June 22, 2013
“I feel so… FAT,” I heard a ten year old girl sigh into the mirror in a department store dressing room today. My heart sank. She obviously wasn’t saying it the same, excited way I had exclaimed earlier this morning as I admired my lumps in the full length mirror. She seemed disappointed that her body had failed to fit into the sequined dress and so did her mother. At that point, I wanted to sweep her up like a chubby mother goose and tell her about the flabulous, glittery world of self-love in all forms.
Since the day I was born, I was too big. I grew up in the south where the only thing bigger than the cookouts were the personalities and let me tell you, I got the best sides of both. My mouth is just as big as my heart and belly. Apparently that’s scary for people; especially men.
I remember the first time someone tried to use my weight against me. I was in the 1st grade and I was a cheerleader. A boy on the opposing basketball team decided that the fat cheerleader needed to be destroyed; with a basketball to the face and laughs. I’ll never forget that day because it was the day i decided that the only way to make up for my failure of a body was to apologize for it to the world in as many ways and I could. I apologized for my existence; in my walk, my talk, my clothes, and every other way a girl could. I remember this all, because on my worse days, I still feel like that little fat girl in the cheerleading uniform; that little girl who wouldn’t fit into the sequined dress no matter how much she pushed and prodded at her own soft, forgiving flesh.
Today is a different story. It’s taken years but I’m no longer afraid of the space I take up; metaphorically and physically. I do not maneuver my shoulders in crowds to stay out of the way. They are broad and if you run into them, I guarantee I will not be the one injured. I let my arm flab flap in the wind when I wave to my friends from across rooms whilst wearing tank tops. If that bothers you, you can look away. It’s no concern of mine. Today, I am a woman who is fat and fucking great. I am a woman who is fat and who is not unable to fuck anyone I want, if I want. I’m goddamn lovely and everyone should be just as aware of it as I am.
I can’t fathom why fucking body type is a defining factor of the respect you deserve as a human. It’s another way for corporations to make money off of women’s insecurities. Like wrinkles or age spots, body fat is considered a sign of imperfection and something to get rid of. It’s considered a sign of bad hygiene, bad personal health, and just overall a shitty person. We have been conditioned to think fat people, ESPECIALLY women-presenting fat people, are less than. It’s fucking ridiculous.
You can be healthy at any size, not that you owe health to anyone. Your own health is your own business and no one has a right to make you feel bad about it; fuck them. I’m sick of fat people being denied medical treatment because this stigma of thin = healthy goes so deep in the medical community. Not only do life threatening physical ailments go untreated due to the age-old excuse of “You need to get in better shape,” but mental illnesses and very scary disorders go untreated because fat bodies do not fit the “mold” of the diagnosis. FUCK. THAT.
Thinking thin is better is deadly to fat people and to non-fat people. I’ve known very thin people, girls mostly, who have lost tons of weight due to very aggressive eating disorders and throughout the entire ordeal were fed “compliments” of “Oh, you look so good. Have you lost weight? It’s fabulous,” even though, it clearly wasn’t fabulous. We live in a society where you can be losing handfuls of hair every day and unable to stand up sometimes, but if you lose any amount of weight, you’re succeeding. We would rather our girls be dying than be fat, and we’ve convinced them that they should rather be dying than be fat. When they show any sort of pride over themselves or their bodies, we call them vain and make them feel terrible once again. There is no winning as a teen girl and there is less winning as a fat teen girl. We are born with a debt to pay and the only way to pay it is to alter ourselves and offer the remains to our abusers.
I’m here to tell you that your debt is paid. Shit, you never had any fucking debt. This whole world has lied to you from day one. You don’t have to give anyone jack shit. Truth be told, you do not owe anything to anyone, but yourself, my darlings. You owe yourself happiness and you deserve to be comfortable and love being in your own skin. No matter what the media and little boys on basketball teams have tried to tell you, FAT is not a bad word. FAT is not a synonym for unloveable, gross, or not good enough. FAT is simply a body type. FAT is my body type. FAT may be your goddamn body type. Your happiness is worth more than someone’s shitty sneers.
Remember fat girls, everything you do is fucking monumental. From the day you were born, the earth has quaked under your feet in fear. The only reason these assholes try to shame us into submission is because they know we could crush them if we wanted. Smother self-doubt with the soft, pink flesh of your thighs. Slaughter beauty standards with a swing of your wide hips. Blow kisses at your own reflection in storefront windows as you saunter past. Try on that sequined dress again, darling, but try the next size up.