Lots of interesting activity today concerning Stella Boonshoft’s picture of herself in her underwear that she posted on her blog and was then subsequently republished by another blogger. She runs a blog that is part of a Fat Acceptance movement, which is essentially asking the wider culture to accept fat bodies as beautiful and valuable.
Fair enough. My first reaction on seeing her picture was Eww gross! I do not find fat to be beautiful at all. I don’t personally like how it looks all squishy and soft and the thought of touching that soft warm squishiness makes me yuck! so hard. That’s just me, I know. But as soon as the yuck factor is over, my next thought is why? Why do you look like this? Do you like it? Do you think it’s beautiful? Do you enjoy being fat? Why are you so fat?
Some people just are. No question. Fat babies, fat toddlers, fat kids, fat teenagers, fat adults – it’s just one continuum of being fat. It’s just how they were made. But one only has to flip through historical photographs to see that being fat was an anomaly in the past. Most people, historically, were quite slender and fit and not because they were starving. It’s not until the 70s and 80s that fat explodes. Suddenly fat people are everywhere! Not anomalies. More like average.
Why is this? I am not fat. I have three children and I gained a shit ton of weight with each pregnancy but I also lost it, too. And no, it didn’t just fall off with breastfeeding and chasing the kids. It came off because I watched what I ate and got some exercise. Right now I weigh 4 pounds more than I did as a college freshman. After 12 years of marriage, I still fit in my wedding dress. Easily. And it’s not because I am a “naturally thin” person. Naturally thin, my ass.
I love food. I’m an excellent cook and bread and cookie maker and I love to eat. But I know that I cannot indulge my every culinary whim without turning into a giant ball of lard, which appears to be the case for, oh, PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE! I’m thin because I care. I care about how I look. I like my clavicles and my cheekbones and my long slim legs. I like feeling great. I like being able to run up stairs and dash for the bus and play tag with the kids. I like admiring glances and the occasional wolf whistle. It’s nice to be thought of as desirable. I like my husband’s arms locked around my waist. I like being able to walk into a store and find something that fits. Usually on sale, too because the smaller sizes aren’t in much demand any more.
I care about all those things, so when a plate of brownies comes by, I can say no and not feel tortured. I don’t like the saying “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” because FUCKING CHEESECAKE! Lots of things taste better than skinny feels, but that doesn’t mean skinny feels bad. You have to choose. On the whole, I prefer to be thin than eat whatever the hell I want. And I have the self-control to do so.
Fat people who like being fat clearly have no problems and should carry on being who they are while giving a resounding fuck you to the haters. But fat people who don’t like being fat confuse me. What are they lacking? Self-control? Do they just not care enough? It’s not knowledge. Any clueless moron knows that an apple is going to be a more sensible snack than an entire bag of chips, but they eat the chips anyway. Why is this?
And I find the whole concept of a “food desert” to be complete bullshit, too. I can walk into almost any convenience shop and find something of value to eat. A can of tuna. Peanuts. Sunflower seeds. Low fat milk. Water. Whole wheat bread. No one HAS to eat three hotdogs and a bag of Doritos and wash it down with two liters of soda.
My theory is that people, and women in particular are saturated by a culture that tells them it’s okay not to give a fuck. It’s the special snowflake syndrome, in physical form. You’re such a special, unique snowflake and the rules don’t apply to you and you are so precious you should just do whatever the fuck you want at all times and go ahead and indulge your every desire because you are so special and you deserve it!
Well, you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate, and if you’re going to spend every day negotiating way too much food into your mouth, guess what? The rules DO apply. You will get fat. If you like your body fat, then yay for you! Fabulous, and carry on. If you don’t, then ask yourself “WHY am I so goddamn fat” and then negotiate a better deal.
Your body. Your choice.