While I do appreciate all of the lovely people who read my last blog and told me I’m beautiful, I have to say not everyone is surrounded by the same kind of people as I am. I have been fortunate to be blessed with a great group of friends and family. Most of the urging to lose weight came in my childhood and while misguided, was always well-intentioned.
But have you been on the internets lately?
We all know that the anonymity of the web has allowed people to spew some hateful garbage at strangers. But where fat people are concerned, it’s downright vicious. I came across lots of cruel comments on blogs and articles regarding weight and fat acceptance.
Fat-hating seems to be one of the last forms of acceptable bigotry left. The excuse of “they did it to themselves” seems to give people free reign to try and heap shame upon people whose life stories they cannot possibly know just by looking at a body.
And regardless of how much science is beginning to support the absolute ineffectiveness of dieting (which has a 90 to 95% failure rate for long term success), they’ll continually hurl simplistic cure-alls like “stop eating and get up off your ass, fattie”, like that’s something fat people have never heard before.
My own research into why I’ve been such a colossal failure at the weight loss game has led me to the understanding that playing that game is essentially being at war with your body. And your body will win most of the time. Your body is only trying to keep you alive and when you starve yourself, it doesn’t know you’re doing it on purpose.
If you are interested, there are now great resources such as the Health at Every Size movement as well as Intuitive Eating programs. They are about making peace with food and your body and seeking health above and before weight loss. Institute healthy habits and you can be healthy even if you are carrying around some extra weight.
That’s not what I really want to talk about here though. I want to talk about the haters. There have been haters for as long as there have been people. Some of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, categorize other people as acceptable and unacceptable. This can be done by ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or political and religious leanings. It can also be done for nothing more than how someone decides to dress.
However, in our current PC climate, so many of the usual targets of hate have been taken off the table and bigots are being chastised for those once allowable prejudices. But fat is their last bastion of vitriol and they are allowed to spew it with a self-righteousness that is astounding. And some of these bigots have medical and science degrees to back it all up.
Perhaps if I didn’t fall into the fat camp, I might not have noticed it. But I’m really starting to recognize it for what it really is and I’m not going to allow it in my sphere any longer. Fat people are people too, with feelings of all things, and you can hurt them… badly. Cut off our heads, will we not bleed?
When that urge to criticize a fat person strikes, remember… there but for the grace of God go I. You too could be struck by an illness that causes weight gain, an injury that sidelines you and you can’t exercise or you can’t seem to lose that post-pregnancy weight no matter how hard you try.
Your body is not a machine or a lump of clay. It is an ecosystem and should be treated with more respect.
And when I said I’m fat, I wasn’t searching for compliments or anything to negate that. I am fat and I’m owning the body that I’ve inhabited now for 40 years… finally. It takes courage for someone to be who they are in the face of no agreement from their society. Recognize!
And if there is something so fundamentally wrong with being fat, why was this an ancient symbol of fertility and femininity?