An Epiphany

Published February 2, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Last night I really struggled to go to sleep.  I felt so angry and bullied by the afternoon/evening’s events online.  I won’t link to John Birmingham’s blog post, simply because while he does give a hat tip to Fat Acceptance, he just continues the “but you’re not healthy!” rhetoric that frankly, I’m sick of hearing and sick of responding to.  I will however link to a fabulous response piece over on Spilt Milk, that I think you should all go and read if you haven’t done so already.  We’ll wait…

Fab piece huh?

So anyway, I went to bed really late, and just couldn’t settle.  I’d had hateful tweets come my way, some nasty troll comments here on Fat Heffalump and I’d seen some of the others that my fellow fats had suffered.  It does hurt, and I don’t think John Birmingham quite understands what he unleashes on us every time he carelessly throws out a bunch of assumptions about fat people.  If he does understand, then he’s a fucking douchebag for not taking responsibility for his actions… but to be honest, I don’t really think he knows.  Trolls and haters are cowards, they don’t do it where someone like he can see it, and if any of us report it, then we’re accused of being the ones seeking attention.

I’m laying in bed, thinking about all of the hurt and anger I saw from fellow fats yesterday, and thinking how sometimes it would be just so much easier to give up on Fat Acceptance and go back on a fucking diet, or at least shut up and pretend that I buy into the bullshit than it would be to put myself out there time and time again and get slapped with hatred time and time again.

But then I had an epiphany.

Fat haters hate fat people no matter what they do.

They hate us for being visible.  They hate us for wearing clothes that show any of our bodies.  They hate us for living life to the full.  They hate us for speaking up and demanding respect and fairness.  They hate us for eating.  They hate us for being in public.  They hate us if we dress fashionably or alternative.  They hate us if we appear in public.  They hate us if we speak out about the futility of dieting/fat shame/anything at all.

But guess what?  If you buy into what fat people are “supposed” to do, then they hate us for that too.

They hate us if we diet, they hate us if we try to exercise, they hate us if we mutilate our bodies with weight loss surgery, they hate us if we use diet pills, they hate us if we dress in boxy, dark clothing, they hate us if we have eating disorders, they hate us if we shut up and sit in a corner trying to disappear.

I know they do, because they aimed that hate squarely at me when I tried to do a lot of those things that fat people are “supposed” to do.  And I’m quite sure I’m not the only one.

The only thing fat haters want us to do is cease to exist.  It is the only thing that would stop them from directing hate at us, not being here.

But don’t despair.  There is a second part to my epiphany.

If you love yourself, you are absolutely guaranteed of one less person hating you.

No matter what we do, as fat people we’re going to draw hatred from some shitweasel* who just can’t live and let live.  Some douchecanoe* who has nothing better to do with their lives than bully, hate and harass people either on the internet or in the street.  I can’t imagine what kind of pathetic little life a person must live to need to do that.  Hell, there are people I cannot stand on this earth, but I want to get as far away from them as possible, not spend any time anywhere near them, following them online, or harassing them etc.  I don’t have enough time to read all the stuff on the internet that’s awesome, let alone stuff I don’t like.

But the best way to deal with those shitweasels and douchecanoes, is to live.  Be happy.  Laugh.  Love and be loved.  Have fun.  BE. Cos it drives them fucking spare with frustration that they haven’t made you cease to be. It sticks in their craw and gets up their butt.

While you’re doing it, be kind to yourself.  You’re ok, you’re not the one who spends your time harassing people online, or directing hate at people.  You’re just getting on with your life.

You are worthy of your own love more than anyone else in your life.

*Fabulous new cursewords courtesy of Hanne Blank

39 comments on “An Epiphany

  • Absolutely wonderful post Kath, as usual. And I adore the new curse words.

    And I agree wholeheartedly. People just don’t realize how sad it is that they don’t seem to have enough of a life that they have to attack others whom they do not know and do not care to take the time to know. Let them hate us fat folks, just proves they need a better hobby.

  • YES! Haters gonna hate, so I might as well wear my awesome new jacket, be loud, walk with confidence, and eat what I actually want to eat.

  • Exactly! If they’re gonna hate me no matter what I do, then I’m going to give them some really good reasons to hate me – being fat in public, wearing leggings while fat in public, wearing outrageous colors while fat in public, having open displays of affection with my husband while fat in public, swimming while fat in public – the list goes on and on. They hate me because I’m fat and want me to disappear, that’s the wrong thing to tell me – I’m famous (or infamous, as the case may be) for doing the opposite of what I’m told to do, especially when it pisses me off, and the haters piss me off no end.

  • Amen sister! I’m new too fat acceptance, been reading the blogs and thinking about one of my own, not sure if I’m ready to deal with the haters, this really gave me some new drive and inspiration.
    ps, I think shitweasel is my new favorite word.

    • Welcome to the fatosphere Siobhan. You will find a warm and welcoming community here. I hope to see your blog up and running soon, let me know the URL and I’ll be over to read!

  • I couldn’t agree more. I wear whatever I want, go out often, and live my life to the fullest– I know that I”m not alone in the fatosphere when I say that once I stopped hating myself and just learned to actually enjoy my life and not apologize for my size anymore, I became impervious to the douchecanoes (haha LOVE that new word!) around me who think I should spend all day trapped in my apartment hating myself.

    and yes, haters will still hate….so I may as well do what makes me feel good and give them yet another fuck-you like I do with everything else I’m not “supposed” to do by society’s standards.😀

  • “one less person hating you.”
    Brilliant! I sometimes tell people that my only religion is kindness. I feel like this falls right in line with that. You can’t be kind to other if you’re not kind to yourself first. Love it!❤

  • Y’know, I don’t even think they want us to cease to exist. They want us to continue being their targets. Gossip magazines, news reports, politicians that deal with social welfare – they’ve got to have something to talk about, don’t they?

  • a Fb friend sent me link to ur blog re Birminghams article etc, as someone who shares thd marginalisation of being overweight in a skinny paradigm,I found it interesting,but I was dismayed you chose to use the misongynistic terms ‘douchebag’ & ‘douchecanoe’, this prevents me from sharing your otherwise useful words.
    If you want to b an activist against one kind of bigotry, its best to avoid the language of other forms of the same thing. Likewise *gay* has been co-opted by a generation who ignore insidious power if words. Chew Your Words Carefully, please!
    Pax, x m

    • Maree, you might want to read up on a whole lot of discussions (a Google search will help you) that have been had about the term “douchebag” and it’s variants by feminists before you point the finger at me for being misogynistic. Start by following the link I provided to Hanne’s post for one.

      Douching is a practice that women have been shamed into doing for hundreds of years, that does harm to the female genitals. Douche is not a nice lovely lady thing that we own and get to do with our genitals. Douches are damaging to womens bodies and there is no comparison to the ignorant use of the word “gay”. I am quite happy to cast douching in a further negative light – and so are my lady parts.

      I stand by my (and many other writers who identify as feminist) use of the word douche and it’s variants as a rather glorious curse/insult. I’m somewhat surprised that you have never encountered this before, it is fairly regularly challenged as “misogynistic” and that is equally regularly beaten down as an ill-informed challenge.

    • “Douching” is something women do because ad people, “health” companies and others want them to feel that there is something wrong with their bodies and want them to spend money on products which serve no real purpose (or are ladyparts meant to smell like flowers come outta there?) at best, and are actually harmful at worst.

      When I call someone some variant of “douche” it is usually because they’re unnecessary, creepy, abrasive, toxic and making women feel crap about themselves. I think it’s a fitting insult.

      If I was calling them a pussy or a c— or something, call it misogyny all the way. Or if douching was somehow empowering and awesome and essential, sure. But, erm… no.

  • As a, mostly, sour curmudgeon who doesn’t need cookie incentives to get down with the Dark Side (if they’re layin’ about I’m eatin’ um tho), this strikes a positive cord. Deeper and more refined than the ‘Haters’ meme while more accessible than ‘success is the best revenge’.

    A post to brighten this Grouches day, and that’s no mean feat.

    Thanks

  • I’ve always tried to be just “my fat me” when I’ve been fat, to acknowledge that I’ve sometimes had “thin privilege”–which I’ve enjoyed in the context of “ex-fat”–which is a false privilege afforded to people who can fake their way to thin for a bit, and who generally lose it, ultimately.

    So I say to the haters–hate me and my fat body–I have earned it by trying to be you for too long. I wanted your clothes and your contours, and your access to the imaginations of other people, but I recgnize that my body is bigger and other and still acceptable because I accept me. And I am a big old 200+ lb curvy lady who matters, buys clothes, lives.

    I am me–and your hate is stupid because I am awesome. I am generous, funny, and fine. Don’t hate me because I’m fatifull.

    Hate me because of whatever thing you see in me–that you can’t find in you. And then ask yourself whether you can get that–my humor, my self-acceptance. If no, yay me-I m fat, and I am full of win. If you can, then welcome, friend, because you practically have to know and love me to accept my fatness, so you’re okay in my book.

    But if you can’t? I think I live to make shitweasels choke.

  • “Douchecanoe” is the best word ever, and I would l would like to find some way of applying it one day.

    As for this entry, I want to like, print out a billion copies and throw those copies like confetti from the highest building. I really needed it today, especially with my mom going on with Annoying Diet Talk #Infinite yesterday.

    • I feel your pain with Annoying Diet Talk, rubyfruit. Holy hell it’s why I never go to the gym during after-work hours. (Well, that and the fact that’s when I usually have class or meet clients.) I get so freakin sick of hearing these people around me go on about how they hate themselves because they went outside of their limits by having more than 12 almonds as a snack.

      I shit you not, some neurotic lady went on about how in order for this diet to work you must eat 12 almonds, no more, no less. The carb haters piss me off the most though. We fucking need carbs to live!!!!!!

    • Ugh, Annoying Diet Talk permeates my life. Even friends who know my Fat Acceptance stance try so hard to sneak it in from time to time. GAH!

      And thank you, your support and encouragement means a lot to me.

  • After being initially startled by the hateful comments some sent my way, I now find trollz rather amusing. They never, ever just say ‘I don’t agree with you.’ No, they go a step further, saying such stupid/hateful/wrong shit that they make damn sure I just laugh my ass off.

    Only people I care about have the power to make me feel bad.

  • I totally agree with you. No matter what we do, they will hate “us”. I just want to remind you that “us” can mean many things…from fat, to old, to short, to sickly, to queer, to being a trans man or woman, or a person with a disability. I am genderqueer and VERY short. I CHOSE a breast reduction to flatness to make myself more externally androgynous…so while i am happier without the tits that didn’t fit my gender fluid self, i have to deal with constant comments: “hey skinny little midget, if you had tits, i’d fuck you”…my genderqueer best friend, born male, is never harrassed this way…he’s just called a “faggot” (even though he is not attracted to men).Meanwhile,the idea that I might not want men to want me is never considered a possibility…by men OR women. another friend of mine is a beautiful fat gay femme.she is white and routinely called a racist when she turns down men of colors’ advances towards her: “you think a whitey would like you, heifer bitch ho?” my beautiful male bisexual friend appears to have not a trouble in the world,but he suffers from a severe digestive disorder that compromises his daily activities severely,no matter how many people of all genders drool over him. my point is,i see a world of strong and cruel people stomping over those with vulnerabilities,whether those vulnerabilities are within our bodies or stamped on us due to society’s biases and prejudices.

  • Hey sweets,

    You have a minute? I need to talk. Off post. I am struggling with something and I need another blogger help/mentoring/advice.

    hugs,Jenna

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