April 05, 2007

More to Say on Fat Chicks

I sent this in an email earlier, in response to some discussion about the fat rant I posted below.

It's below the jump because it's pretty long and profanity laced.

It sucks balls that some people are fat because they can't take care of themselves in the first fucking place and they get sick and die.

But some of us have always been this way, suffer no health effects modern medicine can test for, and go about our business. Just because we own our fat doesn't mean we are ignoring the health risks, or that we are too lazy to do anything about it.

And assuming that we are somehow lesser for the pounds we carry around is bullshit.

YES, BMI IS RIDICULOUS. Maybe it serves as a nice shortcut in some diagnostic cases, but it's not everything it's cracked up to be. Is anything else in human physiology so simple?

It CHAPS MY ASS that people look at me and assume things about me because of the way I look. This would bother me if I was a blonde (dumb, right?). But I don't hear anyone complaining when a BLONDE gets up and says she's tired of people thinking that she's a stupid trollop because of her hair color.

But yet when fat people say "Get off my ass," all of a sudden we're being stupid, or ignoring our own mortality, or just plain being irresponsible.

Trust me, I know more about what it means to be fat than most of you ever will, and I'm a lot younger than some. I know how it feels to be the fat kid. The fat girl. To walk into a store with friends and smile because they can all shop and you can't and otherwise you would bust out in tears. To have people CONSTANTLY giving you "gentle reminders" that you're not healthy. To have people intentionally give you LESS food than they give others because they think they are "helping" you. To have people tell you that they have "healthy" things for you and give others junk food (although given a choice you prefer healthy snacks ANYWAY). To have people ASSUME you are dieting because you choose a smaller or healthy meal when others around you don't. To be self conscious of EVERY SINGLE BITE you put in your mouth in front of others because you can hear them thinking "PIG!" even though you haven't eaten in hours. To have people think that you're stupid because you "can't control yourself" with food. To be told that even though you have the nicest voice in the group, you can't be in the play/ensemble/choir because you'd stand out or the uniform doesn't come in your size. To be told that you can't wear a pretty bridesmaid dress because only the plain one comes in your size, and that's a tight fit. To have to go to 8 different wedding shops before you even find one that carries a dress in your size ("Well, just put on the sleeves, and we can see how you like the style, and we'll order a bigger size that you can have altered up").

But most of all, I know what it's like to be talked down to, to be looked over, to be ignored. I know the paranoia of trying to be healthy, getting all the tests done, and being on top of what my body is doing. I know the anguish of trying to find a doctor who takes the time to see that I am more than a sack of blubber that needs to be shrunk. That having the FUCKING FLU has NOTHING to do with the lard on my ass.

I have spent most of my life reeling from one insult after another, and I have grown a thick skin. I have learned to know my own body and accept it. Just the way it is. It makes me laugh to see skinny bitches so in HATE with themselves that they nearly kill themselves for 5 pounds, 10 pounds, whatever. Maybe there's more pressure when "perfect" is only 20 lbs away, I have no idea. I've never been there. Not since elementary school anyway.

None of this is to say that it's not important to try to be at and maintain a healthy weight. But not everyone has that same healthy weight. For me, it's all about mind and body. If I feel healthy, and the doctor's tests SAY I'm healthy, and I can do WHATEVER I WANT, then who the FUCK has the right to tell me otherwise, or even think otherwise. Maybe some stupid calculation says "morbidly obese", but I sure as fuck don't feel morbid. Morbid is how I feel starving myself to lose a few pounds. Morbid is how I feel when my joints ache because I exercised too hard (remember that RA is a pesky bugger, and skinny bitches have it worse than me). Morbid is how I feel when some asshole tries to tell me that they know better than I do OR my own doctor does about my weight.

I have a hell of a lot of insecurities about my own body. I'll admit that. Sometimes I wish I was a skinny bitch. I'm already a bitch. But I don't project those insecurities on other people. I own those too. I just wish other people could get their shit together enough to leave me well enough alone. /rant

Posted by caltechgirl at April 5, 2007 12:04 PM | TrackBack

no one seems to think this blog deserves a comment

Posted by: John Ryan at April 5, 2007 04:20 PM

Can you hear me applauding? Well said. I agree completely.

Posted by: Theresa at April 5, 2007 04:24 PM

I saw a youtube video at Beth's http://www.thedonovan.com/beth/archives/2007/04/i_think_i_shoul.html today that you might like. I think you're right, and so is the girl in the video. Hell. None of us are perfect and we all have to deal with stuff that we shouldn't have to because of our flaws and the way society views them. Keep rantin' if it make you feel good.

Posted by: RedNeck at April 5, 2007 07:29 PM

I can't wait to meet you in person and give you a hug. You're my hero. :)

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at April 5, 2007 07:31 PM

I've started a comment about 3 different times only to be interrupted and have to leave off... ARG!

To some people I'm fat, to others I'm skinny. It all depends on who is doing the looking and sometimes who I'm standing next to... (my family were masters of insinuating that I was fat *sigh*) Long ago I realized I can't "do" diets. I don't have the interest to maintain something like that - it's way too much work. There for I am what I am - I don't try to be different.

And while I've never been out shopping with friends, I know all about not finding your size in most any store... I'm 5'9"... that puts me squarely between the regular sizes (ending at 5'7") and the tall sizes (starting at 5'10"). Nothing is more frustrating than being the only kid in class who can't find jeans that hit below the ankle. Looking at cute jackets... only to find that the sleeves end three inches above the wrist. Being the one girl who has to stand in the back with the boys (most of whom you also tower over) for class pictures...

I've had friends who were "fat" and yet none of them was persecuted as much as one of my friends in High School who was severely underweight. She wasn't just thin, she was skinny... in the knobby knee and elbow sense. I tried my best to stand up to them when she was harassed within my hearing.

I've never understood why people pick on others because of their looks. Of course it's a mind game... makes the harassers feel superior. Far too many people think they need to tell others how to live, eat, sleep, play, work... you name it. With looks, it's an easy target - someone always has advice and "knows" it's the best around. Ho-hum.

Unfortunately, our brains are built to remember the slights far more clearly than the smiles.

Having had the great pleasure of meeting you, I can say right now, I really never thought at all about your weight... there were far more relevant things to be thinking about... like the conversation at hand. Then again I have a wonky brain, ask anyone. Heh.

Posted by: Teresa at April 5, 2007 08:28 PM

I'm glad you are able to deal with the comments and feel good about yourself. If we ever get to meet, I'll show you pictures of me as I was growing up and you'll wonder why I love myself. I was ugly. But amazingly it works wonders if you don't care what other people think and love yourself. You know best!

Posted by: vw bug at April 6, 2007 12:28 PM

Thank you. Reading that was just what I needed. I just got done having a discussion with my mom who was telling me how important it is for women to learn to accept and love themselves, no matter what they look like or what size they are. You're an excellent example.

Posted by: JM at April 6, 2007 03:25 PM

I am perpetually amazed by people and how judgemental they are. (I've been meaning to comment on this post since I read it yesterday, but just had a couple minutes of down time.) I don't get it. I really don't.

I think one of the most appalling things I've seen in awhile was when we were together and someone came up to you and said something I construed as insulting and rude. I thought I'd blow a frickin' gasket. And you handled yourself so well, while I wanted to absolutely strangle her with her tongue.

I have many friends who shop in the Plus sizes departments and to all of them I say, when they bring up weight, "Just Love yourself." That's all I want for them. If they love themselves no matter their weight, I am happy and care not about anything else. If they cannot love themselves for who they are, then I am concerned.

I liked your post. Nicely ranted.

Posted by: Bou at April 6, 2007 08:47 PM

Wow, my friend.

You are AWESOME!

I admire you for your strength, your intelligence, and your courage.

; )

Posted by: Christina at April 7, 2007 07:01 AM

Once again, Sister. AMEN. You hit this one out of the park!

Posted by: Richmond at April 7, 2007 01:54 PM

I applaud every word in your blog.

Posted by: Lyz at April 10, 2007 11:11 AM