a lot of you have given me feedback on how it's great what i'm doing, but have said it's too bad i don't feel better about myself as i am.
to which i say, "hey, i'd really like to feel better about being this size, but i don't think i have it in me to fight all the fat-is-bad sentiment that's out there. i'm just not that big a person. [ha, ha.]"
don't get me wrong -- it's not that i'm trying to be exceptionally thin. i'm okay with having a few extra pounds. i'm just not okay with being treated like fat people get treated.
some of it's overt and some of it's not, and some of it is just so ingrained that it's barely perceptable (unless you're on the receiving end) but anti-fatness is everywhere. most notable are the following, seemingly deep-rooted american beliefs i've come across again and again:
- fat women are funny: comedians still freely make fun of overweight people where they otherwise shy away from other un-PC topics. one of the worst offenses i've ever seen was on "friends" with "fat monica." that monica was once fat is a harmless enough storyline, but in the flashbacks when she became fat--meaning courtney cox put on a fat suit--monica also suddenly became a different character. she talked differently and behaved differently. (she sounded stupid and acted like an oaf.) she was desperate for male attention. she had no life. she was down on herself and envied others. and when she danced, it was just hilarious! imagine: a fat person dancing! with a donut! god, the laugh track couldn't get enough.
- fat women eat sooooooooo much: as with comedians, journalists of every ilk love --LOVE-- to use "light-hearted" similies comparing one random thing to how much [insert well-know fat person, usually oprah] eats. because of course, if you're overweight, that means you eat like a pig. it never ceases to amaze me how readily writers and commentators use fat people eating too much to make off-handed comparisons. nevermind that oprah is one of the most successful women ever, by any standard, it's still funny to think of her at an all-you-can-eat buffet. *blink*
- fat women are desperate: this is the worst and most demoralizing. it comes out in subtle ways for the most part, and usually in situations where young, single men and women are socializing (bars, clubs, parties).
when a single-and-seeking-man is faced with the prospect of speaking to either a thin woman he finds unattractive or a fat woman, he will choose the former. if a man is faced with speaking to either a fat woman or having a moment to himself, he will choose the latter. of course, there are exceptions*.
why? because the guy assumes that by talking to the fat woman, he is leading her on. she must be single, she must be eager, and she must be hopeful that he'll be into her. and he's not the desperate one...
the truth is, there are about a million other ways in which being overweight is demoralizing, and each deserves more space than i can give in this entry. they'll come later.
for now, i will simply say that i am very impressed with women who are genuinely okay with being "pleasantly plump." they are able to counter a lot of bias and second-class citizenry every day. they see the bigger picture. [again, ha ha]. sometimes i wish i could muster the same strength and contribute to the plus-size movement better.
instead, i look at myself and think: "but why fight it?" it's just easier to be thin.
*happily, not all guys are like this. the ones who aren't--and there are many--deserve their own entry.