Okay, I know I talked about this a few weeks ago, but it’s time to bring up the subject again. Because once again, I and others around me were subjected to the most vile fat-shaming. The best part? These people had NO IDEA WHAT I LOOKED LIKE. One of the DJs on the radio station I listen to posted this image and asked this: “FOR or AGAINST? Her message. This mother says she’s received an unbelievable amount of hate mail for trying to get mothers to realize that being pregnant is no excuse to be out of shape.”
The gist of this image is that this woman has had three babies in three years and looks like a supermodel. If you can’t read the text, it just says, “What’s your excuse?” Out of 150 comments on the image, about 135 of them said something along the lines of “Amen, sister. Fatties need to get off their asses!” I posted the following comment: I am floored and amazed at the amount of fat-shaming going on in this thread. Way to go, ****, for creating yet another thread where people can bash and discriminate anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow ideals. (DJ’s name redacted, because he doesn’t really deserve the backlash). I IMMEDIATELY got the following response: “fat shaming??? Yeah, cause everybody who neglets/abuses [sic] their bodies deserves a high-fucking-5. This attitude is why so much of the population is obese.”
Right. Because everybody is fat because they choose to be. Those of us who are overweight WANT to be this way. We really secretly love it. We haven’t already been shamed our entire lives, sometimes even by our families and friends, because we don’t conform to society’s idea of what an attractive person looks like. I’m sure these fat-shaming people (I only know what the woman who posted the picture looks like, the rest are all strangers I’ve never met) have never put a single thing in their mouths that wasn’t 100% healthy, never made a bad food choice or chosen to sit on the couch instead of bouncing up to exercise. I’m sure they’ve never made a bad choice in their lives. Right?
This was me at my highest weight (310 lbs):
I’m sure you can’t tell, but I’m a full 30 lbs lighter in this photo than in the previous one. I’m not small. I’m not skinny. I never will be. But I am trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I do, in fact, have a condition that causes me daily pain and have since I was a small child. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in childhood and osteo-arthritis in my 20s. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel pain. But go ahead and make fun of me, because I’m a fatty, so I asked for it, right?
What gives ANYONE the right to judge me or anyone else for the way we look? Who the hell made these people judge, jury and executioner for anyone who does not look like a supermodel? I am a normal human being, like any other. I would like someone to explain to me why it’s okay to treat me like anything less. Explain to me, please, why it’s okay to insult me and make me feel bad and call me names. I want to know why it’s okay for people to tell me that I’m worthless and ugly and sub-human. I want to know who made it okay for fat people to be second-class citizens. Cause hey, it’s TOTALLY appropriate for you to tell me to my face that I’m a fat, ugly cow. It’s not like we fatties have feelings.
You wouldn’t make a thinner person feel bad for eating a cookie or a hamburger or a piece of pie. So why is it okay to mock and deride me for doing it? Believe me, I don’t live on cookies or hamburgers or pie. These are all infrequent treats for me, just as they are for most people. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and lean meats and other healthy items. But for some reason, it’s okay to make rude comments and snark at me for daring to put something in my mouth, or laugh if I have to sit down for a minute because my legs are sore. For all you know, I just finished a 5k Arthritis walk and I’m tired. But because I’m fat, it’s okay to assume I’m just lazy and mock me for it. (and yeah, I did the 2012 Walk to Fight Arthritis – didn’t do it this year because I was out of town that weekend).
You don’t know the circumstances of the homeless guy on the corner either, and it would never occur to most people to stand in front of the homeless guy and laugh at him, or insult him. It would never occur to people to stand in front of someone who has terminal cancer and tell them that they deserve it because they made bad life choices. It would never occur to anyone to make fun of someone with heart disease for their poor life choices. It is no more okay to make fun of or insult me than it would be to insult any of these people. And I am fucking sick to death of people telling me that I chose to be this way.
If you think that humiliating me is going to magically make me skinny, then I’m sorry, but you’re an asshole. It’s as if people don’t think we realize we’re fat. I’m sometimes tempted to exclaim, “Holy shit, you mean I’m FAT???? Oh my god, I had absolutely NO IDEA! I’m so glad you told me!” Maybe I’ll start doing that. Because people really don’t seem to realize that yeah, I know I’m fat. I have to buy my own clothes, so I clued in when I had to start shopping at the plus-size store. And for some reason, they seem to think that it’s okay, even necessary, to hurt my feelings so that I’ll somehow flip a switch in my brain that will make me stop being fat.
There’s no excuse for body-shaming of any type. And I swear that the next person who tries it out on me will get one of the following comments:
“Holy cow, did you know your nose is HUGE?”
“Oh my god, what repulsive freckles!”
“Oh, what an unfortunate mole on your neck!”
Come at me, bro. I’m ready.