Monday, December 15, 2008


Okay really, I realize that tis the season to apparently be stressed out over everything including the size of your ass but people have been saying ridiculous things to me lately.

Today it's unwanted, plain stupid advice enty.

Situation of assness #1. I was in Starbuck's last week and a woman spots me adding a single Splenda to my coffee, then proceeds to trail me out of the store yammering.

Her:"Good for you, you should watch your sugar."

Me: *Blink...blink* (Here is what I am thinking "Do I fucking know you?" However my brain mouth filter was working that day so I actually said, "excuse me?"

Her: "Blablablabla, gonna get the diabeetus, Black folks, heredity"

Me: "No one in my immediate family is diabetic nor do they have high blood pressure and it's none of your business what I do or don't eat."

Her: *Off in a huff of butthurt*

Now I was actually pretty polite to her. But I swear to fluffy bunnies if one more stranger lectures me about my sugar intake they are getting throat punched.

Fact is, I have tried cutting sugar entirely out of my diet and guess what happened once I was through the "detoxing" portion? I fainted, I got dizzy a lot. I consulted a doctor who told me to not do that anymore because I already have an issue with my blood sugar taking nose dives. Which can lead to what? Fainting and dizziness.

I know right? What's this someone fat who actually needs to eat more often?

What the fuck.

I know. Frankly this isn't usually the sort of thing I share with people.

Since I was quite young I have had a problem recognizing and effectively doing something about realizing when I need to eat. Sometimes, I don't realize I need to eat until I'm dizzy or feel shitty as a result of low blood sugar. Sometimes I assume it's thirst and have some water or tea or whatever.

At times this has been a really serious problem and it's one of the few things the doctor I broke up with so to speak and I ever agreed on. And I really don't need to or want to explain that to perfect strangers.

Nor do I need or want to explain to strangers that sometimes, I'd just rather have not sugar than actual sugar depending on what else I've had or am going to have that day. Given my sweet tooth of junkie proportions, sometimes I do need to check myself for sugar consumption because I get all cracked out not so much because OMG AM FAT GUNNA GET TEH DIABEETUS.

Situation of assness#2. Picture yours truly visibly limping at a pretty fast clip trying to make my bus. Woman who is also getting on the same bus tells me (after watching me fucking LIMP) that I should take up running. We get on the bus and i tell her (again very politely) that I have joint problems and can't run. Apparently this expert on degenerating joints seems to think that running will make the issue go away.

What? WUT? Do I need to even explain how dumb that is?

I do not understand the notion that as a stranger I could ever feel free to comment willy nilly on what another person is eating, how I think they exercise or don't. Granted I might tell someone that something they are eating looks yummy.

Furthermore I am not a child, I am not your child and I don't need you to police my life. Nor do I need or want random "help" from people who don't appear to give a shit about my health one way or the other.

Now if someone does in fact care, you might instead of recommending an activity that would in all likelihood fuck up my body even more, if you saw me limping away, maybe ask "hey are you okay?".

This speaks to people deciding another person's ability based on a glance. And the fact is there are lots of different levels of ability and mobility, there could be things going on that you cannot see. Don't assume it's fucking rude.

Generally speaking people assuming whatever about me and going with that thought because it's what they perceive to be true all the time, can really set me off. Whether it's about ability, weight, race, sexual orientation whatever.

I take it personally when someone doesn't respect me enough not to assume I am part of the monolith of whatever, and ask me what I think or feel.

Especially if it's someone I know or respect. Maybe that's yet another personality flaw but I get really pissed off.

No really atomic pissed off to the point where I question my prior impressions of the person and want to confront them about it. I have learned as I've gotten older to be less combative about it when it's someone I care about, but that instant red rage is still there for a minute.


Okay so I admit I am kind of pissed off today for reasons that have nothing to do with what I'm talking about. And I am doing some self soothing.

Tomorrow the flavored lube debate (sexytimes advice my homies) and an unsolicited opinion on what you need in your sexytimes toolbox.

Homo Out.


Rachel said...

Wow... how intrusive. And that's a polite word for it. I haven't had nosy, "well-intentioned" comments made to me in a good long while, but I hope on the off-chance it does happen, I'm as articulate as you!

spacedcowgirl said...

I am just floored by these rude people. How the hell do you develop a belief that it is fine to go up to strangers and comment on their eating or exercise? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comments. When it comes to being perceived as being fat/overweight/obese/OMGFATTY!!1, it's like you get reduced from an adult, with a complex personality, interests, and motivations, to a prodigal child who's forever twisting her toe in the sand in an apologetic fashion.

I can't believe this is *always* how others have treated the weight of strangers. What's been behind this trend of infantilising and demoralizing fat people? Did the War on Obesity sink us to a comfortably lower-class of people, so that strangers feel justified in asserting their 'superiority' over us every chance they get?

Or is it that the Obesity Epi-Panic has just made some people (like the "Splenda, good!" woman) associate activities like eating the "right" kinds of foods with "goodness," and doing the "right" kinds of exercises (or having the ability to run) with "goodness"?

This moralizing of behaviors perceived to be associated with a certain "right" (read: thinner) body type needs to be stopped. At the end of the day, this really isn't about health, is it? No stranger leering at your body, or commenting on your food choices, really could possible know how healthy you are. This is about the joy people get in wallowing in effing sanctimony. About the relief they feel that they automatically *know* they're "better" than an entire class of people, just by looking at them.

Great post, Shannon. Sorry this had to happen to you.

Haddayr said...


You should move to Minnesota. No one ever says shit like that, here.

They never stop for strangers with flat tires on the side of the road, either, but every silver has a cloud lining.

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