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The Facts of Life

31 Oct

Abraham Lincoln once said,

                “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

This inevitable fact of life was driven home for me earlier this week.  I made the mistake of sharing a blog that I had just written and posted on my blog site for all the world to see on the Facebook feed of a Fat Acceptance group that I was a member of;  yet the crushing blow came not from a nameless, faceless internet troll but from a comrade in arms.  It was the deciding factor in a long and sometimes painful coming of age for me.

I will not rehash the aforementioned blog here (If you want to read it, here is the link to it) I will summarize by saying it involved a night out at a country-western dance club, my wonderful and too damn sexy for his own good boyfriend, me and several girls who made it known throughout the night that I was not good enough for him and that he should be with someone like them because, after all, they were beautiful and I was not.

Upon sharing this blog with my fellow fatties, believing that there would be camaraderie and sisterhood and all that other mumbo jumbo I promptly had a bucket of very cold water dumped on my head as I was informed by a member (and might I add moderator) of this group that I had just devalued my boyfriend by referring to him as a prize to be won.  I want to share with you the conversation that occurred between myself and her and various other members of this group so that you can make a call for yourself;

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Now, if this had been the first time something like this has happened in this group I could have turned the other cheek and rolled my eyes and said ok, whatever; but this was not the first time that something like this has happened and it made me really rethink my involvement in these kinds of groups.  The purpose behind me joining this group was to have a foundation of support in my fight against sizeism yet here I am defending myself and my point of view against someone with the same small mindedness as all the sheep out there just in reverse.  It was, needless to say, a giant slap in the face to come to the final conclusion that this was not a membership that wished to associate myself with any longer.  After all, 9 times out of 10, the members of this group came across as hard core, almost militant feminists so it should have come as no surprise to me that my more traditional, conservative point of views would clash and lead to battles like these, except this was the first time it had led to a battle like this.  In the past, at the slightest hint of conflict I would tuck tail and run not wanting to be the bad guy but this time I had a vested interest in the conflict, after all, it was my personal experience that was being disparaged.

So, since I recognized that I was fighting a losing battle by trying to defend myself in the ensuing comments and since I saw that my foe was the type of person who needed to have the ultimate last word, I made a conscious decision and just stopped.  I made a decision that it was pointless to argue with someone who refused to see the world past the end of their own nose and that any point that I tried to make was just going to be wasted on her.  I copied the comments and promptly deleted myself from this and other drama wrapped groups.

This was the day that I left the Fat Acceptance movement.  I realized that underneath the well meaning cause that these women had taken up was a underlying snarkiness that would never allow them to prevail in this cause because they were, for the most part, unable or unwilling to lay down their selfishness for the better good.  I still believe in everything that I believed in before this day, I just don’t believe in this particular sect of the movement any longer.

I understand now that, like me, most of these women grew up in a society that crapped on them and fed them lies to belittle them, to shove them into a corner, no make them go away.  Most of these women did not have a strong foundation of family and friends to support them in their self discovery and so, now, most of these women haven’t the first clue when it comes to what a healthy, functional relationship really is or how to sustain one once they have found it.  Most all of the women that I have come in contact with during my time in these groups have formed such a wall around themselves that they almost demand complete independence from any outside force, they feel that they are the captain and sole master of their destiny and I’m sorry, but nothing can function if you are unwilling to step back and be weak for just a moment and allow someone else to be strong for you.  Most of these women have convinced themselves that they do not need outside validation but how can that be when it is human nature to crave love and compassion and companionship?   These things go hand in hand with one another.  And while I will agree that “…external factors should not be the sole measure of one’s worth” I also believe that no man is an island and that without those external factors you can not be a completely whole person.

Not everyone that I encountered in these groups were bad, I have come away having met some pretty awesome people but, to quote a line from the prophet Madea,

“Only two places on this earth you’re gonna have peace, your grave and your house. Now if you wake up in your house and you’ve got no peace something is wrong. “

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This Time the Fat Girl Won!

28 Oct

Dear girl staring at me wondering what he is doing with me,

Yeah, I see you staring .  I can see the wheels turning in your head as you look me up and dothe time the fat girl wonwn with your judgmental glances as you try to figure out what he is doing with this fat girl when he could so obviously have his choice of any girl in this place.  I know you are staring at him too, trying to catch his attention, trying to flirt with your eyes, trying to nonchalantly suggest to him that he come over and talk with you.  I also know that if I was to look away long enough you would discretely slip him your number and maybe even, not so discretely, give him a little peak at what would be waiting for him.

There was a time when I would be intimidated by you and your obvious lack of class and your flagrant disregard for that ring on a very important finger.  There was a time when I would have backed down and almost handed him over to you with a ribbon on his head.  There was a time when I would have gone home and worried and cried over not being “pretty” enough to make him stay.

Those days are gone.

You see, this tall drink of water that gets to spend the next hour or two as your eye candy, well, he is coming home with me.  That’s right; he IS coming home with me, just like he does every night and has done every night for the last two years.  That is the difference between a man and a boy and make no mistake, just because that buff hunk of masculinity that you fawn all over at the gym may have the body of a Greek god, does not make him a man.  A boy is concerned with appearances and putting on a show to fit in; a man, he is concerned with substance, more than just the vapid dissection of Kanye’s proposal to Kim.  He looks to see who will be a good mother for his children, who will raise them with morals and values, he is concerned with finding someone who will be there with him through thick and thin and not just till the money runs out.

You ask yourself what he sees in me and I will tell you, he sees me.  He sees my heart and my soul; he sees what is under all the pretentiousness and make up and he is mature enough to understand what truly matters at the end of the day.  So, while at one time you and your seemingly flawless perfection would have had me quivering in my flip flops, now it just amuses me.  I get to sit back and have a good laugh with my sexy beau at your expense, secure in the knowledge that stare and flirt as you might you are not even a blip his radar.

Besos!!

This time the fat girl won!

I Don’t Think We Are In Kansas Anymore, Toto

2 Jan

I hate New Years Day!

new_years_resolution_lose_weightI vehemently detest this day and all that it stands for, namely resolutions.

I made a resolution to myself a long time ago (and honestly it’s the only resolution that I have ever kept) to stop making resolutions, in particular the one that everyone seems to make this time of year, to lose weight.

It’s so tiring, this time of year.  You cringe when you turn on the television; it seems like every other ad you see is for a weight loss program of some sort.  My least favorite is the Xenedrine ads with the half-naked, oiled up Pussy Cat Dolls wanna bes dancing around a giant box of the weight loss pills.  My favorite (If there can be such a thing) is the Special K ads.

This year the Special K ads have taken a more positive approach; rather than the eat a bowl every day for 2 weeks and loose a dress size ads of the past they have been prompting us with a what we will gain by loosing approach.  By using words such as confidence, sass, happiness, joy, peace they hope to inspire women to think positively.gain project  If you visit the website for the Gain Project they display all of these “Women who think positive” ism’s that are all tied into weight loss, so really this really cool thing that they are trying to do by inspiring women to think positively is just a hidden guise to encourage us to lose weight.

What drives me nuts is that the Gain Project website is riddled with hundreds of women and what they think they will gain when they lose weight.

“Confidence and swagger”

“Leaving the lights on”

“a life”

“feeling good about myself”

“I want to feel and look beautiful”

All of these quotes, perceivably by real women, and none of them seem to realize that they all have the ability to be all of these things and more already inside of them and they don’t need to lose weight to find it.  It makes me think of the Wizard of Oz when the Glenda the good Witch tells Dorothy that she had the ability to go home the whole time she just needed to believe in herself first.

I was really hopeful that maybe this would be a step in the right direction, that maybe this would be like the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and that maybe just once I wouldn’t have to dread New Year’s Day anymore because finally someone is beginning to realize that beauty and confidence shouldn’t be tied to the number on the scale.

Your Ass is Looking Especially Cute Tonight

4 Aug

Wow! Has it been that long since I posted anything on here…. I feel somewhat neglectful to the small (but I hope to grow) handful of people who read this blog.  My apologies!

It is a miserably hot Texas Saturday morning outside; inside I am quite comfortable in my wonderful air-conditioned house browsing Pinterest for BBW appreciation posts when I came across one that linked to an article in The Village Voice, a New York newspaper of sorts for all things hip and trendy at the moment.  Guys Who Like Fat Chicks, seems unlikely right, but oh, how wrong you would be.  Three pages into the six page article I was reminded of something that my wonderfully sexy boyfriend, Brian, said to me last night as we walked in the door from work.

“Your ass is looking especially cute tonight”

As usual, this was met with the typical , “whatever”, but as I read the stories of guys from all different walks of life who, like my man, are Fat Admirers, I am reminded that “whatever” was not the appropriate response to a comment like that.

For all of my portrayed strength and poise, there is still a frightened girl inside of me that pops up every now and then.  You know the girl, the one who never thought any of this would ever happen for her, that she was of no value in this world simply because she is FAT!  We all know her intimately, no matter how far we have come in our struggle to find our worth, she is always buried somewhere waiting to wreak havoc on our self – esteem.

Recently, I watched Katt Williams on Comedy Central (I taped the uncensored version that came on at 2am so as to not give myself a headache from all the beeped out words) and he made a comment that I had never paid much attention to until now.  He asked how a man (or presumably anyone else for that matter) could affect your self-esteem, it is “esteem of self” after all but I say to that, damn easy.  A person’s self-esteem is formed from what she sees when she looks around her and is told that what she is is ugly, whether that be a body with rolls or a little black girl with the kinky hair, a person can only believe she is beautiful so long when all around her she is told otherwise.

In my search today for all things bbw empowering I was reminded of my self-worth again, and that modesty (at least when it comes to my shape) should not be tolerated.  I am reminded that the next time my boyfriend looks at me and says, ‘nice ass’ the appropriate answer is not “whatever” but instead should be a wide grin and a ‘isn’t it though’.

My motto for today is one that I found on a HAES poster, “I stand for making sure that every little fat girl knows how beautiful she is, and that someday, she too will have a smokin’ hot husband!”

Fat Actress: Bollywood Edition

17 May

Well, folks, looks like we have shared out fear and distaste of fat people to the rest of the world.  Bollywood Queen Aishwarya Rai is currently being slammed by fans for her failure to return to her pre pregnancy body.  Message boards and blogs in the actress’s native India have been inundated with disgruntled fans who say that the star has a “duty” to her fans to keep up her image.  Several sites have actually posted video of the actress and overlaying sound clips of an elephant trumping drawing in thousands of views.  Some are even suggesting that she needs to learn from the likes of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham who, just weeks after the birth of her daughter, was back to her size zero self.

Professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at the University of London, Rachel Dwyer, points the finger of blame to us,

“I think this baby weight thing is a western obsession with pulling stars down,” she wrote in an email exchange on the topic. “Women who lose weight are congratulated and those who don’t are seen as letting themselves go. I’ve not heard of it in India before.”

This obsession that we have with weight and what our perception of beauty is has been so a skewed over the past 30 years or so.  Women now are trying harder than ever to maintain their looks well into their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s.  Have you ever just taken a moment to consider that it’s just not healthy to force yourself back to the way your body was before you had a child?

Take Victoria Beckham for example.  Yahoo search “Victoria Beckham looses weight” and you find article after article for the “5 hands diet”.  The diet consists of having just five handfuls of food a day and it was reported that Beckham was snacking on tiny portions of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.  All of that so she could be in shape in time for New York Fashion Week which was just about a month away.  Instead of embracing her curves she locked herself away from the world until she was “presentable.”  Really! I hope she wasn’t breastfeeding subsisting off of just 5 handfuls of food a day.  There is a reason your body responds the way it does to certain situations.  The irony of this, I find, is that during a Yahoo search (can you tell I am not yet a Google convert yet?) of “Victoria Beckham” the top story was an article on the business wire that Beckham had banned size 0 models from the catwalk at her show.

I, for one, happen to think the former Miss World is still beautiful, only infinitely more so since now she has the glow of a mother.   We should be ashamed of ourselves for spreading this horrible message of self loathing and body hate to any other country in the world.  Its bad enough that we have to deal with it but now we have introduced an entirely new group of impressionable girls to wonderful world of fat shaming.  I liked the way that ABC news reported the story,

“Pictures show a woman who has clearly gained weight, but does not appear unhealthy or abnormal for a new mother.”

I applaud ABC news for an unbiased observation, now if only the rest of the world could follow suite.

The Rise of the New Regime

15 May

Adolph Hitler was once quoted as saying, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”  I spent many years studying the history of World War 2 and Hitler’s rise to power; how he was seemingly able to brainwash an entire country and convince them that all of their woes lay at the doorstep of the Jews and the Gypsies, anyone who didn’t fit his “ideal”.  The scary part is that the country bought it.  In times of trials, people are susceptible to almost all kinds of propaganda and thought control.  I imagine that had Hitler’s rise to power occurred some eighty years later that it would have started out a little like this.

Did you know that we are in the midst of a catastrophe?  I know I was as shocked as you.  You are probably asking yourself what more of catastrophe we could possibly be in, after all we, as a nation, are in debt up to our eyeballs, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed, healthcare is in a shambles and no one seems to be able to point us in the right direction.  Never fear though!  We have a scapegoat….OBESITY!!  If history repeats itself then surely this must be how the holocaust began.

It always seems that when a country is at its lowest point is when someone swoops in and saves the day, pointing out what we were all oblivious to without their wisdom and if the Jews were to blame for the financial failings of 1930’s and 40’s Germany simply because they looked differently than the fat people of America are to blame for the mess America is in today.

Follow my logic here.

I don’t watch a lot of television, preferring to be outside fishing or reading than indoors but I did catch a glimpse of a commercial for HBO’s new documentary, “The Weight of a Nation”.  Not since the sad sack stories of “The Biggest Loser” have I seen such blatant disregard for logic and common sense.  Go to the website and you are fed a stream of “facts” about obesity and its drain on society;

“One in four adults gets no leisure-time moderate or vigorous physical activity at all.”

“The obese workforce costs American business an estimated $73.1 billion per year.”

“Currently in the United States, 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent.”

It’s always weight isn’t it?  Fat people are an easy target, easy to spot and sure some of them have some serious health issues that should be addressed.  But it’s far easier to motivate a nation to wage a war on obesity when the target doesn’t look like you.  Truth be known, there are just as many unhealthy skinny people in this country as there are fat ones but the fat ones are easier to pick on.  As a nation we have taken on the anti-bullying cause lately but it seems slightly hypocritical to tell our kids that it’s not cool to bully someone who is different than you and then we are a nation turn right around and bully a large group of people just because they look different than us.

Hitler and the Nazi’s did the same thing.  Post World War 1 Germany was a nation in shambles, broke and demoralized they needed something, someone to blame their hardships on.  Its human nature to look for a culprit rather than to take responsibility for your own failures and Hitler provided an outlet for that frustration.  Fast forward eighty years and an ocean away and we are faced with similar turmoil here at home.  Rather than face the reality of the situation, the government would rather keep us engaged in an unofficial civil war, a battle between ourselves than to face the grim reality of the situation we are in right now.

I don’t know about you but, I for one am tired of always playing the scapegoat.  If a documentary named “The Weight of the Nation” had aired on television and was fair and balanced and showed all the sides of the problem then I would be content.  If we spent as much money researching the effects of bad eating habits on the human race in general rather than focusing on one segment of the population I would be ecstatic.  If we could stop judging a group on their outward appearance I would be trilled, in fact I would be overjoyed!

Fat people of the world unite!  We are NOT the problem!  We are not the cause of the healthcare crisis in America.  Greed is the problem!  Stand up and take a stand!  We are in a unique place in the world now.  They can’t throw us all in a fat camp and make us starve till we fit their standards.  This is how revolutions are started and baby, it’s time for a revolution!

The High Cost of Being Fat

1 May

Here they go again!  Another study, funded by who knows who, has found that the increasing waistline has affected the pocketbooks in more places than just health care.  In an article posted yesterday on Yahoo (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/americas-waistline-expands-costs-soar-100758490–sector.html), The Campaign to End Obesity, claims that not only does obesity make our healthcare cost soar but apparently we are now to blame for the high cost of gas, the low pay rates for workers and the exorbitant cost of a baseball ticket.

Yes folks, you may not have known it but being fat makes the cost of a Yankee’s ticket more.  But, how can that be, you ask!  Well, it seems that because the stadium installs seats that are 2 inches wider than the old seats us fat people can be blamed since not only are the new seats expensive to install but they can’t get as many into Yankee Stadium as before so they have to reap their losses from somewhere!

But wait! There’s more!  It seems that officials (who ever they are) had been hoping that because we are fat that we would die off earlier and not be such a drain on the system by collecting Medicare or that pesky Social Security.  Makes sense right!  I mean, if being obese basically predisposes you for Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease then we should be dropping like flies at an early age (and since the number of obese people in this country is ranging around 36% we should be dropping in masses too).  Problem is, according to health economists from Duke University, “… mortality isn’t that much higher among the obese.”

That’s right folks!  Us fatties out there just won’t die!

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that sort of blow holes in their theory that obesity equals a death sentence?  Let me blow some more holes in there while I am at it.

New Jersey Transit officials have ordered new train cars that have seats that are 2.2″ wider than existing train cars but while they were at it they went ahead and ordered double Decker train cars so they could cram a few more people into that morning commute.  More passengers on the train (no matter their weight) equals….you guessed it! more weight!  By their own logic, more weight means that more fuel is burned and therefore we will use more fuel than we have in years past.

Oh, by the way, since 1970, the US population has grown by about one million people.  Isn’t it possible that this plays a role in the that extra 938 million gallons of gas we are consuming?

Is there a line to be drawn?

Sure, not every obese person is healthy just like not every obese person is unhealthy.  Someone who weighs 700 pounds is surely going to have some health limitations.

Does anyone out there really want to be 700 pounds?  Probably not.

Are we a nation of lazy people ?  Of course!  There is no doubt about that in my mind.

But is it fair to vilify all fat people just because they are fat?  Absolutely not!

There has to be a scapegoat for every set of circumstances and it seems that fat is where its at.  For whatever reason we get to play the Wicked Witch of the West to the “normal” folks Dorothy.

Oh, just as a side note, the same study found that obese people, women in particular, were less likely to be hired or promoted in jobs than their skinny counterparts.

Newsflash!  If I was conducting a survey and I interviewed employers and they admitted to me that they had not hired people because of their weight I would be calling the EEOC because, last time I checked, that was illegal.

But, that’s just me 🙂