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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Smaller ≠ Healthier

Consider this your first warning: Those of you, well-intentioned though you may be, who constantly hate on your own bodies for being too fat, and who always compliment me when you think I've lost weight... well... you all SERIOUSLY trigger me. And I have had enough.

I get that being "overweight" in this society is hard. I do. I'm a fat ass, and have been since childhood. However, the reason it IS so difficult is because of people all around hating on their own and on other people's bodies. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE "IDEAL WOMAN", NO MATTER HOW THIN YOU GET. She is a myth that is perpetuated to make all women hate themselves, and in turn spend billions per year on surgery, weight loss, cosmetics, fad diets, clothing, etc.

So, when you triumphantly proclaim, you who is a size 6, 8, 10, that you've lost weight, and have basically starved yourself to do it, and that you've almost reached some magical, elusive number that you THINK is what you SHOULD weigh (according, most likely, to some diet industry standardized chart), I watch the congrats start rolling in.

"You look AMAZING"
"I knew you could do it"
"Don't you FEEL better?"

And then I look at my own body, size 22 and healthy and think... I like my body the way it is. Yeah. I wish I could more easily find clothes to fit me, but this is my body, right now. And then I try not to, but can't avoid, thinking about what all of you out there think, you too-fat size 6s, you chubby size 10s and your fucking lose-weight-cheer-squads. Because your war on FAT is a war on my body, on your body, on every body with fat. Because you, who is half my size, being too fat, means what for me?

Not all of us are meant to be thin, athletic or hard-bodied. Some of us are curvy, some are thin, some are fat, and there isn't a damned thing we can do about it. The research is out there, if you look for it. Ragen over at posts a lot of it. But I am proof too.

I exercise every day! EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I do at least 30-60 minutes of cardio. I bike at least 20-40KM per day. I take the odd day off, but almost every single day I move my body. I've been doing this for a year (minus a month or so in winter, blah). And I've lost only a bit of weight. It also seems to have plateu'd. But I'm still getting stronger, I have more energy, and I'm starting to love my body more and more, AS IS. I wish more of you could do the same, especially those of you with magazine bodies.

I am tired of the war on fat (on me). I'm sick of hearing KUDOS every time someone's body gets smaller, as though THAT ALONE is a measure of health. It's not. And if you think it is, you've been misled and lied to. Health is overall, and goes beyond just the physical body. But then... most of you to whom I am addressing this don't give a crap about your health. You only care about making your bodies smaller, whatever that takes. It's you, and your legions of "GOOD JOB, FATTY" friends that trigger me. Because when you hate your fat, you hate my fat too, and since my fat is part of my body, in essence, you hate me too.

And that's pretty fucking sad. And I might have to start ignoring some of you. WHY? Because my health is important to me, and it is affected by MY FRIENDS' fat hatred especially. Because I get judged, mocked, ridiculed every single time I leave my home. Because old ladies find it appropriate to come up to me and GRAB my skin, and tell me "GOOD! You're biking!" Because this is a safe space for me. Because I'm reminded, hourly, that my body is too fat. I don't need to see that on my facebook feed too.

If you were queer, would you have friends who hate queers, or who have internalized their own queerphobia? How can I, as a fat woman, who plans to stay a fat woman, have friends who hate fat, when most people I see around me ALREADY hate my fat?

Like I said... I get it. It takes A LOT of courage and brains to NOT hate your fat body, or any body. There are 60 billion dollars spent annually to make sure that women ALL hate their bodies. But the revolution starts at home. And if you want to be a fatphobe, that's your business. But I want no part of that, and I prefer to surround myself with people who love and accept ALL body types, including their own.

And you know what else can go? The thinly-veiled, judgmental, fat-phobic "health craze", and the notion that health is a universal thing and something that people owe to themselves and society. It's individual, and besides the point. People have a right to be not healthy, and they have a right to not hear your opinion on their health and bodies. The only thing we truly have dominion over is our bodies. They're ours to do with as we please.

So. Consider yourself warned. Your "yay! I'm thinner" triumphs remind me that thin is seen as normal (regardless of how you get there) and fat is EVIL and contagious. And eventually, when I've had enough, I will stop talking to you. And now you will know why. Don't take it personally. It's just that your issues, your self-loathing... it hurts me. Because you're engaged in a war AGAINST ME. I've worked hard to love myself, and part of that process has been recognizing, and cutting out, the cancer that is body policing, fat-shaming, and self-deprecation.

PS. this goes for the guys too! Body hate doesn't stop with women!
PPS: This goes for ALL body-snarking. We need to stop with the hate, including "she needs a sammich" or "ew, anorexia" type statements. Bodies are ALL different, beautiful and unique! And merely looking at one isn't a reliable indicator of how healthy it is.

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