I snapped back with “nope - are you?” Her friend spit in my face.
I got up, went to the office, and told one of my favorite teachers. The girl may have gotten detention. I’m not sure.
When I was in 8th grade, I was still living in an abusive household. The worth of my existence was constantly questioned - especially since I was fat.
“Mom, why do you drink? It’s killing you. It’s killing us.”
“You stop eating and I’ll stop drinking.”
I remember the night she tried to choke me. Everyone was bleeding and screaming and crying. “You disgusting fat bitch - GET BACK HERE.”
My sister slammed my mom into a wall to get her to stop. I held my baby brother in the next room, caressing his head and singing a lullaby to him in the most calm voice I could muster. “You’re such a handsome little boy. Do you know that? You’re perfect in every way. You’re my baby, aren’tcha? I love you so much. I love you so, so, so, much.”
This past semester at University. I’m in a crowded lecture hall. The seats are small, but manageable. I reach down to get my notebook out of my bag. The girl next to me says “I’d rather you not elbow me in the face.” I didn’t realized I had, so I said “Oh, I’m really sorry. …Did I hit you?”
“No, but all things considered, I thought I’d warn you so that you don’t.”
All things considered? “Uh, right…okay. Well, I’m not going to hit you.” She mumbled something under her breath. A few moments later, the girl next to her asked if she was in her way as well. She replied “No, I just don’t think she knows how much space she takes up.”
I looked at her and said “Holy shit - are you fucking serious?” She looked annoyed and all I could muster was “Actually, I know exactly how much fucking space I take up, and I won’t apologize for it.”
These things didn’t happen simply because “bullying happens.” These things didn’t happen because I deserved them. These things didn’t happen because I’m unhealthy or disgusting or lazy or stupid. These things happened because we live in a culture that perpetuates and rewards fat-hate.
So the next time you’re thinking “I should make a comment about a person’s body” - you can fucking eat me.
this…hits me really fuckin deep.
i can remember vividly all the times my father beat me, withheld food from me and forced me on diets because i was too fat, denied me love and affection because of my weight. and when he stopped the abuse, my brother started. he threw me across the room with the utterance of you “worthless fat bitch” and laughed as he put his hands around my throat, as he pummeled my face in again and again
i can remember being a little kid and having some girl who routinely mocked/bullied me at school (but then acted super nice outside of it because we weren’t around all the cool kids) call me a “fat head” and finally snapping and barreling at her and knocking her to the ground and then yelling at any of the other girls who tormented me when they came close. and when my teacher made me write apology letters to them, i signed them all “i hope we can be friends” and one by one they came up to me and told me “no thanks, i don’t want to be friends with you”…because i was that weird fat kid.
i can laugh at some of this shit. i can laugh at the fact that a few years later those same girls from my elementary school decided to harass me online and they told me to “fuck a donut”…
i laugh at those parts because it’s easier than remembering the times i denied my own self food because i was disgusting, worthless, i didn’t deserve to eat until my body suddenly shrunk and i became a good person, an attractive person, a thin person
its easier than thinking about all the times my weight has been used against me, used to dehumanize me, used as an excuse not to date me or be friends with me or treat me with any sense of kindness
it’s easier than thinking about all the times i’ve been to the doctor and how instead of just giving me some damn medicine for my flu or ear infection they sat down with a serious look on their face and told me the dangers of being obese and how i was putting my life at risk because from the age of 8 my body was steadily growing in size and no amount of activity or diet or crying myself to sleep at night could stop it
and how now i can’t go into a hospital for any reason without getting extremely shaky and having my vision blur at those memories of shame and hatred for myself, all those times i believed how worthless i was and i remembered being as young as ten and contemplating suicide because i wasn’t human because i wasn’t thin and i wasn’t pretty so why the fuck should i continue living?
and let’s not even talk about the feelings the mall induces…
so i laugh about some of it. some of it i can shrug off as not as bad as it was. but the truth is, it was fucking awful. it has shaped me. i remember when my partner and i were first dating, my loving, wonderful partner who has done nothing but worship my body and been patient as fuck as i moaned about how gross i was, i remember one of the first times we got into an argument and before i could stop myself, the words tumbled out of my mouth, “what, are you going to call me a fat bitch now?” and my partner who has never so much as called me any kind of name looking shocked and horrified at me that i would even think that.
but the truth is, i’m so fucking used to hearing it. i hold my breath anytime i get into a fight with anyone, waiting for those words, they’re usually the first to be said. but now i don’t shy away from them. i embrace them. people have spent so much fucking time pushing those words on me, those words that have defined me all my life, they aren’t going to dare take them away from me now that i use them as a tool of empowerment and positivity.
i don’t give a fuck anymore. i’m a fat bitch. i am not fucking sorry. i won’t feel bad anymore, i won’t spend my life thinking about ~future me~ and how things would be so much better if i lost 100 lbs. because they aren’t going to get better simply because of that. because i already have a really fulfilling life full of friendship and love and potential and being thin isn’t going to improve those things. and i don’t wanna be thin anymore. i’ve lost all desire for it. i no longer feel guilt for eating when i’m hungry, or for eating what i want, or for being bigger than deemed ‘acceptable’ or for being loud and angry and full of life
i look at my body and all its hairy, weird, asymmetrical, fat, ugly, stretch-marked aspects in the harsh unnatural light of my bathroom mirror and study every unflattering angle of myself until i have memorized each curve and line and freckle and i’ve touched every last bit of cellulite and stroked each stretch mark and i don’t feel ashamed of it anymore.
i refuse to feel ashamed anymore.
Thank you for this.