Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
But, wait, you say, of Dieting?
Yes, that’s what I said. Now just listen up.
Why are people so threatened by people, specifically women, who jump off the Diet Wheel?
I have theories, then again, I always have theories.
First, Men. Now, not all men care. Some men just like women, or love an individual woman enough that they don’t care what size she is, so long as she’s happy. OR they are secure enough in their preferences that the fact that there are women out there who aren’t what they are looking for and are not trying to be what they’re looking for doesn’t bother them at all. These are not the men I’m talking about.
Scads of men, however, when confronted by women who (apparently) have no interest in conforming to their idea of what a woman should be, get angry, very, vehemently angry. Just check out some comments ( http://kateharding.net/2007/10/03/oh-man/ ) on sites that have posted links to Kate Harding’s BMI project ( http://kateharding.net/bmi-illustrated/ ).
Some of them will try to disguise it with concern for the health of women. After all, fat is bad, right? However, somewhere in the middle of their message you will almost always find an approximation of this sentence: “I don’t think I’m wrong to be attracted to healthy/fit/thin women.”
Ok, no one has said you’re wrong or bad for liking healthy/fit/thin women. No one has told you not to like thin women. What we said was that we had no interest in killing ourselves in order to attract… well, you. Some men are incredibly threatened by the concept of women who are not actively striving to gain their approval. I don’t entirely get this myself, but there it is. I’m sure it isn’t conscious. Or at least I hope not.
But back to the question: Why are they so threatened by women who aren’t begging for their attention in the abstract? It’s not like fat women are marching up and announcing “I don’t like you. I don’t want you. You are not interesting enough for me to work for your attention.”
Or are we? Is our self-presentation a bold enough statement of disinterest in shallow, thin-obsessed men that it amounts to a metaphorical slap in the face? Particularly if, when we go about our lives fat and well-dressed instead of hiding under large, shapeless clothing, we aren’t taking any steps to hide from their obvious displeasure? If our clothing doesn’t announce, “I am very aware that I’m not good enough, please don’t waste your time looking?” If so, why? I mean its not like the guy who digs blondes is offended by brunettes or redheads.
Now, as a Gothy, Punky chick, I have faced kind of a similar aggression toward that facet of lookism, and therein lies the answer I feel. As long as people view fatness as purely a “choice,” like it’s a biological uniform we put on to reject people not us, then we are going to face this hostility. Because people view my size as a “choice” instead of a result of having good, solid, peasant-y genes, they treat it like they treat my all black, skull festooned wardrobe, like a choice made to exclude them specifically.
It doesn’t matter that in spite of your confident appearance you actually are dieting. Or if you’ve just decided enough is enough and you’re not wasting this huge amount of energy on this pointless, stupid enterprise. You’re done fighting with your body. You want to live in it. You are a rebel because you’re not hiding in muu-muus until you achieve an “acceptable” body.
But, in order to convince people to shed that misconception that we’re just fat because we don’t care, don’t ever walk anywhere or don’t lead lives or anything, or don’t watch what we eat, we face a collosal enemy: The Diet and Beauty Industry that tells everyone exactly that. As well as the collusion of other women in this bullshit. But that’s for the next post.