From your fat friend: What I hear when you say you’re not ‘that fat.’

From your fat friend: What I hear when you say you're not 'that fat.'

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

My heart sunk in such a familiar route when I first learned about “Fat Chance.”

The TLC show investigates the weight loss journey of people looking to fall in love. Why would someone love me, looking like this? one contestant asks, staring at her soft body in a full-length mirror.

Wherever we go, someone is constantly asserting the life of loneliness, isolation, and lovelessness to which fat people are doomed. It is heartbreaking and it is false.

I think about the technicolor loves I have had, the partners who have loved and wanted me. I think about the fat people I have fallen for and the fat friends and family who are happily marriage, hooking up, falling in love, and calling affection into their lives.

Unlovable is ubiquitous and deep untrue. After all, if fat people were truly impossible to love, two-thirds of the country would be condemned to a life of solitude and yearning. But unlovable has gained so much momentum that it has taken on a life of its own, a self-fulfilling prophecy that shapes the thinking of my friends and family, depicting up jagged and sharp in their tender mouths.

Even friends who are critical about popular depictions of fat people have a hard time. When we talk about “Fat Chance, ” their answers are startlingly similar. One after another, upon seeing the contestants: “I mean, look at her, shes not even that fat . ”

There it is, unlovable , its toothy serrated blade cutting as deep as ever.

I know thats not what they intend to say. They mean the world has gone haywire if this woman is deemed fat . They entail an impossible standard has been set if a handsome, broad-shouldered man is like hes too fat. They are startled insuring bodies that appear so much like theirs being discussed as irredeemably, unlovably fat.

Its a common response to seeing fat-shaming of all kinds.

Shes not that fat . Because if she is, they might be too. They are awakened to a new level of self-consciousness, wondering if perhaps they shouldve felt even more ashamed all this time. In that moment, they disappear into themselves, consumed by a new depth of astound and shame. Shes not even that fat . But I am always that fat . When strangers bring up cartoonish numbers I entail, would being fat be OK if she was 300 pounds? I am their exaggerated example. I am the person they dread sitting next to on the plane, the one who avoids eye contact with strangers for anxiety of the slurs that follow, the one who orders salads in public in hope of being spared decision, remark, or dishonor. I have always been that fat. I have always been fair game . Shes not even that fat . But theyd understand if they were saying it about me. Shes not deserving of such scorn, but theres someone who is. Theres someone whos that fat . Theres me.

I mean, I know you think you know what youre insuring, but Im fairly fat, “youve said”, fixing your lipstick and adjusting your size-1 0 dress in a department store bathroom mirror. Behind you, my soft body, sizing 26, is a sharp contrast.

I furrow my forehead and again, my heart sinks. You, willowy and lithe. You, cheekbones and clavicle. You , fairly fat . But, dear friend, you are never that fat .

I turn this moment over in my head, examining it carefully. It leaves me with such a dull aching of heartache. Afterward that night, I eventually find the words for what I wanted to say to you .

I wanted to tell you that your identity is important.

I believe that you see yourself as fairly fat , and I know that your identity the questions to you just as much as mine matters to me. The style you see yourself shapes how you engage with the world around you. It ascertains when and how you feel ensure, when and how you feel erased. You describe it precisely, with terms you cradle close to your heart. It is a locket that warms with your body, a keepsake to remind you who you are and where you stand in the world.

Your identity matters deeply. So do perception and experience how others see you and how they treat you as a result. Your identity shapes how you engage with the world; perception determines how the world reacts to you. This, dear friend, is where our experiences differ. You feel pretty fat . I am seen as that fat .

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

Because Im seen as that fat , Im treated with all the dismissal and contempt that people who are that fat deserve. People who are that fat get turned away from job interviews, promotions, even physician offices. Because I am that fat, a nurse takes my blood pressure four times before telling me that my low blood pressure cant be right not for an obese patient. You know you feel fairly fat , but cashiers dont gawk when you walk into a buffet restaurant, and acquaintances dont joke about ending up on a blind date with person like you. You see yourself as fat, and that matters. But the world around you doesnt know how you see yourself. They only consider the body in front of them, and that body isnt even that fat .

I see your identity. And I need you to see my experience.

Both of these moments, with good friends whom I love and trust, have stayed with me. These friends are thoughtful, incisive, committed to doing better by fat people. And in both cases, their values were betrayed, caught in an undertow of rejecting fat people.

They never meant to, but both of them made it clear that some bodies are acceptable, and others arent.

Many of us are comfy saying that some fat bodies are OK. Those fat bodies are almost always exceptional starring athletes or stunning models. The kind of bodies you ensure alongside their accomplishments and, astounded, utter, “I never wouldve guessed.” The kind of bodies that check every other box: staggering beauty, visible markers of health, physical ability, youth. Females must have hourglass figures; humen must have broad shoulders and barrel chests. No one can look obese. Yes, fat bodies are OK, but only if they are immaculate in every other style and only if we can see their perfection. Fat bodies are best when they dont look fat at all . Shes not even that fat and Im pretty fat are harsh reminders of that line. I never know just where it is, but I know I am always on the outside of it. I have never been an acceptable kind of fat. Those who are acceptable, those who are espoused, are precious few and far between. Most of us fail at being the right various kinds of fat .

Thats why any acceptance of fat people that expands our standards t o a phase is unacceptable. I do not want to be accepted into a beauty criterion that has betrayed me. I do not want my adoption to rely on someone elses rejection.

Everyone yes, everyone deserves respect in the world. No one n ot one person deserves to be harassed, discriminated against, disrespected, or hurt merely because of the size or shape of their body. It doesnt matter if you think they could change their body. It doesnt matter if youre right. All of us deserve safety and all of us deserve love.

There will be bodies that you find difficult to embrace.

The fattest person in the movie theater, daring to eat popcorn. The person you clock as transgender at the grocery store. The person with a visible disability, who needs you to give up your seat on the bus. There will be me, a person who is that fat. This is where the work gets tough.

In order to make room for all of us, you will have to believe to your bones that they deserve everything you have . Not some of them. Not the most beautiful ones or the most athletic ones. Not up to a certain size or only if theyre nice to you or just the ones you think are cute. Dignity is not earned. Safety is not a reward. None of us should have to overcome our bodies just to be safe, to be loved, to be treated like anyone else. Safety, acceptance, and love are for all of us. Not only the ones were comfy with. Not merely the ones who arent that fat .

Read more:

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'
From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'
From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'
From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'
From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

From Your Fat Friend: What I Hear When You Say You're Not 'that Fat.'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *