What Being a Fat Woman Is Really Like

Published March 1, 2014 by Fat Heffalump

I don’t know if you all came across that piece from Cosmopolitan, the interview with two self-identifying fat women which was a surprisingly respectful interview for a mainstream media piece.  Thanks to Laura at Tutus and Tiny Hats I’ve discovered that quite a few fat bloggers having a go at answering the questions themselves, to give some more perspectives on what it is like to be a fat woman.  There is a list at the bottom of this one by Charlotte at The Reality of My Surroundings of others who have done it.

So I thought I might have a go myself.  I think it’s a great idea to have as many perspectives of what it is really like to be a fat woman, so if you’re a fat blogger, I encourage you to have a go yourself.

piggy donut

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?

It really pisses me off.  Because 99% of the time, not only am I fatter than they are and it implies that there is something bad about me, but they actually don’t mean that they feel fat, they mean that they feel miserable, ugly, sad, frumpy, unattractive, bloated, unwell etc.  “Fat” has become a catch-all negative word that women use when they don’t feel good about themselves.  It’s time we expanded our vocabulary and used the actual words that describe how we really feel.  You can’t “feel” fat… well, not unless you’ve got your hands on me.

How has your body image changed since high school? College?

Vastly.  It didn’t really happen until my mid-30’s, but before finding fat activism, I honestly believed I was completely worthless as a human being, simply because I was fat.  All of the other things about myself didn’t matter – I was fat, therefore I was worthless.  How things have changed since then!

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

AHAHAHAHAAHA!  I wish I could charge a dollar for every time I have been asked that question.  What happened is that I completely fucked my metabolism, my teeth, my digestive system and continued to get fatter and fatter until I stopped dieting.

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?

I actually think it doesn’t matter.  It’s irrelevant how I or anyone else arrived at being fat – we just are, and regardless of how we got there, we all deserve the same dignity and respect, and to live our lives in peace.

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?

Again, something I think that is entirely irrelevant.  A fat person’s health status has no bearing on their value as a human being.  Not to mention that it’s also their own business and doesn’t have to be proven or declared to anyone.  It is also ableist to assume that everyone is obliged to be healthy.

And people make assumptions about me and my body and my abilities all the time.  I don’t actually care what they think, what matters is how I feel, and that I am treated with dignity and respect. (I’m gonna keep using those two words until the world gets it in their head!)

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you’re at? Have they always been?

I wouldn’t know what my parents think these days, I no longer allow them in my life.  When they were in my life, they were both very abusive about my body, even before I was fat.  I think it’s common for girls to be targeted about their bodies as part of abuse, no matter what size or shape their bodies are.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?

This is an easy one.  Provide the same clothes in the same amounts and same variety as they do for straight sizes.  Simple as that.

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How?

Most definitely.  While I don’t think fat men escape judgement, I think women are judged much harsher, simply because we’re women, and society believes the most important thing a woman can be is decorative.  It’s already hard enough to be a woman in our culture, but to be a woman who “fails” to conform to society’s standards means that she is seen as less than human.  Add more marginalised identities and you’re even more detested by societal standards.

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?

How long have we got to go over the assumptions and stereotypes about fat people.  There are many, they’re pretty much all negative bullshit.  My response?  This:

homer fingers

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?

Mostly no.  In most cases, someone’s weight is none of your business or concern.  Ask yourself, why are you REALLY concerned about that person’s weight?  How about showing concern about someone’s feelings, or their wellbeing first?

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?

Again, how long have you got?  I think the regular calls for me to kill myself would probably have to be the lowest of the low.

How did you respond?

See the image of Homer above.

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?

I don’t want people to compliment my body.  Unless I am getting all sexy with that person, my body is irrelevant.  In the case of lovers, the thing I’ve always loved to hear most is how soft I am.  I am soft!

Though once a little boy I looked after when I worked in a child care centre hugged me and said to his Mum “Mumma she’s the huggiest lady in the world!”  I thought that was pretty cool.

If people want to compliment how I dress, or what I do with my hair – that’s a different thing.  That’s about my style and my taste, not about my body.

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?

I hang out with women of all shapes and sizes.  In my friendships, bodies and size don’t matter.

However there is something very special about being around someone close to your size, who understands what it is like to live in a fat body, and to share that commonality.

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?

Not the actual sex life.  It has affected relationships, but not sex.

When you’ve been single, has your weight affected your dating life?

My weight itself hasn’t, but other people’s attitudes about my weight has.  A lot of men think that fat women should be grateful for their attention, which I find infuriating.  I’ve had men ask me out and then qualify it with “I don’t mind dating bigger women.”  Really?  Is that how you impress me?  By telling me that you “don’t mind” dating women like me?  BZZZZZT!!  Next!!

There is also the fetishisation of fat women to contend with.  I find it really gross when men don’t see me as a person, but see me as a masturbatory aid.

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?

Yes.  I don’t date only one type of man, so I don’t want to be with someone who limits themselves to being attracted to me for my fatness.  I want to be with a man who is attracted as much to the rest of the things that make up me – I’m more than just my fat.

I understand sexual attractions – I have some “things” that I find attractive too – very tall, thin men, men with chest hair, men with big feet and so on… but I’m not going to reject a man that doesn’t have those things – sexual attraction is about so much more than just body features.

Do you feel weird if he’s only dated slimmer women before you?

I don’t know – I’ve never been with someone who has ONLY dated slimmer women before me.

32 comments on “What Being a Fat Woman Is Really Like

  • That was the best one you’ve done!!! It inspired me!!! I’ve green down about my weight lately…..even considering weight loss surgery!!! This blog you did has really made me sit up and think about what I love about me!!! Thank you!!!! You always make me think!!

  • This is cool. Now I want to go out and find a lot of answers people have given to these questions.

    But most of all, I’m in love with the Homer gif. There are times in my life when I need precisely that.

  • I absolutely love this. I’ve always been my worse critic and this has made me realize that I have always secretly loved myself as I am. I’ve decided to do a blog on the questions. May I please use your words “Living With Fattitude” in my blog when telling where my idea for this came from. Thanks for sharing.

  • You are adorable, I love your quirkiness and admire your ability to be yourself! Your confidence is contagious. I respect you so much for making a stand. Thank you for speaking out against this violence against women, and for questioning the behemoth diet and fitness industry which profits from making us question our own worth. Everyone is equal. Don’t pay any mind to the trolls- they call them such for a reason 🙂

  • I think that when people in Fat Acceptance talk about how they think fat men are received that they should use a bias scale from 1-10 so people will know what the speaker’s stance is on fat men being a part of Fat Acceptance.

    I absolutely agree that fat men are not the primary focus of fat bias, but I feel many people in Fat Acceptance use these short and vageu statements about fat men to hide the fact that they truly feel that fat men have no need of Fat Acceptance at all.

    You can’t adequately describe how fat men are judged by Society in one or two sentences.

    • Firstly, I don’t identify as belonging to the “fat acceptance” movement any more, so this isn’t the place to declare what fat acceptance should and shouldn’t do.

      Secondly, as a fat WOMAN, it is not my place or responsibility to talk about fat men’s experiences. If fat men wish to have their experiences heard, then they need to talk about them, not expect we women to do it for them.

      You have internet access, you have the ability to blog – then put your money where your mouth is and start doing your own work, rather than expecting we women to do it for you.

      • People like you do choose to talk about fat male life experiences. Your statements are always marginalizing fat male experiences and you talk as if you know exactly what fat men experience.

        • Bullshit. I have NEVER spoken of fat men’s experiences or on behalf of fat men. I have absolutely no interest in speaking about fat men’s experiences, as I said, it’s not my responsibility, it’s theirs.

          The only time fat men get a mention in my blog is in relation to their male privilege over fat women. If you’re about to deny male privilege, you’ll just prove yourself more ignorant than you already have. Now stop wasting my time.

          • William – I have to agree with Kath. If you are truly concerned about fat men’s issues, then by all means start a blog of your own. I’m sure other fat men would love such a forum to talk about issues specific to men. We women can’t talk about them cuz we don’t know. We talk about ours cuz we’re usually the ones taking the full brunt of society’s fat-hating attitudes. If, otoh, you’re here to play troll, then just – don’t.

            • Denise, you’re a legend.

              Don’t worry, William won’t be here whinging how we fat women are horrible for marginalising him by saying that he has privilege over us as a fat man any more. I’ve sent him to the spam bin where he belongs.

    • Do you know what I find ironic? That a man has turned up on a post titled What Being a Fat WOMAN Is Really Like and is demanding we centre the conversation around men.

      • Incidentally – imgur is not a reliable source for scientific information. Nor is reddit. Try reading a book or a peer reviewed journal. There is a list on my resources page, you cretin.

    • Not only is Jessi an ignorant troll, she’s also a massive liar too. She has spent the last two hours leaving comment after comment claiming (and I’m going to point out all the bullshit she is spinning):

      1. Her “husband” is an “obesity expert”.
      There’s no such thing. The only people who call themselves “obesity experts” are fake scientists, fraudulent diet pushers and people trying to force fat people to have gastric mutilation.

      I actually don’t believe there is a “husband” anyway.

      2. There is no scientific fact in the over 100 books and thousands of resources in the world on fat politics and fat activism.

      BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! Because Jessi has read every single resource there is. And proven without doubt, with evidence to back it, that the science in countless books, studies and papers is false. Where’s that evidence Jessi? *crickets chirping* OH RIGHT, your “husband” is an “obesity expert who told you there has never been any evidence to prove fat studies right ever in the history of time. Seems he is as big as a liar as you are Jessi!

      3. Her younger sister died because she believed in fat liberation.

      Really Jessi? And where is your evidence that fat liberation CAUSED her death directly?

      4. Fat cells cause T2 diabetes.

      So you have scientific evidence that proves this and contradicts ALL scientific evidence so far. Fuck a duck, you are going to be filthy rich Jessi!

      5. Oh wait, now she says her husband is a bariatric surgeon. Now we know the truth. Just another butcher who wants to carve up fat people and rake in the big bucks.

      Still not sure there is a “husband” even though she has prefaced most sentences with “my husband says” – can you not think for yourself Jessi?

      6. She ends by piling on a whole lot of false concern for me, and then calls me a liar and fat activism a cult.

      Yes Jessi, I can just feel your “concern” dripping off the page.

      Jessi, before you crawl back to the cesspool that is reddit (where you clearly came from) let me reiterate – you are a stinking, hate filled liar. And your lies are going to come back to bite you one day.

      Here Jessi, I have a gift for you:

      ass band

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