Fat Like Me

Cotton Candy



Fat, I say.  In public.  Online.  Can you even believe the fucking audacity of giving myself an accurate description??

What follows is always so predictable.  A flood of misguided compliments, and you aggressively imposing yourself onto me.

Stop it,” you say.  ”You’re beautiful.”

Hush now,” you say.  ”You’re amazing and wonderful.”

No more of this,” you say, trying to sew my lips closed.  ”We love you.”

And I can’t help but think:  Yeah…no shit…I’m adorable as fuck!  I never said I wasn’t.  I never said anything about beauty or likeability or whatever else it is that you think you’re saving me from.

All I said was that I was fat (the definition, if I’m not mistaken, means that I’m full of fat, that I’m with the fatness, that this body or its parts contain fat, likely a larger volume than average).

When I say that my hair is brown, nobody freaks the fuck out like I just discovered I was a horrible human being.  So when I note my bulging belly, my fat frame, why do you feel the need to shush and stop me?

Does my voice scare you as much as my thighs?  Which btw ARE fat.  Fatty fatty fat fat.  But, and here’s the point I think that you’re missing, fat doesn’t mean ugly.  That’s all in your head (and in the media, etc.).

And look, I’m sorry that you see things that way; I’m sorry that you’re probably terrified of it; I’m sorry that you fear a body that could disgust you.  But that’s not me, and it’d be real swell if you could stop imposing your shit on me every time I give an accurate description of myself.

Because when you respond to “I’m fat” like I just said I was worthless, you are essentially saying that because I’m fat, you think I’m worthless.

The truth is I just want to live in a world of honesty.  And the honest truth is that I am fat.  I’m beautiful.  I’m talented.  I’m hardworking and well loved.  I’m kind and funny and highly educated (this sentence structure style to the contrary).  Sometimes, I’m also an asshole.  I can be a real dick.  I pout and I cry and I’m a hypochondriac (though I recently diagnosed myself correctly on WebMD so assuming I don’t die immediately I’ll start seeing patients next week).  I’m a human being: good, bad, and everything in between.  And I just want to be able to talk about myself, exactly as I am, without you trying toquiet down my experience, my reality, because of the issues that you have with the words I use.

I’m tired of having to tone myself down for you.

I’m tired of having to refer to myself as a “curvy” girl.  (I do that.  Throw in words like curvy because that’s what they call it.  That’s how they like to describe it but it’s not my word.  I would say fat.  Big and fat.  But they don’t like that).

I’m tired of changing for you.

My fatness isn’t yours to control.  My words aren’t yours to soften.  My frame isn’t yours to contain.

I Am Not Disgusting

Remember:  I am someone’s little sister, someone’s baby girl, someone’s friend, someone’s love.  Please don’t be mean.  My heart breaks the same as yours.

I can show you a picture, paint it on an easel, move your hand across the words in Braille but you’ll never really get it, unless you once tried to talk to someone who thought you were Disgusting. 

It’s a special kind of hurt the moment you find out you’re a sideshow Freak, a detour to chubby town, a vacation gone whale hunting, and you’re swimming for your life from men who want to mount your head on their wall.

You are an endangered species, in a world of bridges and railroad tracks and ceilings with beams not strong enough to hold you, like arms that should cradle you but hang you out to dry and then forget until they look and you’ve blown away.

This post is not in response to this awesome SO BRAVE beautifully written post because that just feels way too antagonistic or in opposition, which is not what this is.  This is an addition.  A plus(size).  An addendum.  So here goes…

When you see a picture of a woman, exposed with the flaws she thinks she hasbut you see none, you stand up and applaud.  She has value.  Her hurt should be taken away.  You think I have no say in how she should live her life.  Who am I to judge.  She has the right to feel beautiful, be beautiful, goddamn it she is beautiful (because honestly, aren’t we all?)

And to be clear, her hurt is in no way less important or worthy than mine.  But, I have to wonder if that same go grrrrl reaction happens when an actual fat person, bares their flaws for you to see.  And though I dream that it does.  I beg for it to be so.  I would give almost anything for that to be true, for this to be a world where you don’t think you have any fucking say over my body.  I have a lifetime of experience that says otherwise.

I’ve never worn a bikini.  Bikini season means nothing to me, though I’ve spent most of life swimming away from whale hunters.  No insult is ever equal when it comes to fat people.  I’m never just a bitch like all you other lucky bitches get to be.  I’m always a fat bitch.  I live in constant fear that teenage boys will spit on me (and I’m thirtyfuckingone).  When I reject a man while online dating (politely), I’m never just a girl who rejected him.  Suddenly I’m a fat bitch that no one wants anyway.

I’m not really going to go into why I’m fat (which I am).  Because the truth is it shouldn’t matter, to you.  This is my body.  I am allowed to eat (which I do).  I am allowed to fuck (which I do).  I am allowed to be happy and not harassed or stared at.  I should be able to workout and not live in fear that you think I’m disgusting.  I should be allowed to just be me, in whatever shape that comes in.

I’m not lazy.  I’m not worthless.  (though even if I was, who are you to judge?).  I have value.  I hold two BA degrees.  I’m currently getting my MA at Concordia in English Literature.  I’m kind to people.  I get choked up on phone calls with my parents because I love them so much.  I want to make the world a better place.  I want to protect young girls whose sexuality is judged and mocked and held hostage.  I want to be the naked tits on the internet that makes it so no girl ever commits suicide after she couldn’t stand being harassed and bullied for amistake.  I want to bear the burdens so other little girls never have to.  I have a family who loves me.  I have friends who love me.  I have people whose hearts break every time you hurt me.  I have no less value because I’m fat.  You don’t get a say in how I deal with my body or my issues.  I spend my days trying to make people laugh for no other reason than the world needs more joy.  MORE FUCKING JOY.  I should be allowed to sit by a pool, any pool, public or otherwise and not have you think that my grotesque form is somehow obstructing your otherwise perfect existence.

And so here I am.  At a summer BBQ.  Unaware of a photo being taken of me.  By a friend.  Who doesn’t see anything other than her friend, the one who makes her laugh and writes “about the most boring shit in the world but in a way that makes it seem sooo interesting”, making a burger (or something lol I don’t really even know what I was doing) on her thighs, on a day when we were all just so fucking happy.

HUGE Thanks to @MmeSurly and her beautiful brave post that has allowed me to be brave and bare my body and heart.

UPDATE:  In my rush to get this post out quickly yesterday, I worry that it feels unfinished, that I never actually said the thing I meant to say which is this:  That I am enough.  You are enough.  Our bodies are our own.  Life is hard enough as it is without having people tell us what we can or can’t do, what we should or shouldn’t show the world, or how much fun and happiness we are allotted.  

That being said, by the absolutely amazing left-me-near-speechless outpouring of love and support and stories from other women and men about emotions and hurt and strength and bravery and desires to be stronger (I could go on but this sentence is turning into a grammatical nightmare of love)…by what this post has inspired you all to say, I know that even without these extra words you somehow understood exactly what I was trying to say.  So thank you, you beautiful brave people.  My heart, it runneth over.

swimsuit