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Wishing me ill

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

When I look back at pictures of me when I was a child I can see that I was not fat. I was taller and bigger than the other girls in my class but I wouldn’t have considered myself to be fat. Well, not that fat. I was strong and athletic and healthy.

My mother, however, thought that I was too big for my own good. She would give me less food than she gave to my extremely skinny brother, and would say no when I asked for seconds. “Do you really need more food?” she would ask. When I was 12 she took me to the doctor to be put on a diet, which consisted of meal replacement cookies. When that didn’t work she took me to another doctor who ran all manner of tests to see if something was wrong with me. Nothing was. These days she pretty much leaves me alone because she knows how I feel about dieting and body image.

I don’t blame my mom for her behaviour at all, that’s what happens when you live in a society that views fat people as defective. But I wish she wouldn’t have wished me ill.

When we were kids one of my cousins came down with a really bad stomach virus or food poisoning. She was very sick for a couple of weeks, so of course she lost weight. My mom said to me, “You need what she has so you can lose weight too.”

That statement never sat well with me. Why would you wish someone ill? Can you think of any other circumstance that wishing someone ill would be appropriate? If you’re concerned about my “health,” why would you want me to get sick?

Why would you risk the self-esteem of a little girl by letting her know that you think she looks horrible so she should become sick if it will help her to look “better?”

I was just as appalled to see a friend’s Facebook status recently. She became ill and I believe she is having her gallbladder removed in the next few weeks. Her status was along the lines of, “One good thing about being sick is that I’ve lost 23 pounds in 2 weeks.” Really??

I had food poisoning back in January, and weight loss was the last thing on my mind. The first thing was “How did I get this,” and “I feel horrible and I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”

I strive to not be sick. Thank goodness I no longer buy into this madness.

Marie Claire: fatties are gross!

October 31, 2010 3 comments

So much has already been written about Marie Claire magazine’s colossal fuck-up when they decided to publish one of the most offensive blog posts I’ve ever read.  The author of the blog post, Maura Kelly, thinks that it’s perfectly ok to publicly humiliate a specific group of people.  She later offered a really bad apology, but the damage had already been done.

I have read several rebuttals to this blog post, but the best one I’ve read so far was written by Josh Shahryar on the Huffington Post.  “Dear Marie Claire and Media: Fat People Are People, Too.”  The first thing that amazed me was that it was written for the Huffington Post, not exactly a fat-friendly website.  This writer is a self-admitted “foreign policy guy,” but he wrote this article with what I felt was such sensitivity and caring for someone who usually does not write about such topics:

“The big deal isn’t one person pulling this bigoted post which will undoubtedly go down as a masterpiece in the annals of hatred. It is the audacity of a reputable international magazine for women to make thousands of women feel like their bodies are unworthy. That they are ugly. That their mere presence on our television screens is a public offense.

I know that many overweight women have image issues and they know that there are people out there that look at them and judge them by their BMI. However, at least those people are kind enough to not come up to them and say it to their faces. Because that would be mean. A reputable international magazine for women just came forward and told millions of women that its staff thinks they’re gross. It gave a bigot the platform to come out and hurt millions of people. That is a very big deal.”

And for the people who complain that this is a free speech issue: Nobody is saying that people can’t have their own opinions.  I personally don’t care whether people don’t like me for being fat, gay, black or whatever.  What I do care about is people contributing to the ill-treatment of an already marginalized group.  The freedom to hold opinions, no matter how distasteful, does not mean that you get to be free from criticism of said opinions. 

 

With friends like this…

October 19, 2010 4 comments

Me and a friend, the same friend that I had a ‘lil chat with about his questionable comments about Gabourey Sidibe a few months back, recently did a 5k charity walk together.  As there isn’t much to do while walking such a distance other than look at scenery and talk, we talked.  I felt that it might have been a tad rude to pull out my phone and start reading my Twitter stream.

Being a male that is very aware of of the presence of females, he started to comment on some of our fellow walker’s attire.  Most of them were wearing Lululemon athletic clothing.  In particular he was commenting on how the women’s behinds look in the pants.  I mentioned to him that I wrote to Lululemon to complain that their clothes only go up to size 12 and that bigger women also want nice clothing to exercise in.  He asked if I got a reply, I said no.  He said that he wasn’t surprised and that he agreed with them.  I said “So fat women don’t deserve nice clothes to exercise in?” He said “Well, you wouldn’t want them to ruin those pants.”  I politely told him that he needs to learn how to mind his own business.

I mean, how dare we all not conform to his idea of attractiveness.  How dare we?!?  Obviously the whole point of our existence is to please him sexually.  Duh!

And the next time he says that fat people should exercise, I will remind him that lack of proper clothing is one barrier, as are rude comments about our appearance.

He’s lucky I didn’t say anything about him being bald.

Categories: Fat Acceptance, Fat Hate

Fat Talk Free Week

October 18, 2010 2 comments

The ladies over at the Tri Delta sorority are once again sponsoring Fat Talk Free Week, running from October 18 – 22.  They, as am I, are alarmed at the number of people suffering from eating disorders, and would prefer to take the focus off of looks/ weight and put it on health.  Check out this video that they made:

 

I wish it was more than one week.

Categories: Body Image, Fat Hate

There’s a reason I wear earphones in public…

April 30, 2010 5 comments

A while back I was having an email conversation with Heather Blessington (mamaV) from the mamavision eating disorder blog and We Are The Real Deal body image blog. Among other things we were discussing whether or not unmoderated blogs are a good idea. When blogs are about controversial topics, such as body image, I don’t think it’s a good idea to let people run wild with their comments. What we saw when WATRD first started were lots of fat-hating comments and body shaming comments.  Most of it was useless and didn’t serve to enhance the conversation, only to put people down.

When emailing with Heather I said that it’s easy for people to spew vile fat hatred when sitting behind their internet connection. When you write anonymously on the internet you can get away with saying things that you most likely don’t have the balls to say to peoples faces. I told Heather that I’ve been fatter than average my whole life but I was only subjected to rude comments from a stranger once.

Now I can say not once, but twice.

Today I was walking into work, minding my own business as usual, when a car full of young men drove past. Usually when I am anywhere other than home I am listening to my iPod, but for some reason I didn’t have my earphones on today. One guy in the car shouted “big batty gyal,” out of the window. At first I wasn’t sure how to take it: I am black and the guys in the car were black. Some men of African and Caribbean descent prefer bigger women, so it could have been a “compliment.”  I don’t think it is a compliment to make random comments about women’s bodies in public, but that is not the point.

I knew it was not a compliment when someone else in the car yelled “KFC Is that way, bitch!”

Now, what ever happened to courtesy and civility?  Was it really necessary to say that to me, like I don’t already know that I’m fat and I need to be told repeatedly?  Are people simply incapable of keeping quiet these days?  And since when is my weight anybody else’s business but mine?

Since becoming aware of the fat acceptance movement I’ve tried really hard to stop judging other people and to stop judging myself.  I do pretty well but this comment sort of caught me off guard.  I could just imagine what it would do to someone who has not yet overcome their body hatred and who still believes in The Fantasy Of Being Thin.

I don’t care if they found me unattractive, I probably wouldn’t have liked them either.  I don’t care if they think I really do survive on KFC and donuts.  I don’t care if they think I’m the biggest, most obesiest person they ever saw.  In the name of being a decent human being KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

Categories: Fat Acceptance, Fat Hate