Nothing Else Matters Because I’m Fat

inner-beauty-is-for-fat-people

Being a fat person has exposed me to the widest variety of insults and jokes.  Whether they’re said to my face or behind my back, whenever someone really wants to insult or get to someone, they comment on their weight.  Being fat has become the ultimate haven of experiencing below-the-belt insults.

534834_383354475052705_924769454_nIt also seems that when one is fat, the quality of the person goes down.  People judge character based on weight.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s take some of my own experiences.  I was recently called fat via social media by a chain smoker.  Of course, when someone speaks up to defend a fat person, the comeback is “well they shouldn’t be promoting an unhealthy lifestyle” as they light another cigarette.

Ironic, isn’t it?  Perhaps we need to look in the mirror before judging.

Furthermore, who gave thin people the badge that gives them the right to be called good people and shame fat people?  Shaming based on size has become huge (excuse the pun) in our modern society.  There’s fat shaming and skinny shaming.  It appears that insulting one’s appearance is much more powerful than commenting on the person’s actual character.

For example, I was made to feel insignificant, basically not intelligent enough forfat-people certain endeavors that I’ve chosen to embark upon by my chain-smoking buddy.  Even though I have a Masters degree in my chosen path, I wasn’t smart enough or qualified enough, and then proceeded to comment on my weight and how I needed to spend my time and energy on becoming less of a fatass.

This is where, “Nothing else matters because I’m fat” comes from.

I’ve done mission work in third world countries, I’ve worked with special needs children, I’ve volunteered hundreds of hours into non-profits and charities, I’ve worked with inner city children…but I’m fat.  Therefore whatever I do is moot because I am large.

Of course, this isn’t true.  Some of the most intelligent people I know are overweight and/or obese.

Funny-Fat-People-Funny-Fat-People-058-FunnyPica.com_When someone posts a photo of themselves, and they’re overweight and celebrating their body image, the comments I see from naysayers/trolls the most are, “You shouldn’t be promoting an unhealthy lifestyle” or “You’re celebrating that overeating is okay.”  Here’s the thing, of course being overweight is unhealthy.  If someone feels fabulous at 500 pounds, that’s awesome!  If someone is 500 pounds, eats healthy, exercises every day…that’s great!  For me, I know the [my] human body isn’t meant to carry the amount of weight I’m carrying.  But ya know what?  It’s no one’s business but my own.  Other people’s weight and health is nobody else’s business but my own.  I sit in an airplane seat just fine so it shouldn’t bug the person next to me.  Yeah, I might be an awkward sight at the gym, but at least I’m there.  People are fat for a variety of different reasons ranging from health to emotional.  Is it my business?  No.  Nor is the reason why I’m fat is anyone else’s business but my and my family’s.  Weight is a personal concern.

If I’m a bad person, tell me I’m a bad person, don’t comment on appearance.  Throwing insults takes more than just appearances (pun intended).

Like most people, fat people (or fit/skinny/chubby/bulky/curvy/etc people) are not perfect.  Even people who are comfortable in their own skin aren’t perfect.  We all come from different backgrounds, we’ve made mistakes, we’ve hurt others, we’ve been hurt, we regret our actions…it’s all a part of being human.  This is a journey of mankind.

What needs to be looked at are the people who feel like they have to insultimages weight and body image in order to hurt others.  Maybe they’re feeling so insignificant about themselves that they have to project their own hurt and insecurities onto others.  They aren’t worth your time or taking up space in your head or heart.  Are they bad people?  I don’t know.  I’m biased.  Considering that words have so much power, a fat joke can make a person purge after eating, and self-confidence can be instantly shattered with a fat comment.  Like being fat means that they’re less of person.

Guess what?  No matter what your body size is, you are not less of a person.

What makes you less of a person is the fact you have to tear others down by commenting on their body image to make yourself look powerful.  Making memes and insulting photos of fat people is nothing more than a pissing contest to see who can be the most powerful.  People who comment on appearances in order to make themselves look good are the lowest on the totem pole emotionally and they have to make sure that someone else feels bad too, because hey, misery loves company.  Think about it, have you ever seen or heard an emotionally happy, sane, and healthy person go around spewing negativity like that?

Instead of commenting on body image as a reflection of inner character, perhaps we just need to start looking at the person beyond the fat and beyond the physique.  Being fit doesn’t automatically make someone a good person, nor does being fat automatically make someone a bad person.

If someone calls you fat for the purposes of making you feel bad, let it slide off your back (easier said than done, I know).  Because the person who said the hurtful comment is most likely feeling insignificant in some way, and in their minds, insulting you gives them power.  Don’t give them that power.

Weight does not equal character.

12 comments

  1. Excellent blog post! I was teased relentlessly as a child. It was painful and it shaped who I am.

    In my experience, people who make comments to or about others based on their size, shape, general appearances or differences do NOT have the intellect to come up with something witty and charming. They lack social skills and are in need of some serious councelling to find out just why they feel the need to say or do things like that because, obviously, something is severely twisted inside of them. I feel sorry for them because, while they’re wasting time showing the world how ignorant and cruel they are, they are missing out on some really fab people. Sucks to be them!

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  2. This is a fantastic post, thank you. As someone who is, and has always been fat, I spent my entire time reading your post and nodding my head. Been there, heard all of the jokes, been dismissed on sight by people purely because of my size. I do my best to be healthy in this big body I’m living in and living life as an encourager and good person. When I hear or see rude comments (and have counted to ten and retracted my claws) I try to remind myself that someone making a comment like that has just excluded themselves from the pool of sane and worthy people in the world I choose to spend time interacting with. Then I move on and find my smile. Life’s too short to swim in the mud with the gators, anyways.

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  3. You had me until you said
    “Here’s the thing, of course being overweight is unhealthy.”

    There is no medical or scientific evidence to support that statement. In fact there is current research that shows that just the opposite is true, and that carrying some weight as you get older can actually be beneficial (I’d be happy to provide anyone who asks the links to that research).

    Health is a relative thing, and there are average & thin people who are unhealthy, and there are fat people who are completely healthy. I do wish it were easier for most people to “get” that, but our world gets bombarded with negative information about obesity and health that cause many of us (you included) to conclude that it’s true.

    For all the readers, I hope the ONE thing they can take away after reading this blog is that we’re all PEOPLE first, then we’re men & women and transgendered, and fat, average, or thin. Once we understand that, all the prejudice will likely go away.

    Or at least, one can hope…

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    1. Very good point. I know for me, I’ve been at my healthiest when I was (at the time) at my heaviest weight. I’m currently training for a 5K for a second time, and being 50 pounds heavier since I last ran, all I can say is that it feels different and it’s more painful in my hips and knees.

      However, there are research studies that have concluded that there is a relationship between weight and diabetes and kidney disease. I know also that since getting heavier, I’ve developed sleep apnea, which isn’t good.

      For me, the point of the sentence, “Here’s the thing, of course being overweight is unhealthy” was to address the point of the thought process that “being fat promotes an unhealthy lifestyle” and it’s a comment I see often when someone is celebrating their size.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. Much of the blame lies with the media and some health organisations for the brainwashing that has been going on for some time now, especially recently with the so-called “obesity epidemic.”

    I was a little saddened though to read your statement “Here’s the thing, of course being overweight is unhealthy,” because it sounds like you also believe what their saying, ie “being overweight equals unhealthy.” This is simply not true for many overweight people who eat properly and exercise.

    Additionally, sometimes being unhealthy comes BEFORE being overweight. I gained a considerable amount of weight AFTER developing a genetically inherited thyroid condition which has resulted in a very slow metabolism, and no amount of eating properly or exercising has been able to reduce the extra weight. In my case, the unhealthy (if you like) came FIRST – not the fat. I was sick with it for about 3 1/2 years. Did I deserve to get fat? No, of course not. Did I get sick because I was overweight? Nope, I was a very healthy weight before my illness.

    Does this extra weight impact on me now? Sure, but what choice do I have? I eat less now than before I was sick and used to be quite fit until about 5 years ago, BUT my weight simply would not reduce.

    But let’s also take a look at those who are born with medical conditions that result in them having limited physical movements or can only get about in wheelchairs. Some people in these situations put on weight, though they are eating healthy diets. We simply cannot encompass everybody in the stereotype of “being fat equals being unhealthy.”

    May I suggest that you too perhaps, are still suffering a little brainwashing in this regard – I hope not.

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    1. Interesting. I totally understand your viewpoint. But with your story, there’s still an established correlation between unhealthy and “fat.” The unhealthy state led to fat. I think, when it all comes down to it, as long as we’re eating well and exercising to the best of our capabilities, does it really matter what size we are? I truly believe that our body size is in the genetics. If I eat well, take my vitamins, and exercise, and I’m still this 200+ lb. girl, perhaps it was meant to be. Great thoughts!

      For me, the point of the sentence, “Here’s the thing, of course being overweight is unhealthy” was to address the point of the thought process that “being fat promotes an unhealthy lifestyle” and it’s a comment I see often when someone is celebrating their size with a photo on Facebook or the world wide web. But yet, a photo of a celeb smoking a cigarette is considered stylish and cool.

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  5. I can totally relate to what your saying… the photos are quite upsetting and triggering though. and I know it’s really what people think but it has me all shook up. hugs to you.

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  6. Being fat on its own does not “promote an unhealthy lifestyle”. Fatness is not an action or behavior. Despite your justifications for why you used it, your inclusion of this fat-hating sentiment weakens your message and validates the fat-shaming behavior you are criticizing.

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    1. I politely disagree. It’s important to address comments such as these because it is out there, and how it’s used for fat shaming, as well as address what’s wrong with that comment. Also, for many, being fat is the result from inaction. Of course, health related issues and body genetics are excluded. For me personally, it was my inaction to eat better and lack of behavior when it comes to the inclusion of exercise. Fatness can be the result of an action (or lack there of) and a certain behavior. But of course, the fatness itself isn’t the representation of an unhealthy lifestyle, since we know that you can live a healthy lifestyle and still be overweight. But the social stereotype that still remains today is that being fat = unhealthy lifestyle and the fact it’s being used when someone is celebrating themselves is a judgment against the individual that they are hurting others by promoting an unhealthy lifestyle…which is wrong.

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  7. When I was younger I weighed 110 pounds and being 5’7′ I was constantly tease as “Olive Oil”, skeleton girl, worm girl?! Yeah go figure then I got married had kids and was overweight and even my own decease husband made fun of my weight! So imagine the constant turmoil I was in! Now as I get older I don’t care what people think, I do not take their comments to heart or my soul I have no time for people who are negative and those very same people have their very own insecurities in their lives that they need to release their anger and disappointment on me? I don’t think so. Goodbye haters!

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  8. I found the Facebook page of Haley Morris-Cafiero. She set up cameras in various places and then took pictures of people reacting to her. It’s quite telling. If you haven’t seen the page already, the results of her research may be of interest to you. It was a bit painful for me to watch, but I’m glad I did.

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