So then…Fat Shaming Week was something that I noticed a good few weeks ago on Twitter…it had a hashtag too!
I didn’t really talk about it at the time, as I didn’t want to get into the debate. However, I just spotted another tweet with the words ‘fat shame’ in it, and I clicked the link for a closer look. It was a story about a London beauty salon charging extra for people over a size 12, and then extra again for anyone over a size 16, to have their legs waxed…as they use more product of course! I had to laugh – a) this kind of horror story thought has gone through my mind before. I had visions of walking into a salon to get my legs waxed, with the beauticians laughing at me and getting an extra giant tub of wax out for me; b) it seems crazy that you get charged extra…what about ladies with long legs, or ladies with less hair that doesn’t require as much product? I know people who have huge asses but skinny legs…how does that work? Do they check your dress size, or have a measuring gauge that you stick your legs into?
My afternoon has been spent laughing at the absurdity of clothes too. I thought that I might attempt a couple of purchases from Simply Be – just to see if I can fit into their biggest sizes now. Could I find anything that I liked which was in stock in those sizes…nope! Then I popped onto a regular high street store to do some Christmas shopping for friends, and was amazed at how much cheaper the clothes were.
Then I remembered a conversation I had the other day regarding the insults I have had thrown at me. I came to the conclusion that they hurt so much because they were true and had hit a nerve. I WAS a fat women going through the KFC drive-thru…and I WAS a fat woman with the steering wheel digging in my stomach. Just because I would never choose to behave in that way, or point out the flaws of others, doesn’t mean that the insults weren’t spot-on I guess.
So I started to wonder about this fat shaming stuff. For me, shame is not really something that helps…it tends not be a positive action emotion.
Now, as unethical as it is to quote somebody without giving them the credit, I have decided not to link to the website and chap who wrote the following words…as I don’t want to give him anymore airtime! But I wanted to share his words regarding why he created Fat Shaming Week with you to see what your thoughts were…
“FSW (fat shaming week) was a success because it helped create a safe space for men to shame obesity. In the past, fat apologists have silenced fat shamers under the guise of “hate” or “bigotry,” but this week we exercised our free speech right to air grievances and have a clear dialogue of all the negative societal and physical manifestations of fat. I am a true believer in personal liberty where you should be able to make your own life choices. For that reason, there is no inherent crime in being a fat ass, but in the past five years, there has been a push to accept obesity as normal or even beautiful. Fat shaming is less about bullying individual fat people than re-affirming the fact that obesity culture is not okay in America, and attempts to brainwash people of that fiction must be immediately destroyed with logic, science, and schoolyard insults.”
Initially I was pretty angry with this guy. Apart from getting the sense that he might have had his heart broken by – shock-horror – a fat girl, I just felt sorry for him really. I have to wonder why he gets so angry about it, angry enough to marginalise a section of society. I was also a bit concerned about the “safe space for men to shame obesity” part…why should it be the domain of men?
For me, I do not like nor advocate the ‘big is beautiful’ message. People of all shapes and sizes can be beautiful – that is rather obvious. What I take issue with is the fact that people who are painfully overweight can use these mantras to hide behind…and their health suffers as a result of it. I am sure that there are fat and healthy people out there…the two can go hand in hand occasionally (very occasionally!) but the science is hard to argue with…big might be beautiful, but it’s not healthy…and this is the bit I care about.
I have often been told that I am a beautiful girl – and if I am blowing my own trumpet, I am not bad-looking. I am just grossly overweight and this affects my health. I might have been big for a long time without any health complaints, but I developed cancerous cells in my womb and type 2 diabetes as a direct result of the abuse I put my body through. So whilst people were telling me that I was beautiful, I was fecking my body up!
In a way, I can see two sides to this chaps comments. There is the clear dickheadedness element, and then there is the element that contains a bit of sense…that obesity should not become the norm.
If I take the BMI charts as an example – albeit a poor one in the case of rugby-players and weight lifters…but let’s face it, the average person, obese or otherwise, is neither of these! – there is a wide weight spectrum under the section of ‘normal’…for my height this ranges from about 9st to just over 11st. So I get flexibility within that normal bracket to have either a slender frame, or a more curvaceous frame…both of which would be considered as healthy. I am not banging the drum for stick thinness…I am just trying to work towards healthy if I can.
So for me, whilst I do not think that fat shaming is appropriate – as you have no idea on an individual level how or why that person became the size they are, or efforts they are currently making to change – I am also not keen on the promotion of obesity as acceptable. Please do not get me wrong though – I do not think that blaming, naming and shaming works…I think everyone should be treated with love and respect. I just want the promotion of healthy – healthy at both ends of the scale! Just as I think pro-anorexia peeps are misguided, I also think that pro-obesity peeps are too.
Anyway, that’s just my opinion. I have read many books that promote compassion, many books that promote a hardcore attitude towards change, and spoken to many ‘professionals’ who sit in either camp…either approach can work, but neither work exclusively. For me, I like a bit of tough love – if you give me an ‘out’…such as society and junk food companies and marketeers being to blame, then I will take it. I need to hold a mirror up to my behaviour and change it. Fat shaming doesn’t work…but responsibility, awareness and a desire to change does! So whilst my opinion is based on years of searching for an answer…it’s still only my opinion!
Right then, the usuals. I managed to get a bit of sleep last night, but despite planning a massive lie-in that bit didn’t happen! I got up and headed to my sisters house to keep the kids entertained and distracted whilst she put the Christmas decorations up. After a few hours of Christmas drawings, Christmas songs and talks of Christmas foods, I headed back home for some sanity time. I watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad – I am now on season 4 and only started watching it last week! – finished some more Christmas shopping…that I didn’t really need, and managed to order a couple of sports bras that I think and hope might fit!
Breakfast: Banana and smoked salmon scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes.
Breakfast was lovely – a real weekend favourite that I also have for lunch too. Just some wilted spinach and warmed cherry tomatoes with smoked salmon scrambled eggs. Lunch was my favourite burgers. Dinner was a lovely chicken roast with veggies – red onion, roasted celery, green beans, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower all topped with melted LowLow cheese…delicious. My snacks were current too…the current favourites of rice cakes and Total Greek with fruit.
Exercise: Nothing…a blissful day of rest!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx