By Jona Nanette
The problem with being fat is that everyone else thinks it’s a problem. I know it is extremely unhealthy, but so is smoking, drinking, having unprotected sex, being a workaholic, a daredevil and lecturing overweight complete strangers on their eating habits. There are lots of things that can kill you that society not only deems acceptable, but also actually celebrates. That “celebration” doesn’t extend to us fluffies though. Society hates fat people, even though you probably are more likely to be overweight based on genetics than actual eating habits. News flash: Skinny people overeat too, and some skinny folks don’t work out ever. They eat the wrong foods and never get fat. They’re not judged though–that’s reserved for us “fat folk”. Even though most of us “fat folk” have been on a diet since the age of 12, and probably have had more personal trainers this year than some skinny people have had their whole lives. But we’re the lazy ones.
Truthfully, some of us are. Some of us couldn’t spell the word gym if you gave them the “g” and the “m” and asked them five questions beginning with the word “why.” Many of us overeat a lot. But some fat people don’t eat at all. Did you know there are big people who are big because they don’t eat and their bodies are storing food like a black bear during winter? I know you’re rolling your eyes right now because you know that’s not natural, but neither are waist trainers, weaves and twist outs (yeah I said it). Judge not lest ye be judged.
I’m just saying that there are a lot of myths and hurtful sentiments passed off as facts and it’s just plain ole annoying.
Take me for instance–I’m big. If I stopped eating right now and dieted every day, in six months I probably would still be fat to some people. My friends might congratulate me cause they see my progress, but to strangers, I’d still be the lazy, undisciplined fat girl who needs to “do better.” That’s discouraging. Do you know how many times I’ve been encouraged by strangers to lose weight, go on a diet or try a new workout after I had actually started a weight loss regimen and was actually losing the weight? Weight loss doesn’t occur overnight, which is why you shouldn’t judge someone based on their weight. Some people will always see fat people as lesser than, subpar, or their subordinates, and that’s just how the people like us feel. The assumption that you know me because “all big girls are alike” is not only ignorant, but it’s borderline flagitious.
Or how about the assumption that if a big girl has a problem with a skinny girl, it’s automatically assumed that she is jealous (Insert eye roll here)? I’m going to let you in on a little secret most skinny people don’t know:
There are very few fat women who are jealous of skinny women.
It would be like Christie Brinkley being envious of Halle Berry. For why? (And no, that’s not a typo!) No matter how much you tan, it’s never going to happen Christie! You’re beautiful, but you’re never going to be a brown-eyed woman with black girl magic. So no, it’s not that we are jealous of you. We just don’t like you. And it might not be you; it may be us. We may have a character flaw that has caused us to instantly hate you that has absolutely nothing to do with you being thin. We just hate you and want you to die a quick and painful death because your lip gloss ain’t popping and your perfume causes our allergies to flare up. That’s it. Sometimes there’s no resentment or jealousy–just pure pettiness.
And FYI: If I meet one more “friend girl” who automatically assumes I’m going to be her sweet and funny sidekick, I’m going to freaking scream! But I don’t blame her little skinny heart. I blame the media and all of its portrayals of the fat, funny friend. Just think about it. Every time you go to the movies and a skinny chick and a fat chick are on the screen, you already know which one that the lead actor will fall in love with and the one who will be the one holding his love interest’s hand and telling her to “go for it;” reminding her of how she deserves love. It’s always the fat chick who’s rooting for her thin best friend as she sends her off on a romantical date with the handsome lead before happily settling in for the night to watch Wendy and eat pints of Ben & Jerry’s–sigh. (And yes, “romantical” is a word. I used it and you knew what it meant, which makes it a word, with etymology and everything). Anywho, fat women are constantly portrayed as asexual beings who don’t need love or sex, who merely live to secure our skinny counterparts’ happiness. (Insert aggressive eye roll here).
But wait, there’s more. Sometimes the lead male actor has a fat female best friend (or in the case where the cast is predominantly white, a black female friend, but that’s a whole other article) who they are always hanging around. The writers think so little of fat women that they don’t even bother writing why they never “give it a go”; it’s just understood–she’s fat so the handsome star can’t possibly be sexually attracted to her and she should know that. That happens in real life like never!
Let me help you: If a male spends extensive amounts of time with a woman, he has probably initiated sex on several occasions. That means we are DATING! Please do not introduce me as your sister, your other mom or your “aunt”, especially if we’ve actually had the sex you initiated. You can, however, use the word “friend.” I like that word. The world needs more people who can honestly call each other “friend” so I don’t mind you calling me your friend at all. Just as long as you remember that “friends” don’t sleep together. (There’s that petty spirit creeping up again. My bad).
I also blame the media for some men who really think that all fat women are an easy catch. In the rare event that the fat sidekick does get attention from her male counterpart (who will never be the main lead character) he will undoubtedly be far less attractive or charming than the main lead character. However, the fat chick will be so surprised by the fact that he actually likes her that it always throws her off and she immediately becomes a complete idiotic goofball. What’s bemusing to me is though it takes a whole hour and a half for the main lead actor to win the skinny chick’s heart (according to the timeline in most romantic comedies), fat chicks get cuffed in less than five minutes. So now unattractive men in real life think that we fat women are just sitting around waiting on them to call and jumping at any chance they throw our way.
I’m sorry but I don’t have low self esteem. I like my body and I think most men should too. In real life, if my skinny friend and I are out and we see an Omari Hardwick type, I’m not just going to step aside and concede my shot because, of course he wants her. BUMP THAT! I will compete, and may the best woman win. Now, if he makes it obvious he’s not interested in me, I’m no blocker and she can have him. But if he shows the same amount of interest in both of us (which actually happens in real life) I’m going to make it do what it do, because let’s face it: in real life, big girls win these competitions all day/every day! (Oh, you think I’m tripping? Well, when is the last time you attended a skinny girl’s wedding? I’ll wait.)
And on the rare occasion that a man tries to use me as the D.U.F.F. (designated ugly fat friend), it never works out for him. He usually ends up standing on the outside of the club looking in, literally.
It’s just sad that in the politically correct climate of 2016 where you can’t say anything about anyone, you still can get away with fat jokes. Even women who are so pro-Black, pro-woman and love screaming “love me, accept me, differences give life flavor, yasssss” will even post memes saying things like “there’s a difference between thick and fat.” But if a man said he’d prefer relaxed hair to natural hair or you don’t really need protective styles, you wanna get mad. Yet you just threw a whole woman under the bus to make yourself feel better. Going to the gym doesn’t make you better than anyone. You fitting in a size 6 doesn’t make you superior to the size 12s, 18s or even 28s out there. It just makes you a feel better about yourself! Looking down on others for not looking like you or having the same body goals (or any goals) that you have sounds dangerously close to the sentiments those screaming “make America great again” hold dear to their hearts. Are we really free to be different, or is inclusion and acceptance only reserved for things that you revere? Are we to accept green, see-through eyes, charcoal dark skin, freckled sprinkled cherry complexion, big full lips, or nappy–I mean natural–hair, but when a girl is a size 20 she should be ostracized because that’s just nasty and intolerable? Oh okay. I’m just going to wait right here until that makes sense.
I’m already tired of waiting.
But alas, maybe you’re right. Maybe she is disgusting and should be cast out of society immediately for being lazy because we all know how easy losing weight is. (That was sarcasm in case you missed it.) I hate to break it to you but WE DON’T FIXATE ON OUR BODIES THE WAY YOU FIXATE ON OUR BODIES! There are some things we want to change, but doesn’t everyone? Many of us don’t spend every hour of the day thinking about diets and weight loss plans. Some of us actually like ourselves. Some of us actually love what we see in the mirror: every roll, curve, bump and lump. We accept us even when we know some people don’t because we intricately understand that, despite popular opinion, a grown woman’s thighs are supposed to touch! That’s why this article is necessary because too many people are trying to tell other people how to live their lives! I’m trying to be as sanguine as possible with the hope that the true message of this article is clear:
ALL BODY TYPES MATTER.
And you need to know I don’t feel the need to appease certain people’s totally unsolicited concerns by saying, “yes I’m trying to lose weight but in the meantime, please bear with me until I do and love me for me.” For why? (Again not a typo) My life is my life and whether I’m on a liquid diet or shutting down the buffet, it is none of your business. That’s personal. If I’m not all in your medicine cabinet, then you don’t have the right to be in my kitchen cabinet.
It is offensive for you to think that you know me, my thoughts, my wants and my needs based entirely on my dress size. I am a woman, and I demand the same respect you give to other women, whether skinny or bigger. See what I bring to the world, to your world. To your life. I’m not a placeholder and I’m not a doormat. I know some people’s feathers are ruffled and you are about to explode because I have the audacity to demand you to see past my looks, and I’m okay with that. I’m a big, plus sized beautiful woman living my big fat life, and I love it! To be anything less than what I actually am would be fat lie!
So if all hearts and minds are clear…