Friday, 1 June 2012

Fat, continued.

So the other day I dealt with the horrible prejudice that exists against fat people. Now I'm going to have a meander around the other end of the scale.

That would the end of the scale which hates thin people and the media obsession with them as a cultural ideal. In my view, they are just as bad as the fat haters. The people who tell you losing weight is a bad thing, that you only want to lose weight because of cultural conditioning, that you should accept yourself the way you are and who brand every thinner woman as one who is a slave to the media, who starves herself, who is miserably scraping a living with no enjoyment of life.

How dare they? How dare they rail against a culture of anti-fat people by simply being exactly the same in the other direction? How dare they call themselves feminists and yet stand up and decry other women for their bodyshape in a way they'd not tolerate happening to themselves? How insulting to be told that you're only an independent minded, self aware human being if you're well padded and proud?

There's that meme that goes round showing a pic of Marilyn Monroe in a swimsuit next to some very, very emaciated-looking woman and proclaims society is sick for preferring emaciated. Well, a few problems there, not the least being that 'society' rather does accept that Marilyn Monroe is a sort of placemarker for conventional beauty and although fashionistas do promote very thin models, they very rarely come up as something sexy and to be desired by men. The big problem of course is that although it's commonly women and  pro-feminist men who circulate the meme, it's highly anti-women. It pits woman against woman, it keeps women firmly in the position of being objects to be looked at and rated rather than people to be considered. It judges, it promotes aggression towards thinner women. It's horrible.

I lost six and a half stone last year. I did it properly, simply by counting calories and exericising. I denied myself nothing I wanted to eat, I adhered to no silly fads, I ate from every food group. I've now maintained that loss for 5 months without a huge amount of effort. I have (hopefully) learned what my body actually needs to have equilibrium. I'm proud of that, I'm happy and CFS aside I feel great, I have a little more confidence too, although not much more if I'm very honest. And yet people ask if I'm eating. They ask if I took pills. They ask if I've had a gastric band fitted. They look rather sceptical when I say no. Can I tell you the number of times I walked up to a large woman I know and said 'hey, you're looking really big, what have you eaten today?' Never. I've never witnessed it happen to anyone else either, nor did anyone intensely question my eating habits when I was big. What gives with that?

I believe I've reached my own personal 'happy weight' the one your body will be if it gets to choose. I believe that everyone has their own 'happy weight' and it's different for everyone. I don't believe it's anyone else's place to tell you what that should be. If you're happy, well adjusted and don't have to eat and exercise more or less than you're honestly happy to do to remain at that size then what right has any other human being got to tell you it's wrong? Why is a woman feeling guilty about wanting to lose weight more preferable than a woman feeling guilty for eating the cake? Who died and gave you the right to judge either of them?

It's my body, I get to say what's right for it, not you. It's not feminist to promote fat, it's feminist to promote women being free to decide for themselves, even if you think it's wrong.


  1. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. If we're fat then we're lazy disgusting excuses for human beings who cost the nhs apparantly....and if we lose the weight then we're riddled with eating disorders and consumed by idealistic conformity.

  2. It's always women though. Women write stuff to attack other women. The ones who do it and call themselves feminist make me sad.

  3. & yet many woman seem to have the notion that men want skinny woman, my dh couldn't give a toss, he's been with me when i was a size 8 and a size 20 and loved/fancied me regardless. Woman really do cause the biggest problems for woman. They'll never unite because they live to snipe and tear strips from each other.

  4. Which is exactly why my friends used to be male :) far less complicated.

  5. Late to this, but thank you. As a genetically-defined skinny-malink I get heartily sick of the memes with "fat = sexy, skinny = unsexy". I got bullied enough at school for being thin without my fellow adult women bullying me and each other for not adhering to whatever shape is considered ideal by whoever decrees such things. Sexy is as sexy does. Shape has nothing to do with it.