2006-04-24

You're Not Fat

I'm not a big girl.

Contrary to the views expressed otherwise on my website, by less-than-impartial parties, I'm not a fat girl.

I am angry, though.

I'm angry that the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has been received poorly because people don't want anybody who weighs more than 108 pounds to sell them anything. Women on the plus side of 108 don't photograph well?
They aren't pretty?
It's not even that I feel like, some hippy sense of "every sister is beautiful".
That's not true.
There are ugly people.
Beautiful people can be ugly but more to my point, there are people who are not attractive. They just didn't have that genetic cocktail mixed properly and they don't have the luxury of being cute.

There are also people who don't conform to the standards of the Western Beauty Myth.
They don't wash their hair as often as their hair wants them to. They don't accentuate the positives in the manner in which white-male advertising has taught them to.

Then there are people who truly believe that the starlets and the models set the standard.

They don't.
These are not people.
They spend a significant portion of each week having things implanted, removed, air-brushed, weaved, and trained.
They don't wake up at 6:00, go to work and sit in The Cubicle Castle all day, then morosely drive home to take the dog to the park and settle down on the couch with their over-weight husbands for an evening of sweet, soothing television.
They literally get paid to take their plasticized faces and breasts out so that photographers can snap them leaving Mood and sell those pictures, vicariously, to the fat Americans who really do live that unglamorous life.

Those pictures than make boyfriends and husbands and would-be lovers think, "Wow. My girl is really fat."
"My girl", a size 8, or even a size 6.

I can't count the number of times someone fat has told me that he or she hates fat people and I can't count the number of unfat women who have confessed how much they hate their bodies, how they feel awful because they made themselves throw up and they'd promised themselves to never do that again; they take laxatives by the handful so they can eat like a normal person; they search the mirror and hate the slightest wrinkle, grey hair, zit, or shadow of cellulite; they have people attack them in their comments sections; they sigh deeply when they try anything on and use their hands to hold the imperceptible imperfections in a way that makes the mirror in the fitting room feel like a forgiving best friend instead of a nemesis.

It's not fair.

It's not fair that there are only two categories of female figure: Thin and Fat.
There's nothing for normal.
There's not a category for mid-thirties and healthy. Women are allowed to be skinny and if they aren't then they're fat.
If you don't think that way, then bravo.
But be warned, the women in your life probably do.

Your best friend only sees rolls when she wears the hip-huggers that make her look adorable.

Your girlfriend sees a double chin.

Your sister thinks her thighs rub together and that it's gross.

Really, there are fat women in this country, and a lot of them. I can't stress enough that I am not advocating some kind of love-fest for the people who can't fit in an airline seat, or who refuse to own that their back problems and their asthma would be dramatically reduced if they chose to slowly begin to make a lifestyle change and become healthier people, overall; not just with regard to what the scale says.
The scale is for shit, if you ask me.
I, personally, have no idea what I weigh. I know what sizes I wear and how those clothes fit me but the actual number?
No idea.

I know that I am healthy, I know that I am not fat - fat is obese. Fat canít outrun you and I can.

I know that I am sick of there not being any support from friends and partners of women who are obeseÖ they are as trapped inside of themselves as any mental patient and the general public did that to them. If someone isnít ready to take ownership of his or her health, there doesnít need to be a judgment pronounced. So many times, someone out of shape starts a plan to get in shape and the plan fails. Why? Because of what's going on in their heads and beacuse of what's coming at them from the people who supposedly love them.

I remember viscerally when someone over-weight told me that he hated when he saw me run because I looked so bad doing it. He wasnít saying that I had a weird stride or that I did something weird with my mouth while I ran.
He was saying that I didnít look like Nicole Eggers running down the Baywatch Beach and he went into great detail about it.
It hurt a lot, mostly because I was literally doing something about the fact that I wasnít in the best shape that I could be in at the time. You know what's funny though?
I wasn't really fat at that time, either. I had gained some weight but I certainly wasn't obese.
I know I'm not the only normal-sized person who's got experience with shit-can messages from a parent or a partner.

I know that I am sick of women thinking that if they weigh more than 108, they are horrible, undesirable people.

arizonasarah at 2:14 p.m.

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