When You’re Fat, You’re Mostly Ignored

ID-100127626I 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.

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56 comments

  1. The original article made me cry and now so does your post. I gained 60 going through fertility procedures and drugs and another 43 during pregnancy. I have only managed in almost 3 years to lose about 20. It is completely different being so big. And the worst part is that I now realize I was one of those people before. I didn't see. It makes me feel horrible. Horrible for wanting to be thin, horrible for being so blind, horrible for not having more will power. Being judged every moment of every day because of your appearance is already hard enough. Having a magazine like Marie Claire basically beat you over the head and then shove their (her) judgments down your throat doesn't help. Ugh, I don't know what else to say than it really sucks 🙁

    • Toy With Me

      Chin up sweet lady, the quality people are the ones who don't judge at all. Those are the ones you want as friends and forget the rest.

  2. Canadian Caffeinator

    You know what? I'm tired of being bigger than everyone else, of having people look at me funny, of never having been kissed till college. I've been tired of it since I was 5'6"and 160 lbs in grade 10. Does this mean I'm whining about it? No. I do what anyone else fat, thin, short, wide, male, female, etc does about themselves. I eat healthy when I can, try to work on the issues I've been working on since my parents gave them to me, and do my very best to exude a happy cheery positive attitude towards others. I definitely resent the F**kwad who commented that you are representing ALL fat people, because he/she, like too many people in this world, do not understand grammer and tenses enough to see that you are not telling us that your experience is the only single possible experience and interpretation thereof, but one of many that you and I and mostly everyone else commenting here understands is valid for many overweight people of both genders. *huffs* Whew, that felt better.
    As far as myself goes, I've been 5'8" and roughly 225-250 lbs since I was 19. I'm 27 now. This spring and summer I made a turn in my life and got a local gym membership, my mother to make me homecooked healthy food, and an excellent gym partner to keep me going and drive me there and back. We went to the gym 5 days a week for 1hr of elyptical, 0.5 hours of weight training, then to the pool for 2500 metres of laps. This was from March until August. My weight went up and down approx 5lbs during that 6 months. Don't you tell me that I'm unhealthy, despite my rolls, or that I don't understand how to balance exercise and nutrition, Ms. Maura. I now work at a coffee shop, and I don't care if the customer is man or woman, young or old, I call them honey, put my barista-ly flirt on, and I see who glances away, and who smiles genuinely. What truly sickens me is that people think hey have some moral highground or proof that being bigger is not better. Society has fluxuated too often to be beleivable to me on that score. (Read victorian fat = affluence and wealth, success, twiggy = hot, etc) So I'd like to see more of Betty, and specifically, more of people equating largesse with being short or tall. We're all just the same people, arms, legs, reproductive parts. Lets see beyond thr differences to something more relevent.

    • Toy With Me

      Well said. "We're all just the same people, arms, legs, reproductive parts. Lets see beyond the differences to something more relevant."

  3. jennifer

    ok so admittedly i didn't read all the comments in this post but most of the ones i read basically make it seem like everyone overweight is some low self esteem crying every night cause society doesnt accept us well i would just like to put my 2 cents in i am large 5'9 and 345 lbs and i love every bit of me! i think its how you feel about your self rather then your size that makes you visible or not! i have doors opened for me people meet my eye and greet me (although maybe it is out of fear i might eat them!!!!lol) but i think the difference between me and some of you is i own my fatness! i am large so what if you make big deal out of it so will others now i am not saying that my largeness is healthy cause its not i am currently trying to lose weight not so i can be skinny but so i can be healthy because thats what matters and you know what i was not shocked or saddened by the article my thoughts were oh well big deal it doesnt affect me or my life because the people closest to me my husband kids family and friends think i am beautiful no matter what my weight further more everyone is so out raged at this woman and i am not saying what she said was right but it shouldnt bother you if you dont let others judge your self worth i am not trying to offend or piss anyone off i just think that if we love our selves things like these articles wont be bothersome i think as woman we are in constant compitition with each other and if we would just accept and love ourselves even our flaws then others would love us too!

    • Toy With Me

      Nicely put Jennifer. "i think its how you feel about your self rather then your size that makes you visible or not" "if we would just accept and love ourselves even our flaws then others would love us too!"

  4. Juli

    I was so excited when I saw the title of this article, and it did not disappoint. I am so appreciative of what Becky wrote, and in light of some of the other comments, I felt like I needed to let her to know that. While some may say she is putting words in the mouths of overweight people, I feel like the took the words right out of mine. I completely understand that this may not be everyone's experience, but I was nodding my head throughout the entire article, because for me? She hit it right on the head. And if nothing else, she brought attention to the way that overweight individuals are treated, which, if you have never struggled with your weight, there is no way you can understand. You can be empathetic, but experiencing it is so different.

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