Today I wanted to write a post that's quite personal. I want to tell you my experiences with being fat, the negative (and positive) experiences I've had and my opinion on fat shaming because it isn't okay. I've been big for as long as I can remember. Varying degrees of fat, of course but always bigger than my friends. I've also always been tall and I've been told I carry it well but that does not disguise the fact that I am a UK 18-20, I have arms that are as big as some people's thighs, my thighs touch when I walk and my stomach hangs over the waistband of my jeans. Yes, I have curves but those curves are also padded in excess fat which is unhealthy and often times unsightly. I have been at war with my body for a good fifteen years and that has damaged me more than cholesterol ever will.
A few days ago there was an article written by my least favourite journalist bar India Knight, Liz Jones. It featured a friend of mine Callie who is a beautiful, fat woman who happened to be appearing as a plus size model in Evan's summer campaign. There were other large and proud ladies in the article, all who had given their opinions on how they had struggled but are now, by and large, learning acceptance and love of their bodies. The article was half decently written with a third of the famous Jones entitled vitriol that I expected but it was the comments that shook me the most. Strangers sitting behind their computers calling these women ugly, obese (clinical term which I will accept but absolutely not as an insult), lazy, unhealthy, disgusting - you name it, it was there. There were good comments but they were lost in a sea of hatred*.
Now, I don't know about you but I don't harbour intense hatred for slender women. Envy, slight jealousy, appreciation for their appearance and determination but I certainly do not hate them. I'm not going to pretend I only notice their personalities or how their eyes sparkle like a Tiffany diamond because if people loved the way my eyes sparkle they'd love me every time I saw cake. From a fat woman who has tried every healthy eating plan, diet, lifestyle change, exercise plan and meal replacement plan only to have fallen off the wagon, that is quite a bold thing to say. Sometimes we joke "You're so beautiful, you bitch" and mean it ever so slightly. Sometimes we say we don't care what we look like yet we're lying to ourselves profusely. Sometimes this happens to the thin and toned, the round and tender and all those in between. Yet, I wouldn't dare say a thin person was unhealthy disgusting or unhealthy, not because I'm politically correct but because I'm a decent human being.
The fact of the matter is, fat people deserve a life without bullying. Fat people deserve to be able to go for a run and not be laughed at. Fat people deserve to wear nice dresses in the same style as a size 10 only three times as large. We deserve to be able to eat an ice cream without someone commenting on our health because most people don't give a crap about health. They will put it under the umbrella of health as it's deemed more politically correct but it's madness. If you don't fancy fat chicks, that's your prerogative but realise that these people have control over their bodies and choose to be this way. We all know calories consumed plus calories burned equal weight loss. It's simple math but yet there's an obesity epidemic. You won't catch fat, I promise.
I have issues with people calling themselves curvy when they're fat but it's a separate issue. I'm very upfront about most things and I know I am not curvy. I am harbouring a lot of excess weight. I am not Beyonce but at the end of the day since fat has such negative connotations in society it's whatever you associate with. If curvy is your empowering word, let's do this. I think it's completely not okay to promote obesity as a lifestyle choice just as much as I think it's abhorrent to promote extremely slim bodies as a healthy choice. I think it's awful when children are forced to eat processed, calorie filled meals as the norm and are not introduced to balanced meals and fun exercise as part of their every day lives.
The fact is, I'm an adult and these are my choices. I am steadily losing weight but some weeks I go up a few pounds. My children eat healthy, balanced meals that include chocolate and cake (I love cake, did I mention that?) I exercise, eat well but I fail with portion control and emotional eating. That is my burden to bear. It is not a free for all for people to comment on the size of someone's thighs. Be the best person you can be, be the person you want to be and leave people who do no harm to you alone. If we die alone in our 3XL coffins covered in Reese's cup trays and all we ask for is a hole for a McDonalds milkshake straw in case we're not actually dead - still not your business.
I have cried too many hours about my weight as have thousands of people out there, young, old, black, white, thin and fat. Despite the "You should go on a diet" comments, rarely people do. It is up to us to decide when the time is right for that and negative comments achieve nothing because it seems like heart attacks are only allowed for the thin.
You can find the original article complete with comments here - WARNING: It's a Daily Mail link therefore it will drop your IQ several digits upon opening.