Well, it’s Fat Tuesday. Ugh. Fat. My own personal “N” word. Wait, I can’t say that. I can’t compare abhorrent racism to being a fat-ass, can I? Damn. Okay, I apologize to the Black community. Again. (I’m sure I’ve said some other stupid-ass white shit at some point).
So, the “F” word. Not THAT “F” word silly. FAT. For those of us who are fat, were fat, think we’re fat, or have been called fat (and that’s a lot of people) the word fat can be at best cringe-worthy, and at worst, debilitating. You never even have to have been fat a day in your life to have felt fat or be referred to as fat. We throw it around pretty often.
Hey Fat ass. Fat lazy piece of shit. I hate that fat bitch. Who does that fat loser think she is? But when did “fat” become “phat?” What about a fat crib, a fat ride? Or is that a phat ride? What the hell would I know? I don’t think I’ve ever been called “phat” but boy-oh-boy have I been called “fat.” A lot.
I have been told to lose weight more times than I can count. I have been asked about my baby’s due date more times than I can count. (I’ve never been pregnant). Hell, the first time someone asked me if I was pregnant I think I weighed less than 120 pounds.
I’ve stood in a bar while a total stranger (a man) yelled in my face, “You’re fucking fat!” Out of the blue. I’m still not sure why that happened. Even if I was fat, who the hell is that rude? Jeez.
Lately, it’s struck me as odd that I actually heard a lot more fat criticism when I was much, much thinner than I hear now. People actually look shocked when I talk about my body issues, or admit my past eating disorder. “You? Really? But you’re not even overweight.” Wait. What? I’m not? (Of course doctors at free clinics still love to tell me how fat I am and that I should cut back on all the fried foods I’m eating. Again – what? What? Fried foods? Seriously? They’re bad for you? Who knew? And I’m eating them? Who knew?)
But all of this makes me think I was “fatter” when I was thin. Maybe “fat” can be a state of mind. After all, it was all I thought about, all I talked about. I was fucking obsessed. I’m fat. I’m fat. I said it like a bazillion times a day. I could take any conversation and make it about my weight.
My friend: “So it’s totally annoying but I keep getting my neighbor’s phone bill in my mail, and then I have to go knock on his door and give him his mail, and he’s creepy so it weirds me out.”
Me: “I wish my mailbox was further away because I could really use the exercise. And I hate my neighbor too, because I saw him talking to his girlfriend the other day, and I’m pretty sure he was telling her how much weight I’ve gained. And I hope I don’t ever have to knock on his door cause my chubby fingers might just break right through the wood with their heaviness.”
In case you haven’t figured it out yet: I was straight-up crazy. My body dysmorphic disorder was crippling. I was totally paranoid too. I actually thought everyone had gotten together and planned something really funny: Everyone keep telling Marnie that she isn’t fat, even though she is, it will drive her crazy. I felt as if everyone was running around saying “the sky is orange” when I knew damn well it was blue. But everyone was in on it.
Comments about my body involving words like “curvy,” “voluptuous,” “luscious,” and so on, years ago would have sent me running. All I heard was “fat” and it was enough to have me sobbing so hard I puked and cut ribbons of bright red blood into my flesh. Now, those same words can make me think I’m so sexy that it’s dangerous to leave the house.
But fat. Could I handle that one yet? What if someone called me fat? What if I am, “fat?” I mean, what’s fat anyway? Bigger than a size 6? A BMI of more than 26? I think it’s relative. I grew up in the 80’s when tiny tits and narrow hips, lean and slender, sliding into Gloria Vanderbilt jeans was the symbol of beauty. But what if I had been born in the early 1600’s and Rubens was putting an ad on craigslist (or however they did it back then) for models to paint? I’d get the job over someone like, say… Keira Knightley.
But this is not 1621, and “fat” is still a dirty word. I refuse though, to believe, as some people certainly seem to, that fat is more than just a possibly hurtful physical description, that it says something about who you really are on the inside.
Fat is not a character flaw.
Being fat does not mean a person is weak. It does not mean they are lazy, or lack willpower. It does not mean they are stupid, dirty, or uneducated.
Fat happens. Skinny happens. And no matter how smart you think you are, how much you think you know about a person by looking at them, and judging them, you don’t know shit. You don’t know shit about that person’s journey. How they used to look, how they will look later, and why they look the way they look now.
I saw a (stupid) woman’s comment on a picture of a young model on the Facebook page “Healthy is the New Skinny.” (Clearly, they promote “healthy” bodies over “skinny at any cost” bodies). The model was quite pretty, not skinny, not fat. The woman went off on the model saying there is no way she could be healthy because she was at least a size 12, and something along the lines of her obviously being “addicted to sugar.” Really bitch? So you know, for a fact, by looking at a picture of a woman that she is ADDICTED TO SUGAR? Not even just eats it, or likes it, but is addicted. It’s not like she’s holding a box of sugar cubes and wearing a shirt that says, “I can’t stop eating sugar because I’m a fat lazy piece of shit sugar addict.” This kind of ignorance blows my mind. I want to grab a woman that stupid and force-feed her processed cheese until she gains so much weight she is smothered by her own fat rolls. But I don’t have that kind of time and money, because processed cheese is expensive. And I’d have to buy tons of it because she’s OBVIOUSLY ADDICTED TO VELVEETA and I can tell by looking at her.
So, enough of my Fat Rant. Happy Fat Tuesday everyone. Think twice before you call somebody fat. In another time or place they might be a sex symbol. They might be a goddamn sex symbol right here, right now and you’re too narrow-minded to see it.
I know I’m phat. I’m one phat-ass fuckin’ political statement.