Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
Oh, no, I’m not.
There are days when I feel gross, and awful, and heavy, and fat in all of the perjorative senses of the word. Where I’ll change outfits five times before leaving the house, and eventually settle on the one that makes me feel the least like crying. Even though all of the clothes I currently own are clothes that make me feel like a million bucks 95% of the time. When I feel like a failure for getting home winded, even though I am purposely speed-walking uphill in order to get as much benefit out of that walk as I can. In spite of the fact that the time it takes me to walk home is decreasing as I have to walk faster and faster to get my heart rate up.
There are days where the only thought that keeps me from slouching through my day trying desperately not to be seen, is the thought that slouching makes me look fatter, so I lever my shoulders back and keep my head up. I have days when I can’t wear my favorite sweater, because it has horizontal stripes, and everyone knows fatties shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes.
I could go on, but I’m sure that the litany is depressingly familiar to many, many, many of you, regardless of weight or size. I don’t think any woman in this society escapes those days, no matter how thin or fat. The trick is to not let those days hold you back.
That vacation I mentioned last post? One of the wonderful things about the location, is they have this fantastic outdoor soaking pool. And it’s tradition that on Sunday night, everyone who shows up for the event, goes out and soaks in the pool while sipping tasty adult beverages from the bar at poolside. I very nearly didn’t go out to soak, because I was having the stupid body image issues. I finally went up to my room, put on my suit and my shark jammies (in lieu of a cover up), and went on over for the after-party.
Maybe it was the resounding cheer that greeted my shark jammie-clad self. Maybe it was the fact that I found myself in a building full of people who love me no matter what I look like, or what stupid pajamas I wear. But by the time it was time to go out to the soaking pool, I stripped off those jammies and waded in with no trouble whatsoever.
Our society teaches women and girls that our primary worth is our appearance. And I am not immune to that pressure. I fuss over my clothes and hair as much as any other woman out there, and my make up, when I wear it. I admit, I don’t wear make up that often, but when I do, I fuss over it. And it sucks that so much of our energy is spent trying to look great, instead of trying to feel great.
That’s what really pisses me off about a lot of the “obesity crisis” panic, is that these people really don’t care what you FEEL like. They care what you LOOK like. If they did care what you felt like, they wouldn’t try prescribing starvation diets to anyone, let alone people in recovery for eating disorders, or they’d look at what you’re actually doing and eating before telling you you’re going to keel over at any minute. I had to fire my last doctor for being disappointed by the fact that my numbers are all great, even though I am ZOMG! DETHFAT!, you know, instead of being happy that my blood sugar and cholesterol are low normal, and my blood pressure, even with the white coat hypertension is still in the normal range.
If they really cared about our health, they wouldn’t tell us we have to go on dangerous crash diets to lose weight before they’ll treat us. They wouldn’t try to blame bronchitis, a sinus infection, pnuemonia, or cancer on being fat. Or in my case, they wouldn’t try to blame an old sports injury from when I was thinner (but never thin enough) on my current fat.
If they really cared about our health, we wouldn’t get cow-called when we rode our bikes, or walked. We wouldn’t have things thrown at us from passing cars. We wouldn’t have to deal with stupid girls saying things like, “If I got that fat, I’d kill myself,” at the gym when they think we can’t hear them.
Honestly, re-reading this litany of the bullshit I, and other fat women, have to endure on a daily basis, I’m kind of amazed I don’t have more of those days I described in the first few paragraphs. I’m stunned that I don’t have more days where the thought of leaving my house makes me cry. But I don’t, and I have the Fat Acceptance bloggers and the Health At Every Size movement to thank for that. Because I’m know I’m not alone, and I know that by living my life as a well-dressed, well-groomed, relatively successful fat woman, that I’m letting other fat women see that it’s possible to not let the douchecanoes of the world get you down.
So, a big Thank You to Kate Harding, The Rotund, Living 400 Lbs, Fat Lot of Good, and all the rest of you out there fighting the good fight.
Awesome post. Way to name the issues. The more we all speak from the heart, like you do here, the easier it becomes to get through those hard days.