There are a few reasons why it can suck being fat. And by fat I don’t mean the “oh I just put a little on over Christmas” type of fat, where you don’t actually look any different. I mean actually fat. I’m sure you’ll notice during the course of this post that none of the reasons it sucks to be fat actually relate to the physicality of carrying extra weight. It’s more the way people treat you that is the most annoying.
Before I begin I’d like to point out that I’m not actually unhappy being larger, although I’m trying to lose weight at the moment it’s more for health reasons and the vanity of loving clothes so much and not being able to shop in places that only carry up to a 14 when I’m a 16. So if you’re already sippin’ on that haterade and were thinking of telling me to stop whinging about being fat and do something about it – I already am so suck it. When I say fat I don’t strictly mean morbidly obese, I mean anybody who struggles to find clothes that fit, anyone who is always the bigger friend, anyone who deals with that stigma. But make no mistake, this isn’t a pity party because there is nothing wrong with being fat, I don’t think it’s bad to fit outside of the cookie cutter ideal as long as you’re healthy and happy and love yourself. If any of those things are impacted by your weight then you absolutely should think about doing something about it – FOR YOURSELF not for anyone else. Oh and one more hoop to jump through, as a person of the female persuasion, I am speaking from my own female experiences which is why I’ve not covered any male-centric issues – but that’s not to say that men can relate or enjoy this post any less and please do send across anything you’d like to see covered in a blog post. Small print out the way, let’s get started shall we?
1. People assume you’re into skinny shaming
Just because I’m not skinny, doesn’t mean I want to be. And even if I wanted to be, I wouldn’t express that want through jealously and bashing slimmer girls. And as a person who is happy with being larger I can’t ever imagine throwing my body confidence in the face of someone who doesn’t possess such a thing (I’m looking at you Megan Trainor!). Body shaming is bad on all angles ya’ll, most people can’t help what they look like all that much and calling skinny people “boney” and “frail” doesn’t actually show support towards the significantly more ostracised bigger person. People seem to think that falsely claiming that skinny women are somehow less womanly than their curvier sisters is elevating the status of fatter women, this is a horrible thing to say and it doesn’t feel good to be told you look good at someone else’s expense. I for one don’t want a compliment if it means somebody else being told that they aren’t a “real woman”. Also it cheapens the compliment; it feels like you’re trying to take the skinny majority down a peg rather than elevate the bigger folk which isn’t the same thing at all.
2. People think being called skinny is just as bad as being called fat
Except it’s not. How many times have you heard someone say they want to be fat or praise someone for how fat they’ve been looking lately? Now compare that with how many times you’ve heard someone compliment someone on how skinny they look or say how they want to diet til they’re “skinny enough”. Being skinny is pretty much universally desirable and universally acceptable. There’s a difference between being dissatisfied with your body because you’re just not happy with it, and being universally shamed for being fat. How often do you see fat models or fat actresses compared with their slimmer counterparts? It is socially acceptable to be thin where it isn’t to be fat. These polar opposite body types denote differing opinions of a person. Being fat implies you’re lazy, unhealthy, careless about your appearance, insecure and greedy. Being thin implies that you’re fragile, active, don’t eat much and must love yourself. Both of these stereotypes are wrong and harmful but which one would you rather be?
3. Guys think you should be grateful for their attention (more than usual)
Picture this: you’re in a club with your friends and it’s getting close to the end of the night and sloppy drunk, creepy guys keep trying it on with you despite you telling them to go away. Notice how they haven’t gone near your tiny mates who are all gorgeous. Now, gently tell them to step off and that you’re not interested and watch how the first thing comes out of their mouth is something about you being a “fat slag”. I don’t particularly base my self-esteem on male attention but it’s never nice to be singled out or thought of as easy because of your weight, and then for that very same thing to be flung back in your face when it doesn’t go how they expect it to. This probably ties back in with the perception of fatties being insecure and desperate. lol no. In my 23 years of being a chunky it has never gotten in the way of forming real and lasting relationships – I don’t know anyone who struggles to find love and sex because of their size.
4. People act weird when talking about weight
It’s as if being fat is a sore subject. Like when you were in high school and a friend broke up with her sweetheart and you’d all do your best to not mention anything love or relationship based for fear they’d have a breakdown? It’s a little like that. People assume that you don’t know that you’re carrying extra weight and it would shatter some illusion if they were to mention clothes sizes, dieting or going out for pizza. Now I don’t want you to call me fat or poke fun at my weight but I don’t want you to lie to my face either, I’ve had friends tell me that I’m not big when I obviously am. I know your heart is in the right place and I love ya for it but by lying you’re actually making it look like you’re the ones who aren’t accepting of fatness and the reason you don’t want to talk about your diet in front of us is because you think we should feel bad.
5. People assume that you sit around eating all day
For some people, that might be the case but for most people it is not something as simple as that, if it was then there wouldn’t be so many of us! You should never judge or assume why someone is the size that they are, just like it’s shitty to assume a slimmer person doesn’t eat. People of all shapes and sizes can eat as much or as little as they want basically. When you look at a skinny person and assume they must be anorexic or ill in some way but look at a fat person and assume they just stuff their face all the time is wrong on a number of levels. Not to be seen to be making excuses , because in truth nobody needs to explain themselves to anybody over the internet: In a lot of cases weight gain starts and snowballs through factors out of their control such as illness, injury, poor routine.
6. People think you never eat healthily
This one is a favourite! I love salads, soup, smoothies, sushi and all things good for you – 9 times out of 10 I will choose a tasty but healthy option over something greasy but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy junk too. I like a takeaway as much as the next person – no more, no less. I’m sure there are fat people who eat loads of crap all the time, but there are just as many thin people who can wolf down a burger king like there’s no tomorrow.
7. People are shocked by your confidence
I’m going to keep this short because it’s pretty simple really. When you are surprised that someone is happy with themselves, you imply that they shouldn’t be or that you wouldn’t be if you were them. That shit hurts.
Clothes are a nightmare. If you’re a fashion conscious person like myself, it can be really difficult trying to shop on the high street. One size items are totally out, you can’t buy thin jersey, you can be 3 different sizes in one shop and don’t get me started on plus size clothing! There is this weird polarised view of cup sizes in larger sizes clothing, the bust area either stays the same from a size 6 all the way up to an 18 or they assume that any person of a larger size has massive knockers. Dear high street: Being plump does not mean we are all one shape, being a pear, hourglass etc still applies when you gain weight.
9. People use your weight to feel better about themselves
Being fat is widely seen as a failure.
“Hey what’s Betty been up to? Haven’t seen her since school, she was always so popular and smart!” “Oh yeah but she got fat LOL”
“You know that girl that dumped me last year? Yeah well she got really fat HA HA”
“Penelope got that promotion at work” “Oh no! Don’t worry though cus she’s fat”
Don’t tell me you’ve never heard these retorts before? Maybe you’ve even dished them out yourself once or twice. If you saw someone from school who had done nothing with their life, had a drug and alcohol problem and had gotten themselves into a load of debt leaving them utterly miserable– no big deal because you wouldn’t know any of that by looking at them. When you can literally see that someone’s weakness is food, that seems to form a negative opinion of that person. It’s a vulnerability, everyone can see that you have that extra weight on you and even though your life might be in order and going really well, it’s almost like a visible defect/failure. And what is the modus operandi of someone trying to make themselves feel better about something that they lack? Look for faults in others, it’s the easiest fault to pick. I tend to take this as a bit of a compliment oddly enough, it means that there was nothing else that immediately jumped out at you to shame me for so you picked the only thing you could see – not exactly reaching.
10. You don’t feel represented…anywhere
Fat people aren’t represented very fairly at all in the media. A character can never be anything other than slim and gorgeous if she’s intended to be a love interest. Usually when a character in a film is fat, it’s used for comedic effect or used to eliminate her sexuality. Very rarely is the person’s weight simply not referenced or addressed at all in the plotline. The music industry is pretty similar, Adele is pretty much the only popular and successful singer I can think of that also happens to be overweight. The tabloids are some of the worst people for fat shaming and highlighting the imperfections of celebrities, branding any hint of wobble as an abomination. Not only is this cruel and feeds into the “I feel better about myself because she’s getting hated on” culture but it also teaches us to hate those things about ourselves.
Really and truly, this list could go on but I didn’t want this to become any more of an essay. Any other plus size folk feel me on any of these points? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts!