Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how our realities as fat people are so regularly questioned, doubted, or denied. I guess the triggers have been a few things. From the repeated “just put down the cheeseburger and get some exercise” comments on the threads stemming from the fabulous Frances’ page on Triple J Hack being promoted on Facebook, to a commenter suggesting that “If you can’t seem to find clothes I think you’re trying the wrong size. ” (Complete with passive aggressive smiley face – don’t you love when people tack those onto the end of a rude statement?), to friends suggesting that “perhaps you’re imagining it” when I try to talk about the way I am treated in public by some people, it’s something that is constantly done to fat people.
I don’t know about you, but I get bloody sick of it.
I get sick of people who have never lived in my body, never seen what I did to it for 30 years to try to get it thin, who don’t know how my body feels or what it is capable of, insisting that they know a) what I am eating and what I am doing and b) how to make my body thin c) that my body is somehow in pain and incapable of doing what I want it to do.
I get sick of people who have never tried to buy clothes to fit my body, who’ve never been with me when I’ve been shopping for clothes, or never seen me try clothes on, insisting that there are “plenty of options” for clothing for my body. I get sick of them not trusting my judgement when they suggest an item of clothing that I know won’t fit me or won’t be comfortable for me to wear.
I get sick of people who don’t live in my fat body tell me that I’m imagining the woman trying to sneakily take my photo on her mobile phone as I eat my lunch in a cafe. Of people saying “But I’ve never heard anyone say anything hateful to you!” refusing to acknowledge that it doesn’t happen in their presence because fat hating shitweasels are usually cowards who wait until I am alone to have a go at me.
I get sick of people who look at my body and assume that I am in pain because of my fatness, without ever asking me how I feel, or even seeing me show any signs of pain.
I get sick of people who dismiss me when I say I feel better now than I ever have, and that my body performs better now than it ever has, now that I have accepted that I have a fat body and I am best to just love it as it is. People who don’t know anything about my health, people who dismiss my past and the experiences I have been through.
But most of all, I get so very, very sick of people who cannot accept that my reality is different to their reality, and that fact in no way minimises their reality. Those who cannot fathom that if someone else needs fairness and equality, it doesn’t mean they will be missing out on “their share”.
I saw a good quote on Tumblr today, not sure where it originated, it wasn’t credited:
Equality is extremely threatening to people who have always benefited from the lack thereof.