The lovely Twistie dropped by my post asking for what you would like me to talk about, and suggested that perhaps talking more about food and cooking is something that I could do. I think that’s a fantastic idea! So I’m going to start thinking about topics around food and cooking and fat acceptance that I can blog about. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments, and I’ll do my best.
To start with, I think I would like to talk about the false perceptions that many people have about fat people and food. Mostly that we’re all gluttonous pigs that can’t control ourselves.
One thing I know most fat women deal with is the double standard of judgement. If you’re out in public, and you’re either eating or shopping for food, you’re being judged. If you buy high calorie foods like sweets, chips, ice-cream etc, well you’re just proving what a disgusting pig you are right? But if you are buying a salad, then you’re kidding yourself fatty. That shit isn’t going to help you. So you’re damned whichever way you go.
A couple of years ago I was out for dinner with a guy I was seeing at the time. Most of you know, I’m a mega fatty, up in the morbidly obese range. My date was a tall, lean man, with nary an ounce of fat on him. Picture us sitting for dinner in a cafe. I had a fairly simple meal, a chicken filo parcel with a garden salad on the side, and a coffee. He had a steak burger, a full serve of chips, potato salad and coleslaw, and a large milkshake. He was just asking me if I was going to finish my salad so he could eat the rest of my meal, when a couple walked past and I heard the woman say to the man “She clearly likes her tucker.”
Excuse me? I’m sitting here with a normal meal, but because I’m a fatty I must be a glutton. Yet my date is lean, but has a metric shitload of food… but I’m still the glutton. Nobody was judging him because of the food in front of him, but I was being judged because of the size of my body.
Even through the years that I was starving myself and purging, but still fat, I was being judged. I would hide that I wasn’t eating from everyone in my life, yet on the rare occasions when I did have food anywhere near me, someone would almost always comment on my eating. Is it any wonder I had a fucked up relationship with food?
As Twistie mentioned in her comment, it has got so that eating or shopping for food in public as a fat person has become a political statement.
I used to hate grocery shopping. In fact I did most of it online many years ago, back when online grocery shopping was pretty new. Because I got sick of the comments in supermarkets, no matter what I put in my trolley. Because I didn’t have the confidence to hold my head up and look the bitchy people in the eye and say “Mind your own bloody business.”
That’s what it really all boils down to. It’s nobody’s business but YOURS what you eat, buy/put in your shopping trolley. If anyone makes a comment, hold your head up and tell them to mind their own business. Or a new one I’ve been trying is to ask them “What does it matter to you what I have in my shopping trolley?” It’s amazing how many turn beet red and scurry away.
I’ll be posting some more on the subject of food and cooking in the not too distant future. I’m in the process of trying lots of organic and direct from the farm produce lately (it tastes WAY better!) so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about.
What are your experiences with food? Do you think that the stigma around fat people eating anything at all has contributed to unhealthy eating habits for you?