Fatso, lard arse, humungus, fat bitch, elephant, etc…
I have been called these names and many more throughout my life with varying degrees of success on the hurting scale.
Weight is something I have battled with forever and it is a rather boring thing to have to deal with. Now after having lost four and a half stone I am at a point where yes, I am still fat and still have more to lose, but my excess weight does not bother me like it did, and now, if someone says to me “you’re fat aren’t you?” I reply; “And you’re ugly, but I can always diet…”
I can’t tell you how many times I was told by friends of the family (and indeed family members themselves); “My, you’ve put on weight!”, or “Wow, how big are you now?”. Would they say a similar thing to an alcoholic or drug addict? “Gosh, you’re a right alky slob now!” or “Wow, well done you for stealing from your disabled Nan to feed your drug habit!” I doubt it.
And how are you expected to respond to these people? My natural instinct, especially once I learnt swear words, would have been to tell them to fuck off, but that would have only earnt me a slap for my troubles. With hindsight, it would have been nice if my parents had told them to be quiet but that, sadly was not forthcoming as they probably agreed with them most of the time. Doesn’t help a person’s self-esteem and it’s a bastard of a vicious cycle to be living in, especially for me with my issues about my looks!
Oh, I know what you must be thinking, and yes, I should have done alot more to lose the weight etc, and my weight has see-sawed throughout my adult life but when I am low or feeling stressed, food is my comfort blanket. It also has not helped me that on and off over the years, I have had medical problems that have made it more difficult to lose weight.
I don’t want sympathy though.
I am writing this post as fat has been in the news recently, particularly with the case of 19-year-old Georgia, as well as mumblings about making it a hate crime to insult a person about their size. I don’t know yet, how I feel about making it a hate crime, as my natural aversion to much of todays’ political correctness comes to the fore and I think that we are being strangled too much by that these days. In saying that, it does not mean that I like to hear people say nasty things about me and to me, but I can cope when they do. Furthermore, there is a real danger of strangling free speech if we prevent people saying anything about anything. Or does that only apply if it is about something you don’t agree with? I don’t know. You can see my confusion here!
Don’t get me wrong; what is covered by the Equalities Act 2010 is correct and discrimination against people because of their race, sexual orientation etc should be illegal; they are things beyond the control of the individual and the consequences should you discriminate in anyway, are correct.
However, if you follow that way of thinking and add obesity to that list then it gets a little hazy and you might as well add alcoholism and drug addiction as well. Where do we draw the line though, as obesity, alcoholism and drug addiction are by and large, brought on by the individual themselves. No-one made me overeat, and no-one makes you become an alcoholic or a drug addict. I agree that there may be extenuating circumstances in our lives and yes, a certain weakness makes us turn to our “drug of choice”, but I am not sure that adding obesity to this act is a wise move.
For me, I am aware that I have part of my brain that does not fully know when to tell me to stop eating and I have to discipline myself to react properly when I sense my stomach is full. On the whole, nowadays, I am successful, and don’t always feel hungry, quite often I will go for hours without eating, but I recognise that I have to be careful.
But I am not sure that I want to be protected by law because of my size, and I am quite capable of defending myself when I am faced with insults from those whose intellect is way beneath mine (well, that’s what I think about them if that is how they behave towards me!). In fact, I love to see people’s faces on a crowded train when they see me, and I know what they are thinking as their expressions speak volumes, (please, don’t let the fat woman sit next to me, please don’t let the fat woman sit next to me…!). Guess what, I do.
Getting back to Georgia, I wish her well as she has a long hard slog ahead of her and I hope she succeeds.
Basically, (even though I think I may have contradicted myself in this post!) think what you like about me and my size, I don’t care. You are welcome to your opinion and when you are with your friends/family, feel free to take the piss out of me as much as you like, I might be doing the same about you! However, I would suggest that you don’t say anything to my face, because I might take that as a green light to return the favour. That, to me seems fair. Just because you perceive me as being different to you, does not mean that I need you to point out that difference in public, OK?