Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Killing the Fantasy of Thinness One Pants Size at a Time

I am very tired so no links but feel free to google.

Kate Harding, years ago coined this phrase The Fantasy of Being Thin.

Recently I've also spent some time admonishing Tim Gunn for apparently only recently understanding that if one is over a size 10 (he said 12 but lets be real here) fashion as it is done in fancy fashion places does not serve anybody.

We know this.

What y'all probably don't know is that I have had one very concerned, dedicated troll whom we'll refer to as T#1. For background this gentleman once upon a time thought it would be cute to demand I send free fap material pictures and when I didn't he became my apparent White Knight in badly proxied internet armor.

Every couple of months he will send me a note via any number of social media to tell me how sickly I may look in a photo, or that my weight makes it look like I'm about to drop dead.

Recently with my mystery weight loss he has decided that since I am not really that fat anymore, it must mean that everything I've said about fat, being fat, etc is nullified.

Like every other healthist asshole on the planet seems to think when they talk to me, my weight is now a symbol of me turning my back on fatness.

Actually it isn't.

So let's talk about that.

I'm being pretty open here so bear with me. Last October or so I started losing tidbits of weight. Then in December I had the worst cold/upset. My insomnia took a few really bad turns. I was very stressed out for quite a while, and just after my birthday in March I started to realize I had lost a fuckload of weight.

I don't use scales so we're going by pants.

Last Nov/Dec my size 16 pants from Old Navy fit pretty damn well if a little baggy in the ass. I felt good. My normal health problems were doing their things, I had no extra health problems aside from colds and shit. The illnesses and frequency of them was normal because of my insomnia. When my insomnia is super bad the first thing to start freaking out is my immune system.

Looking back, I felt in the bodily sense very normal.

But my ass was shrinking.

Let me assure you of a few things. Here are some of the things that my current weight has not cured me of.

Being a total asshole. Sometimes I am a hateful asshole like every other human on the planet. Losing several pants sizes did not cure this.
I don't hate my formerly fatter ass, I don't hate my current ass. I am not retroactively against being fat.
I am not morally superior to anybody who has a bigger ass.
I am not now miraculously super happy.
Still not a diabetic.
Still have mid normal blood pressure.
Still have one shitty kidney.
Still am a chronic terrible insomniac.
Buying pants that fit properly is still a problem.
And very salient to my point today, I am still treated as a fat object. A bucket of fat fatty fat fat ass disease.
Here's the thing.

People who have seen me with a size 16 ass and my current size 12 ass treat me the same way but with different language.

I am subject to random semi strangers congratulating me on my weightloss without ever asking if I'm okay. In all these months it has only been some other fat folks who have first said, are you all right?

It looks like this. Here is what annoys me.

Person X: WOW look how much weight you've lost. YOU GO GIRL. KEEP IT UP. KEEP GOING YOU'LL BE SO SEXY IN TIME FOR NEXT SUMMER.

Person X: You have made SUCH good progress. *At which point they start pointing out my remaining flaws while recommending insane diets, diet pills, dvds, "programs" etc to spot treat my "problem" areas.


Person X: You are SO good. I couldn't blablabla.

When I respond, people don't really listen. Again we see that if it was in fact about my health things would go more like this:

Person Y: I noticed you lost some weight, are you okay?

Person Y: Are you feeling all right?

Person Y: I love you and just want you to be okay.

See the difference?

While I am not in the range of socially unacceptable fatness at this point I am in that other sticky place where it is assumed that I am mid diet or have done something super amazing.

I am still treated as a disease by doctors. To them most of the time if I would just keep losing weight my health problems would disappear.

This is the effect sizeism has on my real lived life.

For people like T#1 things like my body's natural set point, stressors, potential health problems (that I don't' currently have but mystery weight loss can be indicative of), or what it means to suggest that I am suddenly morally superior to other people and my previous self only on the basis of the size of my ass- just don't matter.

That is why 99% of the War On Obesity, anti fatness, fatphobia etc is complete entire bullshit.

Having a smaller ass has not spared me any of the following:

People using "you're a fat bitch" to try and shut me down when I speak.
Invasive assumptions about what I do or don't eat and how much I do or don't exercise.
Judgemnt based on nothing except for my ass.

The real truth is that thinness doesn't really save you from anything.


Weightloss is not a curative of ALL the things.

That is not to say that for some people weight loss is something that is good for their health Here's the thing, I can't make that call. If it is not my body I have no place sitting in judgement. Neither do you.

One of the things I find to be an absolute imperative of FA or any body politic movement is the understanding that while yes on a societal level weight loss as the cure of every ill is not only a bad idea it's dangerous, bad for your health blablabla. On the flip side of that coin, I cannot tell another person that how they are dealing with their own body is bad. I won't.

For me personally I don't feel anything on a moral level about my weight.

The only things I'm super concerned about is staying as healthy as I can be, keeping my weight stable, keeping myself fed well, not overdoing it with the exercise and right now pants.

I need new pants and if you've read me for a while you know that sudden needs for new pants throw me into a poor people tailspin.

We'll talk about that later.

Bottom line is as I've said before, as many other people have said before getting or being thinner doesn't magically turn one into a Skinny Awesome Person.

All it really means is, you might need new pants.

Homo Out.



Anonymous said...

I relate to this so hard. I'm a fat activist who lost a bunch of weight mostly not on purpose (it's complicated... my blog goes into it a little), and I'm really really done with hearing anything about my weight loss, and concerned that people are now approaching me thinking I'm pro weight loss.

Also, I have one kidney! It's pretty functional though. Also, I had a year of chronic insomnia that required some serious medical intervention... until I got mono. So mono was actually one of the better things that's ever happened to me.

Also, I have a couple of pairs of size 12/13 pants hanging around if you need 'em! Happy to ship if you're down.

Anonymous said...

I saw the same thing happen to a friend who is seriously ill. On a walk, a neighbor approached us and asked gently if she was okay, he'd noticed how thin and ill she was, and he was worried that she was battling cancer. His caring was genuine. The same week, at a family function, her aunt raved loudly about how well my friend's diet was working, and reassured her that once she dropped that last 15 pounds she'd look truly amazing.
I just can't wrap my head around it.


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