Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
While I have had the occasional man yell something at me like “Fat Cow!” or “Fat Bitch!” generally speaking, I get the most static about my weight from other women.
It comes in the form of backhanded compliments like, “I wish I was strong enough to not care what I looked like.” Or questions like “Should you really be eating that?” Or, and this one comes mostly from women my mother’s age or older, “You’d be such a pretty girl if you lost the weight.” And I do sometimes get just outright nasty comments like, “You’re too fat to wear that,” but most of the criticism of my fat body from other women comes in the form of “concern.”
Ah yes, concern… “I don’t really hate fat people, I’m just concerned for your health…” That’s a lovely little conscience salve, isn’t it? It lets you say some truly horrible shit while reassuring yourself that it isn’t that bad, because you CARE. You’re just letting someone you CARE about know that they’re in danger from themselves.
I have news for you, sweetheart. Fat people know they’re fat. Really. Seriously, we do. We aren’t blithely tripping along seeing ourselves as size sixes having a bad day. We know we’re fat. And we’d have to be living in a cave to not be constantly bombarded with the message that “OMG! TEH FAT IS GOING TO KILLZ0RZ US!!!!” So, your salving concern, is just that. It is designed to insulate you from the knowledge that you’re being hateful. So just stop it and be fucking honest with yourself.
And as for “I wish I could be brave enough to not care…” What in the world makes you think I don’t care how I look? Is my hair unwashed and unstyled? are my clothes dirty and ill-fitting? No. No, they aren’t. I dress very well and stylishly, as far as my budget will allow. I wear skirts and tights, my clothing fits and flatters my figure. I keep my hair in an A-line bob. Granted, I don’t wear make up often unless it’s a special occasion, but I don’t need to.
And as for being a pretty girl if I lost the weight, I’m already a beautiful woman WITH the weight. Ask my husband, who, quite frankly, is the only person whose opinion really matters. Ask the guys who hit on me while I’m bartending.
Now, the question is, why do women give other women so much static about their weight?
Again, I have a theory. (Who’s surprised? Hands?)
When women who work hard to conform see women they view as not “trying hard enough,” they resent it. I’ve known women who have spent their entire lives, decades, dieting, denying themselves enough calories to really support good health, and when I say, “You know, I decided that I’m done with the dieting bullshit,” they get really hostile.
And part of me understands why. The fact that I’m not dieting and my husband loves me anyway means I have just discounted their life’s work. They have spent their lives depriving themselves because society told them that they wouldn’t be good enough or deserve love if they didn’t. Women, particularly in American culture, spend so much time, energy and money trying to conform to a beauty standard that is impossible for even the exemplars of it to live up to. The fact that just maybe they could have not spent all that time and energy and still had meaningful lives would make anyone angry.
Really, think about it. How much weight and energy do you, personally waste worrying about this? How many articles of clothing you can’t wear now but will “get into one day” do you own? How many times a month, week, day do you stop yourself from eating something you really want and would enjoy because it’s “bad?”
I have nothing against a life lived in moderation. I have everything against a life lived in deprivation, and so should you. Particularly since more and more studies are demonstrating that fat has more to do with genetics and less to do with diet than common wisdom suggests. If people like, I can link to some articles, but really the easiest way would be for you to go pick up books by Gina Kolata and Paul Campos. They’ve already done all the legwork, and probably summed up it up more coherently than I can.