Gather round children and I’ll tell you the tale so many other rotund persons such as myself experience on a daily basis:
We spend a lot of time talking about fat shaming. But that term is so incredibly broad and general it often brushes aside other facets of discrimination and prejudice and assumptions about fat people. Many people would be surprised that they’ve participated in fat shaming because “one of America’s Top Model’s was plus size and they were my favorite” or “my sister/cousin/best friend/ is fat and I just think they’re BEAUTIFUL”.
PSA: You can still participate in fat shaming even if someone you love is fat.
One of the many ways you can do this is through fat assumptions. And you aren’t the only one who does it.
Your family members.
I’m about to get real.
Really, really real.
I am 30 years old.
I am 4’11 (despite Bethany’s shock and insistence that I have a 6 foot personality).
I wear a size XXL in shirts.
I wear a size 18 pants.
I weigh 233 pounds.
My BMI is 47.1. Anything over 30 in BMI calculations is considered “Obese”.
When you look up my measurements, here’s some of the scary words you’ll see:
High Blood Pressure
Here are some other words and phrases you’ll see:
Lose Weight FAST
Weight Loss Secret
I Lost 100lbs AND HERE’S HOW
Drink More Water
Cut Out Sugar
Get That Body You Always Dreamed Of
The list goes on. And on. And on.
If we’re getting real, here’s some more information about me:
While my diet hasn’t always been the greatest, it’s never been awful.
I don’t have an unhealthy relationship with food. Water has been my only beverage for years. I don’t eat fast food except on rare occasions. I really like salads and brussel sprouts (and brussel sprout salads). I often can’t even finish my meals when we go out and rarely take second helpings for dinner at home. I don’t binge snack on chips and cookies. And guess what? I’m still fat.
Although heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes run in my family, my bill of health is clean. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2015 but other than a few trademark symptoms, my bloodwork is clear. I take no medication. With exception to my “obesity”, I am a healthy, adult woman. And guess what? I’m still fat.
I suspect that may be a surprise to you. It’s a surprise to my doctor. It’s a surprise to waitresses who have offered diet drinks to me. It’s a surprise to the woman who measured me for my wedding dress to discover I did indeed have a small waist. It’s a surprise to people who pitch me shakes and wraps and pills that I’m actually eating a healthy diet, living a healthy lifestyle and don’t desire to lose weight at a drastic pace. It’s a surprise to people who ask me about the birth of my daughter and find that I had a normal, not complicated pregnancy and delivery and had a beautiful and healthy baby girl. It’s a surprise that I only gained 12 pounds during my pregnancy.
It’s a surprise to society who equates fatness to illness and fatness to unhealthy eating and fatness to laziness and fatness to not trying hard enough to be skinny.
It’s a surprise because while we are finally accepting that fat can be beautiful too (and not just since top models made it trendy, take a look at your history books) we are still making assumptions about fat people. That they eat too much. That they eat badly. That they can’t do yoga or CrossFit. That they’re lazy. That they need to drink more water, less soda, more tea, less coffee, more shakes, more smoothies, less booze. That only fat men or men with fat girl kinks like fat women. That we’re bad at sex. That we aren’t healthy. That our children aren’t healthy.
That we want to be skinny.
There are some people who are fat who do have illnesses related to their weight. But this is not always due to things within their control. Their are so many factors at play. Birth control, hormonal imbalances (like PCOS), stress, injuries, family history and hereditary diseases. The list goes on. For so many fat people, we did not get to our size by eating 13 tacos and sitting on our asses all day. So quit treating us like we did.
I am fat. But here are some other things that I am.
I am beautiful. Not despite of or because of my weight. I’m beautiful just because I fucking am.
I am a great wife and partner. I am an amazing lover to my husband (go ahead, ask him) and my size has never impaired me from being fantastic in bed.
I am a wonderful and very proud mama to my Marceline. I may not run marathons but I am active with her and look forward to a long and healthy life watching her grow.
I am a loyal friend. I am a hard worker. I am a creative mind. I am an empath. I am passionate. I have bad days just like everyone does, I enjoy a good burger just like everyone does, I struggle with body image just like everyone does. But I am happy and healthy and I love myself the way I am.