Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Size Variety

We are all different sizes. I wish society would just get over it!

One of my favourite bloggers, Screaming Fat Girl, often talks about the difficulty of living in a country (unnamed) where fat people are downright despised. One of her readers, emmabovary, recently commented on the pain she feels for her overweight teenage daughter, specifically because she lives in France--a country where women are constantly reminded that fat is intrinsically bad and thin is intrinsically good.

In fact, I remember being in Paris in my twenties, when I weighed significantly less than I do today, and being chastised about my weight by the woman whom I was paying to give me a facial. It's a cultural thing: in France, this is not considered an insult. It's the truth and you'd better just
face up to it and do something about it, you fat cow.

Well, I'm just sick of this. I'm not sick of doing the best I can to live in a healthy body and develop a healthy mindset towards life. I'm simply heartily sick of being told that there is only one kind of body type that is acceptable and healthy and that body is "fat free". Because it's not.

People are looking for easy solutions. It's easier to adopt the attitude that slim = healthy. It's harder to understand/accept that a slim person might be a smoker, drink to excess and subsist on Twinkies. We don't know what's going on inside her body. Or that a chunkier woman walks several kilometres to work every day, eats well, has fantastic lung capacity and lots of muscle.

Sometimes, seeing is not believing.


  1. Thank you for respecting my wishes not to name the country (though everyone can guess it from what I've said), and I am honored to be one of your favorites. It's such a lovely thing for someone to say about you. :-)

    I am also tired of the "one size fits all" when it comes to health mentality. Of course, I'm also tired of the pat judgment. One fellow who wrote about living in the country I currently reside in once said that he was disgusted by seeing other foreigners (that is, people not native to this country I'm in, so he was referring to people from his own country) who were fat because he felt they weren't trying to do anything about it. He decided that based on a weight assessment and nothing else. There was no way for him to really know whether people were trying or not.

    I'm sure people look at me and say, "disgusting!" I've lost 120 lbs. I'm doing something about it, but you can't tell by looking since I'm still fat. Of course, these people who judge me in this manner are nothing to me. Their evaluation of me is unimportant, and I am not interested in going out of my way to change their minds by offering myself up as "a good fatty." They should mind their own business and worry about their lives, not how I live mine.

    The judgment has to stop, but I think we're pretty powerless to do anything about it. We can't enlighten people who have no interest in anything other than elevating themselves at other people's expense. I just wish they'd keep their misery to themselves rather than trying to take it out on others.

  2. Agreed.
    Whenever the food police rear their ugly head around me I say something like "Well, in my family the skinny people die first. The fat ones live happily ever after." Rude and ungracious but effective in shushing them. (Either that or challenge them to a pushup competition.)

  3. I feel like people are constantly concerning themselves with what I eat or what my activity level is. In return, I ignore them and go about my business.

    It is difficult to completely ignore people and they're opinions, though. I realize this.

    I keep reminding myself they have their own issues and, while they might think about me and my issues for a few minutes, ultimately they're the person who is most on their minds.

    We all have to create our own reality by continuing to make one good decision after the other.

    In related news, I figure if I keep thinking, "Who cares what ****** things, anyway?" then I'll eventually believe it.

    Great post, by the way. This is the type of thing we need to be talking about, the very thing we rarely ever talk about.

    Rhi B.
    a.k.a. @AngryFatWoman

  4. France, you say?
    That type of judgment abounds right here in the good ol' US of A; don't have to travel abroad for it...