Breaking the Contract

Published August 2, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Ok so I dyed my hair pink yesterday.  Not a soft, floaty, ethereal pink.  Not a dusky, muted pink.  But a hot as possible, obnoxious, shiny, LOUD pink.  It wasn’t entirely intentional, the colour I used came out as a raspberry/cherry red last time, but this time the bleach worked a little more effectively and I had a blonde base underneath instead of a copper one.  But I am glad it went this colour because it’s far more representative of my personality, and I’m quite heartily in love with my new pink hair.

I’ve found I’ve had two basic reactions to it.  A lot of people love it.  They love the intense colour, they feel it’s daring and bold and I’ve had a few comments that have been really fun.  One colleague said it looked like a lolly (candy), and another thought it was like one of those Anime characters.  I got in the lift and a lady said “Oh!  I love your hair!  It looks like a unicorn mane!”  How’s that for an awesome compliment?

However, some people really take exception to my having pink hair.  The people who know me are polite about it, they change the subject or they say “Hmmm…”  But in the little over 24 hours since I coloured it, I’ve copped a lot of abuse from random strangers.  When I walked to the shops yesterday afternoon, in a trip that was maybe 15 minutes there and back, I had half a dozen douchebags yell shit at me out of passing cars.  Today I overheard a girl walking in front of me say to her boyfriend “Look at the fat woman behind us with the stupid pink hair.”  A guy yelled and flipped the bird at me as I waited for the bus this morning.  I got more catcalls throughout the day.

I believe there is a reason for this random hatred and the tut tutting of the people around me, aimed at me as a fat woman with loud pink hair.  It’s because I break the societal contract.

Women are not supposed to draw attention to themselves.  Fat women even less so.   We’re supposed to be demure, delicate, submissive, quiet, elegant, classy, modest, self debasing, “feminine”.  We’re supposed to feel shame about ourselves, to minimise, to be invisible, out-of-the-way.  “Nobody wants to notice your fat arse, bitch.”

Women who make their hair loud colours, or wear brightly coloured clothes, or have tattoos are loud, brash, brassy, obnoxious, unprofessional, childish, juvenile, unfeminine, silly, outlandish, ridiculous, immature… the list goes on.  The entire judgement of that woman’s character is on how she looks, without ever learning anything about her at all.  Not a thing about her intellect, wit, kindness, honesty, passion, generosity is ever worth acknowledging when her appearance is outside of what is considered “proper”.

So when a woman does something bold with her physical appearance that makes her highly visible, she breaks the societal contract.  She does what a whole host of people want to do, but don’t have the guts to do.  So they get angry and take their misery out on women like that.  How dare she do something that they want to but feel they can’t?  And she’s FAT too!  BITCH!!

How dare I not be ashamed of myself?  How dare I take pride in being noticeable and visible?  Who do I think I am?

I know y’all want to see the hair colour, even though I can’t seem to get a photograph to reflect the exact colour it is.*  So I’ve combined a photo of the hair with a message to all of the haters out there who get all sweaty lipped and twitchy over a fat woman who makes herself visible.



*It’s more like the colour in this photo or perhaps this photo in reality – the photo makes it HEAPS darker!

40 comments on “Breaking the Contract

  • Yey for pink hair! I used to have bright purple hair, and would get similar comments. But hell, I had PURPLE HAIR which was as cool as life could get, so the idiots faded into insignificance!

    You rock it, so just enjoy it!

  • Work it girlfriend! I have a jar of pink hair dye I bought after reading Fat!So? I’m just waiting for the right time. You and your hair are awesome.

  • Love it, love it, love it! Throw it in the haters’ facers. If they have the gall to call you out publicly, then that gives you even *more* reason to strut your stuff with confidence. You’re a trailblazer — and you get to have lovely unicorn hair, too! Nothing bad about that. 🙂

    Now, if you were to pair the lovely awesome pink hair with one of definatalie’s ‘fat arse’ shirts, I think you might make their heads explode. >:)

  • You and Natatree have totally inspired me to really sort out my purple hair. Your pink hair looks fantastic!

    I had a similar thing happen today concerning my tights. I was wearing We Love Colors Gold tights which are a bright, deep yellow. Most people say they love them. But as my boss was leaving work today she caught sight of me and said “Those are really bright!” in this very loud, slightly disapproving voice. I already know she has issues with my weight which she dresses up as concerns about my “health”. So to draw attention to myself with bright tights was just wrong in her eyes.

    I just smiled and said “I know, aren’t they great? Perfect for a Monday!” and she left the office without another word 🙂

    • Ahh yes, I have had those comments from a boss in the past too. The same one who told me to “Stop thinking about food and do some work.” The looks, the comments about how things are “a bit loud”, the tut-tutting and hmmmm. The comments about one’s health.

      Isn’t disapproval fun?

      • OMG “Stop thinking about food and so some work”??? I would have reported them to HR soooo fast.

        PS I hate it that jerks were mean to you. Just keep on with your bad self.

  • One thing that concerns me is why a strangers sto hung up on other strangers/people they don’t know appearances?

    I just don’t get why people are so concerned with what a complete stranger is doing.

    Rock that attitude and never, ever lose it.

    The hair is cool. End of story.

    • Out of idiocy and no one noticing them. Like when I had extremely short hair 4 years ago and I always got some moron asking me about “that weird fade-cut” or “why do you have your hair cut that way?” I always responded with “Why do you look the way you do? Why do you approach random strangers like a complete idiot about something that HAS NO IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE WHATSOEVER?”

      That last one always works. 😀

    • Thanks hon. People are concerned because they’re too gutless to do it themselves but really want to. Or they want to draw positive attention away from someone who is different, and turn it into negative attention.

      Mostly because they are PATHETIC.

    • I’m lucky in that I’ve been in my job for 11 years – and so long as I turn up clean, tidy and appropriately covered and shod, nobody can complain. My sense of style does not affect my ability to work!

  • Awesomeness! I’ve rocked hair every color of the rainbow and still would if I wasn’t in the professional sector. Living in NYC, I never got many offhand comments about my hair being colored, but when I had it cut extremely short in a chelsea style I always got some fucking idiot mouthing off about it. And whenever my tattoos show I DO get a lot of dumb comments. Especially since most of my work isn’t very “feminine” and I have a lot of it.

    Random strangers care about this because no one notices them and bothering people is their only form of entertainment. And to quote Poor Richard’s Almanac, “Little things affect little minds.”

  • Yes, I noticed that anti-fat comments from strangers have been much more common when I wear my very showy leopard-print plush coat. I think it’s partly going against the social contract. I also think it’s partly that when more people notice us, *some* kind of reaction is inevitable, and often it’s good (as you say–“unicorn mane” is great) but sometimes it’s bad.

    CafePress has a t-shirt that says “Fat & Sassy” in a hot pink that would look perfect with your hair, especially in a black women’s plus v-neck. ! I love their women’s plus tees anyway; they do run small, so buy at least the next size up.

    • A v-neck?? FINALLY! I hate crew-neck t-shirts, they choke me and give me uni-boob, and have been begging for someone to make cool prints on v-neck t-shirts. Or scoop neck, or boat neck, or anything other than damn crew-necks.

      Will be looking for that one!

      • You too? What is it with crew necks? They suck big time and do no favours for the boobage. I feel like I’ choking too. I see some great tees but if there is only crew I don’t buy.
        I wore thick leggings as PANTS on Saturday night when I went out with hubs and friends to SING at KARAOKE!!!! Fat chick, on stage, leggings as pants,cherry red hair, singing some terrible John Denver songs…….I got cheered and given 2 free drinks. This time last yr, before “meeting” all you awesome people, I would never have gone out and done something like that. I hardly ever went out on a Saturday evening because you seem to come across the biggest arseholes then. Now? Now I am empowered and emboldened and I am feeling awesome.
        A new lease on life and some fun hair, it’s all good. 😀

  • I love your pink hair!

    I break the contract with my purple glitter and aqua metallic nail polish – not only are they loud colors on a large woman, but I’m well over 40. After 40, you’re just supposed to shut up and wear beige, I suppose. Right.

    • Oh God yes – if you’re over 35 you shouldn’t wear more than three items of jewellery, you shouldn’t have hair longer than your collar, you shouldn’t wear bright colours, you shouldn’t paint your toenails, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t.

      I like those red hat ladies that wear lurid red and purple hats and outfits and all go to lunch. They’re awesome.

  • ‘Breaking the contract’ – I love that. That’s exactly what it is.

    I broke it on Saturday. Grey bodycon minidress, giant 80s print bow brooch, hot pink tights. I got hollered at from a car (it sounded like “ERRRRUHHHHERRRR PUSSY ERRRRR”) and a drunk guy tried to embarrass me. He made fun of my bow, but then I stopped to talk about my bow with him, so he changed tactics and said I looked like a man. I shook my arse at him as I walked off.

    Breaking the contract is fun (as is your new hair).

    • Frances every time I see a photo of you, I think to myself “YES!! I love how fucking VIVID this woman is!”

      I have some big bow brooches too. I love ’em.

      Here’s to busting contracts all over the place.


    You are so freaking right. We’re not supposed to draw attention, we’re not SUPPOSED to take up space. And it’s all crap! YOU ROCK!

  • Yaaaaay fatties! I love this post so much. I am a fatty mcfatterson for realz (over 300 pounds). I can’t help but be loud, and sometimes I like to wear bright colors, and I used to have purple hair, and while sometimes I really do want to just blend in to the background, sometimes I love being loud and noticed.

    I love your hair!

  • After reading your post, I was thinking about you and what you write about the societal contract. It made me think of one of my favourite scholars, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. In her book “Tendencies”, she writes:

    “…there is such a process as coming out as a fat woman. Like the other, more materially dangerous kind of coming out, it involves the risk – here, a certainty – of uttering bathetically as a brave declaration that truth which can scarcely in this instance ever have been less than self-evident. Also like the other kind of coming out, however, denomination of oneself as a fat woman is a way in the first place of making clear to the people around one that their cultural meanings will be, and will be
    heard as, assaulting and diminishing to the degree that they are not fat-affirmative. In the second place and far more importantly, it is a way of staking one’s claim to insist on, and participate actively in, a renegotiation of the representational contract between one’s body and one’s world.”

  • wow – that is so true!! I’ve never dyed my hair a bright color for fear of being “seen more” and pink is a fave of mine. It’s truly awful that people are so rude though. –

  • Let’s hear it for awesomely bright hair! Mine is currently cherry red, orange and black. I love your pink! It needs some purple and black streaks!

  • I didn’t get too much static when I colored mine green, which who knows if it’s because where I live or more probably, because I’m not all that fat. It BOGGLES THE MIND how people treat certain groups/people and how cruel they are to some and more civil to others.

    Needless to say if I saw you I’d give you a big smile. I love, love, LOVE really drastic hair colors/styles.

  • LOVE IT!!!! You rock hun! Ignore all the bad feedback because ultimately it’s how you feel about it and if it makes you feel fantabulous, then that is all that matters!

    Personally I think you look more than fantabulous all the time 🙂


  • Thank you all for the compliments. I am LOVING this pink hair. I’m still getting a few haters, several disapprovers, but I’ve never been stopped in the street to be complimented so many times in my life. It’s such an ice-breaker, and those people don’t pay attention to my fatness, they just see hot pink hair.

    Since I coloured it 5 days ago, I’ve had friends and colleagues positively gush over it, I’ve had the compliments I mentioned in the post, I had a young woman run up to me as I returned library books and say “Excuse me, but I just have to tell you your hair is AWESOME!” I’ve had a colleague take one look and give the most enthusiastic “WOW!!” I think I’ve ever heard. I get in the lift at work and people say “That’s a fantastic hair colour.”

    Despite those who just can’t handle anyone outside of the little box they’ve created as acceptable, there are lots of people out there who not just dig something bold and different, but who will say so.

    If you’re contemplating doing something fun to your appearance just because you want to – I encourage you to do it!

  • Depends on what you do for a living. I’m a lawyer, and I guarrantee you that having pink hair/tattoos/bright (or tight/skimply!) clothing, etc., would not be giving you any more credibility with, or respect from, a judge or opposing counsel. Unless you work for yourself, your firm would probably comment on it as well, since the way you dress/present yourself, reflects (in this case, poorly) on the firm.

    And by the way, dressing in bad taste is bad taste, pure and simple, regardless of gender or body shape. Am I still a “hater” if I think someone in a get up like that looks tacky, but they’re skinny – or only if they’re fat?

    Good grief.

    • Rena, what right do you have to judge other people on how they dress? Who made you the judge of “good taste”?

      Why the need to bully people with criticisms on their style into conforming how you feel people should appear?

    • I’m a junior tax accountant and my clients love my tattoos and short hair. So do other CPAs I’ve spoken with, and actually garnered an interest in diversity training for dealing with clients from alt cultures.

      You don’t speak for the entire professional sector when saying that looking different reflects poorly upon a firm. In fact, breaking the mould often leads to success.

      • I do need to mention that I am a librarian. I work in a corporate environment (rather than out on the ground in the libraries themselves) in a professional role.

        So like you Rachel, my appearance is fully accepted by both my employers, most of my colleagues, and my clients. It has given me a leading edge in the sense that I stand out, am memorable and reflects anything but poorly on my company.

  • Hair is going BRIGHT PINK this afternoon… I have one week of work left before becoming a stay-at-home-mommy and I got flack for the bright red I dyed it a month ago – little do they know that I have HOT HOT PINK waiting for them!

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