Sometimes I feel like I’m being erased. Fat women just aren’t welcome in this country…
LONDON (Reuters) – “Titanic” star Kate Winslet has married her director boyfriend Sam Mendes in an intimate Caribbean ceremony, her publicist said on Monday… Divorcee Winslet, 28, is best known for her performances in “Titanic,” “Heavenly Creatures” and “Sense and Sensibility.” Her appearance on the cover of men’s magazine GQ caused a storm in January, when editors admitted to heavily airbrushing out the voluptuous curves for which she is renowned.
Lands End.com’s “virtual model” service will not allow a weight of 200lbs or over to be entered.
Their highly-touted new line of swimwear separates, advertised for “real bodies” does not come in a size higher than 16.
The plus sized line of swimwear (as well as all other clothing lines) starts at “18W” – a size, which when measured, is a full two sizes larger than the 16 in the standard lines. Not only is there a black hole of sorts for women whose measurements fall between these sizes, the plus-sized line also offers a fraction of the selection and quality of the standard lines.
[of course, this isn’t unique to Land’s End. One could remove their name and insert nearly any other clothing line.]
Dr. Diet Pepper recently launched a new ad entitled 3, which parodies that famous beach scene in the movie 10. In this version, however, the white-swimsuit clad, corn-rowed beauty running down the beach is revealed to be overweight, and therefore a “3 on the attractiveness scale.”
Her would-be romantic suitor flees.
In Oklahoma City, as my husband and I walked down a street at night, a drunk man screamed at my husband that his “girlfriend is UGLY!”
and on and on.
Of course, women aren’t the only ones who suffer; overweight men labor under the same crap. But then again, we love a Jason Alexander or a Dennis Franz, but there are no female equivalents out there – certianly none that would ever be allowed to show her naked ass on television, as Franz has on NYPD Blue.
Why do I pelt you with this on a sunny Monday afternoon? Because I’m tired, kids. Tired of feeling like I do not or should not exist because I have a lot of curves and dimples on my five feet two inches. Tired of being ashamed to tell my best friends what size I wear. Tired of not being able to shop in the same stores with them. Tired of my weight somehow determining to stangers- at a glance – whether I am worthy of a kind word, a door being opened for me, a seat on the train.
Of course, these are my experiences, and so why should my feelings of hurt and marginalization matter to the rest of the world?
Read the marvelous “the absent fatso”. He sums up the answer thusly:
“Why does any of this matter? Because pop culture is a major way all of us – but especially kids – learn our cultural norms. And what pop culture teaches about fat people is that they are objects of contempt. The MSU study press release mentions that ‘Obese children and teens are more often excluded from peer groups, are discriminated against by adults, report psychological stress, and have a poor body image and low self esteem.’ As the underlinked blog Fatshadow said in another context, ‘the fat kids of the world pay the price for our unwillingness to excise fat hatred.'”
I was one of those fat kids. I continue to struggle against feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, and depression, all centering around my weight and the years of ridicule I endured because of it. I’ve stepped into some horrible situations in my life because I believed I deserved no better. I’m not here to plead as a victim, but as a human who begs this culture to treat all of us fat people as just that: human beings with the right to live and love just as anyone else.
I hold all the fat kids close to my heart and wish them the strength, dignity, and courage they will need to get through growing up in this culture. I wish for them the love of self I didn’t have. That I stuggle to maintain today.
You ARE worth something. You are worth so much. You are loved.