Friday, June 19, 2020

Fat Friday: That Which Doesn't Kill Me Doesn't Kill Me

I wish I was like the woman in the above image: a tough badass who gave no fucks and who will kill your ass without remorse if you cross her. Unfortunately, I'm actually more like:

Image by Vicki Lynn from Pixabay

I am an unwanted thing that has managed to remain alive through a degree of resourcefulness but mostly fate or dumb luck. 

I am not stupid. I am well aware that most people see me as "other." They don't want me around because I am not pretty and not "normal."

I don't tend to encounter too many incidents of overt size hate in my everyday life. Most people keep their damn fool mouths shut. Store clerks don't treat me with derision. Your average person doesn't tend to see it as their business to say something shitty about my body to my face. I've found that as I've gotten older, people have been a little less directly awful about it. Older women are invisible anyway in this society, which affords me a little protection.

The "othering" is all around me, though, and don't even think about telling me that it isn't there. I see it in every shitty ad that pops into my Twitter or Facebook feed encouraging "intermittent fasting" (otherwise known as an eating disorder with a stamp of approval) or a "lifestyle change" (otherwise known as a diet.) 

I see it in every crappy "so and so lost weight and now they look amazing" bullshit clickbait headline. Because they couldn't possibly have looked amazing while fat. Only thin people look amazing. I see you.

I see it in the fact that advertisements never include fat people just doing stuff. There are no fat people just modeling clothes without it being pointed out that these clothes are for THE OTHER. There are no fat people just drinking a beer with friends. There are no fat people having a meal unless it's being pointed out that this is diet food to make their fat ass temporarily thin. There are no fat people walking without it being pointed out that if you exercise you might not be fat and horrible. Fat people never get to just BE.

You can tell me to "just ignore it" or to "love myself no matter what anybody else says." That's all fine and good, but I can't shut off the analytical part of my brain. I see the fact that I am "other," that I am reviled, that I am The Outsider

No matter how much I may want to, I can't not be aware of being THE OTHER. I'm fat, not stupid.

The answer is not for me to do whatever it takes to become what others think I should be in order to stop them from bullying me. The answer is for all of us to say NO to the bullshit, to not laugh at the shitty jokes made at the expense of big people, to call out the bullies rather than ignoring them.

"But Cie, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!!!11!!!"

No, that which doesn't kill me just hasn't succeeded in killing me.

I am alive and I persist despite being told that I should bow down. But that doesn't mean that I don't hurt every day of my life, and that doesn't mean that my initial feeling about myself when I first wake up before my rational mind kicks in isn't utter self-loathing for something that should be considered a neutral attribute.

Fuck a whole lot of this shit.

Ornery Owl is Fat, Ornery, and Pissed Off 
(But I only have a picture of her pissed, so that will have to do)

Free use image from Pixabay by Open Clipart Vectors

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