Dear clinically obese women (or should I just say women?)
This started as a rant on my Facebook wall. You know what I am talking about. A random conversation that has sparked another pointless social media outrage soon to be drowned out by this raging, screaming global digital cacophony, desperate to be heard, to be acknowledged. But a while back I had a heated argument with someone and now I feel the need to explain myself on this tiny piece of digital real estate that I can call mine.
Sorry to put a damper on your week but yes, you should be prepared to be fat shamed by your near & dear ones. Always.
Maybe they’re not telling you to your face. Because you’re a friend and they care about your feelings.
But they just called someone ‘Aunty’/’behenji’/gross because she’s put on weight, or is not wearing a certain kind of outfit or makeup, or laughed at ‘how fat she’s become’, or remarked that ‘she shouldn’t be wearing that because eww fatty’, or felt you wouldn’t ‘find a nice guy if you don’t lose weight’ or wondered ‘how the fuck is he dating her she is so fat’ or hated on someone because ‘she’s a fat bitch’ (never just a bitch. Nothing packs in more punch than a ‘fat’ bitch I guess.)
You know them. They love you and care for you. They treat you with dignity and respect. But sometimes, somehow they forget to extend that courtesy to someone else. Someone who’s not a friend. Someone not in their immediate social circle that they care about. Someone not YOU.
It’s not their fault really. They don’t even realize they’re doing it. We have been brought up to hold women to certain standards of beauty. You will find them sharing inspirational listicles on how one should love one’s body no matter what. But then they will turn & accuse/taunt someone for being fat. Yes accuse, because this is the 21st century and y’all know being fat is right up there with being a murderer, being racist or discriminatory, being a bigot or corrupt or some such. At least that’s what the advertising, media and popular culture in general will have you believe.
Big. Obese. Fatty. Fat slob. Mota. Muti. Moti.
So get over this delusion that ‘your friends’ don’t indulge in body shaming. Just because they are not saying it to YOU does not mean they are not saying it.
P.S: It’s not about me. I have been fat shamed before. It’s about my otherwise sweet, nice, well-meaning friends, relatives, family, colleagues, well-wishers, (If you’re reading this, you know who you are 🙂 ) people who have never body shamed ME. At least not to my face.
But as I said, it’s not about ME. Not JUST about me.