There’s a debate between the different blogs I follow with discussions about fat-shaming on one side and encouraging healthy lifestyles on the other. Depending on which website I’m on, I can either read about how horrible our fat-phobic and discriminatory our society is now or about how we’re enabling people to continue to be overweight and obese. And I usually can see points on both sides of the debate. But, as fat person myself, I tend to see my personal emotions and thoughts more along the side of how horrible fat people are treated and the difficulties there – and I’m not just talking about “society in general” here – a lot of the pain that I feel being fat comes from the people whom I interact with on a daily basis, whether that’s people at work, students/faculty I engage with, friends, or family.
Warning: I’m totally going to rant for a bit.
For example, I think some of the worst things about being fat during the holidays is listening and reading about how everyone is 1) worried they’ll eat too much during some holiday meals and gain “at least 2 lbs from that meal!” and 2) just hoping/praying/wishing that they won’t gain weight and get fat over the holidays. In other words, holidays=fat and Lord knows that being fat is like the worst thing EVER.
Every time I hear people say something along the lines of how their life will be oh-so-bad if they gain 2 lbs from that meal or their new year goal is to not be fat, what I really hear is how they can’t fathom how horrible it would be to be fat like me. I know and realize that’s not what they’re technically saying – but that’s how I feel. When people talk about how the worst thing ever about the holidays is all the weight they will gain, I kinda wanna puke. When someone says their new year resolution is to lose 50 lbs and they are totally smaller than than me, what I think about is how I must look to them since I am pretty much giantly obese in comparison.
I remember one Christmas when someone got a pair of pants as a kind of gag gift – they were hideously ugly – but the comment around the room was not just that were horribly ugly, but that they were ginormous. Huge even. And everyone laughed. Except me because they would not have fit me – as in, they were too small for me to wear. So, here’s my inner monologue from that moment, “if those pants are huge to you all (ha ha ha – so funny), then we should totally pass around my clothes from my suitcase because then you could REALLY laugh! Oh, and fuck you.” I know, that’s not a very nice thing to think and telling your family to fuck off (in my head) probably doesn’t gel with my “no hating” philosophy but trust me, there’s no hate there – just hurt.
Having said all of that, let me say that I get it. I do. People are just trying to be healthy and live their lives (myself included). And I do believe that we all should be able to live as we wish. I can’t control what people do or think. And please know that I am well aware of the many problems in our society that cause such a large amount of our population to be overweight – that’s actually a huge problem that we need to address on the societal level and I can pull research that shows that (hmmm…that should be another post).
But!! I’m willing to bet that you all have people in your life who are overweight or obese (well, if you know me, I’d be that person for sure) and I think it’d be cool if you maybe just kept us in mind this holiday season. And maybe at other times of the year too? Like maybe you could not share with that person that youtube video or picture from the internet that you think is oh-so-funny that is mocking someone who is overweight? I mean, it’s your prerogative if you think mocking fat people is totally awesome, but it’d be kinda cool if you could be more considerate, you know?
*steps off soapbox*