Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bucking the Trend

I feel like there are a multitude of posts on this blog (and others that I write on) that follow the same basic format:
  1. I forget to write for an inordinate amount of time
  2. I think for a few weeks that I should actually write something
  3. I start to write something decent or insightful and...
  4. The post always turns into a "sorry-it's-been-so-long,-let-me-update-you-on-every-annoying detail-in-my-life-since-I-last-wrote" rather than sticking with what I had planned.
So. Let's try to get past the part where I'm a slacker when it comes to personal blogging and move on. And if you don't like touchy-feely posts, feel free to stop reading now. It's about to get introspective


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I know, probably not that big a surprise. But lately, it's been a bit of a struggle.  I've always operated under the impression that I will never be good enough. Society tells me that I am ugly, and as such, unworthy and incapable of garnering attention, love, or success because of my weight. The stereotypes of laziness, lack of discipline, and being unhealthy abound. It doesn't matter if all of that is wrong, but that's the kind of opinions that fat people encounter every day.

Being fat is a socially acceptable reason for people to invade your personal space, offer their opinions unsolicited on your health, and insult you in public on a regular basis. Not only is it none of their fucking business (as I've been tempted to inform people many times rather than just walk away in humiliation), but it's also rude and hateful.  After the Southwest Airline debacle, film-maker Kevin Smith stated "I learned first-hand that fat people are the recipients of the last remaining socially acceptable prejudice." Every socially acceptable "positive" thing about me (intelligence, diligence, success, creativity, personality, sense of humor, etc.) is eclipsed by F-A-T.  Because, of course, in the eyes of society, if you're fat, that's what your whole identity boils down to.

The ironic thing is that I am right there with the rest of society. Instead of standing up for myself and enjoying my life, I take it. I run and cry; I hide myself in shapeless clothes in dark colors.  I take the insults, never standing up for myself. I readily accept labels of ugly, lazy, unloved, even if they are patently untrue.  This is something I need to get over. I am tired of hating every picture I see of myself and living in shadows.

So here's what I know to be true:
  • I am fat. (See, it's not a bad word.)
  • On top of that, I have an "apple-shaped figure" which is supposed to be the final nail in the coffin of any woman's self-esteem. 
  • I am successful.
  • I work hard.
  • I work out. A lot. (I played roller derby for a couple years, I'm now training for a half marathon. Put that in your pipe and smoke it).
  • I am not pregnant, but thank you random assholes for commenting on my lack of a socially acceptable shape.
  • I have friends.
  • I have a social life.
  • I have a love life. (Are you surprised there are people that actually find me attractive?)
  • I am not living a lonely, miserable life of fat-caused depression.
  • I am not a fetish.
  • Neither am I a freak of nature.
  • I am no more unhealthy than the next person. (Actually, compared to a lot of the crap I see people eat every day, I think I'm doing pretty damn well).
  • I am not "fat, but cute". I am "fat AND cute".  No "buts" about it.
And here's something else I need to get off my chest. You know those pictures of myself I mentioned hating? Here are my least favorite pictures of myself in recent history. These are the pictures I've looked at and hated myself for days after seeing them.  These are the pictures that I've seen and then assumed that I'm unworthy of affection and success.  It's gone on long enough.

Fat face, double chin -- Ironically, this was taken at one moment where I felt my prettiest. Halloween 2011

Fat face, shiny face, tiny eyes, fat arms - Another one where I felt pretty and hated the picture afterward. Winter 2010

Fat tummy, fat arms, fat face, tiny eyes - At Universal Studios Orlando. That's me, attempting to hide myself (while still being in the picture) behind the Grinch display.

One of the last times for several years that I wore white. After seeing this picture, I avoided it for years.

Fat face, where-are-my-eyes-?, double chin, big nose - Fall 2011

Pulling faces at an outdoor concert: stupid face, fat arms, fat neck, fat face, the list goes on.

So much that I've hated about this picture for so long. I think I just hated the fact that with the rest of the picture, I felt ugly by comparison.

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