A friend of mine surprised me a few weeks back, by complementing my weight loss. I had not tried to lose weight, I had merely walked up more hills than usual, as this was during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His exact words were,
“You’ve lost weight! It looks good!”
“Oh,” I replied, startled, and added, “I’ll have to eat more then.”
Not the most clever response. But his eyes widened and he looked horrified as he said,
“Oh no! Never again!”
I was speechless for a while. All fat people, including myself, know that fatphobic assholes exist and most of us have to deal with it on a daily basis. Be it from elderly family members who refuse to die or from front covers of magazines or commercials on TV. I had just not expected to hear it from someone I call my friend.
It happened again last week, when another friend of mine said words I found myself wishing he’d never said. He said that he genuinely believed that all men were born predators and rapists, and that it was in their nature.
I tried to dissect his assumption and question his “logic” and I hope it’s enough. Yet, I couldn’t believe ai was hearing it. Again, I know these people exist – hell, I even know that some of my friends feel this way – but what is constantly a huge surprise is that they say these things to my face.
I think I had the naïve notion that people who know me also know what kind of life I have chosen to live.
I do not watch reality TV. I do not read women’s magazines. I am a feminist, a body-positivity-activist and I used to work in charity fundraising. So keep your opinions about reality TV stars to yourself. Do not associate the word ‘fat’ with ‘unattractive’, do not refer to women as ‘girls’ and if you think someone asking you to donate to charity in the street is so annoying that it’s worth you saying that out loud, get out of my face.
It has taken years to realise the brainwashing caused by society and media. But it is now the most liberating way of living – realising that there is no reality, there is only perceptions of reality.
If I hate my body, my reality states that I am unattractive. If I decide that my cellulite is sexy, it fucking is and then I live in a reality, where I’m sexy-sexy-hot-stuff. If I do not acknowledge that money matters more than art, then it does not. If I refuse to accept that “all men want a certain type of woman”, then I live in a reality where my values are worth more than the hair on my legs. I believe, with all my heart, that we are attracted to personalities, energies and souls. I believe everyone is beautiful. I believe you can’t appreciate real love till you’ve been burned. I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side. I believe you don’t know what you got until you say goodbye. I believe Savage Garden was an underrated band.
Fat people can’t wear horizontal stripes. Men hate women who has slept around. If a woman is single after 30, she’s desperate. If a woman is fat, she’s good in bed.
Bullshit. (Apart from the last one obviously, although I can only talk for myself, am I right fellas, woot woot, *high5*)
So many bullshit rules are just accepted as facts. Fine. Accept what you want. But if we are friends, do not assume that I agree with you. Do not flaunt your insecurities in my face. Or I’ll go out of my way to be a single-and-loving-it 31 year old horizontal-striped-shirt-wearing woman who sleeps with hundreds of men, and I will be terrible at it – just to piss you off.