Monday, May 07, 2012

On being policed.

One of the things that happens to me as a smaller sized fat person is that a large number of the people I run into assume that I am at the mid point of some diet or other.

This time of year seems to be the worst because I'm wearing less layers, I'm not wearing pants and it's easier to get a visual on the actual size of my body.

Either people I see all the time say, Oh my GOOOOOOODNESS you lost weight YAY. Or they say, oh are you getting swimsuit ready?

Both tend to get either a polite no or my you're a moron and I can't speak to you stare over my glasses.

The way I'm built any water weight I lose or gain (in a normal month this is probably about 4-7 pounds up or down) shows in my face right away. Also even when I'm wearing layers how big or small my body looks really depends on a lot of variables.

That being what it is I have watched over the years and extrapolated the following.

Because any weight fluctuations show in my face, added to the fact that I am not necessarily I really fat fatty, means to a lot of people that I am in flux.

I've probably mentioned that according to census data/measurements I'm a tiny bit smaller than the average woman and as busty as I am and given the variances in how I dress-

all this adds up to the idea that I must be dieting. Because of course I'm dieting because I couldn't possibly be fine with the size of my body the way it is.

Over the years and after talking to some of my fatter friends I have a theory that the instant assumption of being between a before and after picture might be one of those smaller fat people experiences. I'm not sure.

When I was a lot fatter (probably 50 pounds or so) I didn't hear the did you lose weight/are you dieting thing nearly as much at all. In fact more often I got a lot of "helpful" tips to get my apparently dire situation under control.

These days I get some OH keep it up.

Someone said that to me earlier today and my reaction was what? Wearing skirts and no tights? Pooping to keep me from being bloated? Not sleeping to keep me looking crazy?

Then I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that because of how exhausted I've been I've been trying to stay super hydrated and thus my face is a tiny bit less round than it usually is.

People often assume I'm on some kind of diet when I stop at the store and buy any kind of food at all. If I purchase something good, for example I bought a green bell pepper to eat a couple of weeks ago (I eat them like apples, don't judge me) a lady in line complimented me on my "healthy good choice".

Not long after that I bought some gummy bears and a sprite because I had an upset tummy.  I got a conspiratorial wink from some lady and she commented that it must be my "treat" day.

This happens to me a shocking amount.

Being that I am not just fat but I am Black and I move around in a hugely overwhelmingly White city, people almost always seem shocked if I am buying or eating "good" or fancy food.

For background I grew up eating a lot of Non standard American food. Not because we had money for restaurants but because I grew up around a lot of poor people from varying places around the world and at that time in my hood if there was an extra kid at the table that kid got a plate.

I will say upfront that the vocalized surprise and yes grown ass people have patted me on the back (literally) and told me that they are "proud of my choices" in public (even in a restaurant once) when I eat something "good" or fancy.

For instance I took myself to a little place and bought a small appetizer portion of kimchi because a.) I fucking love kimchi and b.) a small portion because kimchi does not love me.

Some grown ass Nice White Lady, actually came to my table to congratulate me on my apparent self control. Since I only ordered that.

This is an experience I'm sure most all fatties have.

Some jackhole congratulating you for depriving yourself of something and therefor attaining Good Fatty status in their eyes.

These types of infantilizing comments are among the more infuriating things in life.

I've gotten them grocery shopping, clothes shopping, on seeing people I haven't seen for a while, I got them when I went on a tour of a potential gym and you know what? If you do that fuck you.

Fat people are not dogs. We are not your pets. We are not up for your backhanded compliments or "encouragement" unless we ask for it.

Keep your moral rah rahing to your damn self because your moral issues are not mine and I like a lot of other fat folks I suspect would like you to keep your mouth out of our plates and lives.

The bottom line is that other peoples bodies are none of your business unless they make it your business explicitly.

There is no good reason even if you're selling something, to walk up to a stranger and comment on what they are eating or not eating, how they are exercising or not exercising etc.

Pro tip- you are not being nice or polite. You are being a rude douchebag.

Most people understand from childhood that much of the time when dealing with strangers one should keep ones opinions to themselves. We teach our children not to point at people and a lot of us seem to forget the principle when we grow up and start talking down to other adults because they do not visually conform to our ideas about health.


Get your manners in check.

I'm not saying you can't think these things. Think them all you want to. As they say opinions are like assholes and everybody has one. And like assholes, we don't go around showing them to everyone do we?

That's all for now. I am beyond exhausted and need to do some self care oriented feeding myself and drinking water.

Homo Out.



Anonymous said...

This kimchi lady baffles me - why is she congratulating you on not ordering a bigger plate of veggies?! Cause that's what it is basically. I know that's not the point, but still...that stuff i've read is actually really healthy for a lot of people due to the vegetables and beneficial bacteria created by the seasonings and fermentation. What a dumb lady! Sorry, just pissed at her! Carry on!

Anonymous said...

lol weird sorry misread the story. she's glad you ONLY ate kimchi. sorry sorry rage got away from me XD

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