Wednesday, December 02, 2009

In what universe are you fat.

Spurred by discussion over at Fatshionista and some questions I've been asked I have been thinking about that phrase which I've heard said to me about my body, which I've seen on outfit posts, which I've seen in blogs and journals.

Now right now I'm going to talk about my body and my body alone.

I am a fat woman.

It doesn't matter which way you cut it, if you go by BMI (creeping towards deathfat I believe since I'm short and fat), my measurements, my fat hams, my actual weight (which incidentally I don't actually know, I'm gonna say around 185?), etc I am fat.

Now looking at me on any given day people tend to assume I am thinner than I actually am. Not a purposeful thing on my part, more due to the fact that I tend towards very good posture (head up, booty up, tits out, back straight -blame exposure to drag queens at an early age and years of school band), but I am usually working the good posture.

There is also how my unclothed nekkid body is shaped and how the clothes I put on my body sit on my flesh.

I have broad shoulders and big boobies which on a visual level can make the rest of me look smaller when in actuality, yep I'm still fat.

Also the shape of my nakedness is a sort of thick hourglass. However, my natural waist (where my torso has the smallest circumference) is way up near the bottom of my ribs. So depending on what I'm wearing I may look more apple shaped, I may look more hourglass shaped.

And again, still fat. Actual body has not changed in the slightest.

Why am I saying all this?

I'm saying it because there are few things I loathe more than the idea that because a body might not look fat in say those fabulous pants and kickass sweater, then all of a sudden there's the murmurings of, "oh but you're not really fat." Then the person who may not look particularly fat that day feels bad and it's messy all the way around.

I don't like that and frankly in the grand scheme of things I think it's unecessary and does a disservice to everybody.

So here's the bottom line.

Whether or not you feel like someone my size, or a similar size is fat or not really doesn't honestly make a difference as to whether or not that person is in fact a physically fat person.

And before you start saying to yourself or to someone else. OMG how can YOU be fat, take a step back and really look at the picture or the person. And maybe be mindful of how that might make that person feel, rational reaction or not.

Nobody likes it when parts of the identity they claim are ignored or pushed aside with a oh you silly ass kinda feeling you know?

Remember that visual does not always equal reality or alter reality.

And if you are the person who's body is deemed not fat on visual, don't worry. It really doesn't matter what someones judgment about the size of your body is, it changes nothing. Your experience is not invalidated or pushed away. Even if you have that moment of feeling like it is and that hurts, yes I know it hurts and it sucks but, fact is another persons judgment won't alter your reality.

We all know I'm still kind of a big ole hippy and I really don't like seeing us hurting each others feelers when it is really not necessary.

That said I am perfectly aware that sometimes no matter what happens someone is going to have hurt feelings, my view is that I like to know that there are those hurt feelings, and be mindful of that. I'm not saying everywhere has to be rainbows shooting out of everyone's asses and peeing glitter everywhere of course, I do fully believe that most of us are fully capable of being both reasonable and empathetic.

My big solution is the ever useful adage, don't be a dick.

Don't be a dick to other people and hurt their feelings on purpose, and if you do hurt their feelings take a second and acknowledge that if not apologize for doing so.

And if your feelings are hurt don't be a dick to the person that did it inadvertently or not. Even if they don't acknowledge that your feelings are important or valid, they still are. Even if they don't apologize, yep your feelings are still valid and important.

Now to illustrate my lengthy body discussion up there a few fotos of yours truly in varying finery with and without cranky greasy face.

Also yes my carpet is grungy because my vacuum is broke and there's only so much you can do with a broom and I can't afford a new one just now.





See there?

All fat.

Sometimes I look a little taller (Oh SHIT and I just started singing this song after typing that *headdesk*going to be singing it all fucking night) now where was I?

OH right, sometimes I look taller, shorter, rounder, bigger boobed, etc etc. All still the same body.

Expect more outfit pics after I a.) find the cord to my camera and b.) reup my flickr pro account.

With that my darlings, I love you.

Homo Out


Anonymous said...

Love that philosophy: don't be a dick. And yeah, thanks for getting that song stuck in my head.

Frances said...

YES! It's so unhelpful to hear various statements along the lines of "You're not fat". That statement doesn't change the fact that it's hard to find clothes that fit. That statement doesn't stop my family from telling me I should lose weight.

And, most importantly, that statement doesn't change the fact that I AM FAT.

JeninCanada said...

"That statement doesn't change the fact that it's hard to find clothes that fit. That statement doesn't stop my family from telling me I should lose weight."

THIS. I completely hear where you're coming from, Frances. Thank you.

Shannon, you rock as always!

kb said...

I love the don't be a dick. and do generally support that you shouldn't deny someone's experience. but what do you say if, for example, a very small-I'm guessing size 4, though didn't ask for sure for the woman that inspires this question-person comes in talking about how fat she is. How do we draw the line against the incredible shrinking acceptable size woman without telling some people "no you really aren't fat". and who gets to do that? I have asked this question on a few different blogs and gotten more sympathy than exact answers. but that doesn't help me when students say this-I'm a T.A. at a big university, so there's always a few.

NC said...

You damn beautiful fattie you. Heh. I want to raid your closet.

Frances said...

kb, while we may think the size 4 woman is being unreasonable by calling herself fat, there's a reason she's doing it. If she's using the word in a negative way, it's basically a euphemism for "I think my body is unacceptable". Telling her "You're not fat" doesn't deal with her body hatred.

Piffle said...

Plus, what if she's an out of shape size four? She could be fatty rather than muscley. Or she could be someone who would be a size two if she wasn't fat.

Or she could be an anorexic size eight, and totally unable to actually see herself accurately. I don't know enough about anorexia to know the best way to respond to such a statement.

Or, she could be a perfectly healthy person fishing for compliments because she's having a bad day and needs an ego boost.

Or she could be trying to fit in with the social trope that women should complain about their bodies.
Which is really sad.

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