I found it ironic to be sitting in my plastic surgeon’s office, outraged by the Marie Claire article that had the rest of the blog world in a tizzy last week. As I explained last week, I was at the surgeon’s office for reasons that were probably more socially acceptable than those of the of the stereotypical spray-tanned, vain, bleached-blond plastic housewife, but still, it was there that I sat, jaw dropped down to the tasteful Oriental Rug when I read the article published by some incredibly thoughtless blogger over at Marie Claire. The title alone was enough to send me over the top: “Should Fatties Get A Room? (Even on TV?)”
Now, I’m not going to address the article itself, except to say that it was written by a vapid, shallow bully of a girl who should have considered for three seconds that her words – misspelled and poorly written as they were – could be considered hurtful. Marie Claire, you will never see a dime of my money again for allowing such a trite and disgusting piece of garbage to go to press. And as for the blogger, girl best be watching her back because she’s going to have an army of people hunt her ass down and pelt her with donuts. And bacon. While making out. Who wants to join me?
Anyway. That’s not what I’m interested in addressing because the writer will reap just what she’s sown without any help from Your Aunt Becky and Marie Claire magazine is run by a bunch of morons looking for page views to make up for lackluster magazine sales. Instead, I’d like to talk about body image. In her infamous article, Maura Kelly states:
…I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine [sic] addict slumping in a chair.
Three times in my life, I have become hideously overweight. These time have neatly coincided with the three times I’ve gestated my crotch parasites. There’s something about the presence of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in my body that makes my metabolism believe that we’ve suddenly hit a famine. I could probably eliminate the middle-man entirely and shove whatever I’m eating onto my ass, because it’ll end up there anyway. It’s unfortunate, because whether or not I’m overeating, it appears as though I’ve sat down and become the very bestest of friends with Little Debbie.
What makes this even harder is that I cannot lose an ounce until at least year after I’ve expelled the baby from my body. It’s not a simple matter of “eating more fiber” or “working out more frequently” because trust me, I’ve tried. I’m completely aware how one goes about losing weight. I’ve tried every fad diet during that year that I can think of, and still, with the maximum effort put forth, the scale barely budges. I just can’t begin to properly lose weight until my kid turns a year old. My body seems to be on the lookout for any roaming fetuses that might need an extra couple of calories. Off my ass.
As flip as I can be about it now, for that whole year, I live my life in someone else’s skin. I cannot even begin to explain how grossly uncomfortable it is to be me. Every single moment – every single moment – of that whole year, I spend thinking about how much I hate how I look. How gross I feel. How much I hate being fat.
Buying clothes, something I normally consider full of the awesome, I refuse to do, because really, who wants to buy clothes in a size you won’t remain? Or worse, who wants to admit what size you really are? So I don’t buy clothes at all. Instead, I sit around in ugly clothes that I’ve worn out. Clothes that I hate. Clothes that make me feel ugly. It’s like I’m torturing myself for being overweight.
Going out in public is a unique sort of masochism, because you know what happens when you’re fat? People treat you differently. Ask anyone who has ever been fat and I’m certain that they will tell you the same thing. After gaining and losing the same-ish amount of weight three times now, I can tell you with absolute certainty that people are far kinder to thin people. They’ll hold doors for you, greet you hello, and meet your eyes, and smile kindly at you…if you’re thin.
When you’re fat, you’re mostly ignored. People won’t meet your eye, smile hello or hold the door for you. You’re ignored when you’re large…unless you’re at the grocery store, when watchful eyes of strangers ogle your cart, checking to see if maybe the reason you’re so fat lies there. Maybe you’re fat because you’re filling your cart with butter and cupcakes and bacon and Twinkies. When they never found my cart filled with that sort of crap, I simply went back to being ignored. Which was worse: I was the invisible fat woman.
I’m nearing the end of my weight loss now. I’m no longer very overweight. I have fifteen-ish pounds to lose before I’ll hit the “I’m Content Zone” and if I lose more than that, well, fuck to the yeah. If I don’t, I’ll still be happy. My daughter is a year and a half and until I have my Love Child, I’m done with babies, which means that I won’t gain such a large amount of weight again.
I’m sorry that the writer of that hateful article doesn’t know that true beauty, the stuff that really matters, that’s not on the outside. I wish that I’d remembered to be kinder to myself while I struggled to lose the baby weight. If anything, I can see that it’s made me a better, more compassionate person. While I may have been initially outraged by the article, I’m saddened that Maura Kelly cannot see what I do: we are all beautiful as we are. Rolls and all.
Photo by africa.