know what? Who am I protecting here? Who benefits from me not expressing my full experience? I will let myself full out cry and process in this," the musician explained.
"It’s an experience that fat people are often used to feel shame about," Lambert shared on Twitter. "People wonder why fat folks wait to/don’t seek medical treatment for themselves, and it’s experiences like this that reinforce the idea that there is something wrong or abnormal with our bodies."
The singer also spoke to Today about how people perceive fat bodies in general. "People don’t believe that fat people should feel liberated," she said. They believe that fat people should be in pursuit of weight loss and that if you do all of the right things, then you wouldn’t be fat. So fat people are a moral failure."
Lambert then responded to that poorly held belief.
“Regardless of whether or not fat people should lose weight or should be in the pursuit of of a smaller body, fat people exist," she said. "What people need to answer really is will they continue to gate keep life-saving medical procedures from bodies that will always exist?"
Rayus Radiology commented on Lambert's experience in a statement shared with Today.
"We make great effort to ensure that all patients are treated courteously and receive the highest standard of patient care at all our locations. Unfortunately, we recently received feedback from a patient who did not have an experience reflective of Rayus or what our patients should expect when coming to us for medical care," the company said.
The statement added that the company reached out to Lambert and apologized. The company said they aim to make their facilities accessible to patients of all sizes.
"Moments like this allow the voices of our communities to challenge all providers to always provide the quality of service they deserve."
Lambert told Today she was able to return to the office and undergo the needed MRI using different equipment.
She opened up about the larger impact of the situation: "What I really think in those situations is not like boo-hoo me. I’m thinking about people that are fatter than me."
See more of Mary Lambert's Twitter recap about her upsetting radiology appointment below: