day in the life

Lifetime Weight

Sometimes I feel like I’m being erased. Fat women just aren’t welcome in this country…


from reuters.com:

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.

12 Comments

  1. strawberry jelly

    *Sigh*

    Let me just say something…I love, no adore shopping with you. I completely relate to the “Tired of being ashamed to tell my best friends what size I wear” – with the exception of you. You were the first person I went shopping with in YEARS where I didn’t feel that shame. This entry, like so many other’s you have posted, so eloquently sums up so many of my own feelings as well.

    And while I don’t promote violence, I hope D wanted to pop that ignorant ass.

    Re: Lands End – Oy! I shop there…

  2. mavis

    Wow, I have so much to say to this, but it’s 8 am and I don’t have time. You put this together beautifully, Meg. And, 5 foot two? I had pictured you taller…now I have the right image.

  3. Vickie

    St. John of the Cross said, “In the evening of life, we shall be judged on love.”

    The cornerstone of life is love. And it is a victory to be on the outside – whether because of weight, poverty, alcoholism, a disfunctional family, a physical, mental or emotional handicap, or simple unpopularity – to feel unloved, & to rise above it. We cannot choose the crosses we are given to bear. The greatest triumph happens when we choose to overcome unkindness, unhappiness, bitterness & despair with love.

    Keep your chin up.

    Vickie

  4. “The first lesson kids learn in school is to seek out and have contempt for weakness in others.” –John Holt

    I like what Marilyn Vos Savant said (repeats): You should never take (and I would add, “mean”) anything personally; complements nor insults.

    Pop culture doesn’t teach so much as it exploits what is already there. See http://www.johntaylorgatto.com

    How can we expect to be complete adults when our entire childhoods were preempted, all that growth and learning and development, between age 5 and 18? If you came through it just depressed and disillusioned; as oppose to coming though it preferring the sure footedness of being an unconscious snarling robot for the state; then you can count that in your favour big time, as ’twere.

  5. Mm. I’ll not exactly disagree, but enhance:

    We spend our childhood waiting for Santa Claus. Then one day we get the bad news — there IS no Santa Claus. So we boast about how “enlightened” we are, and we spend the rest of our lives waiting … for rigor mortis.

    But the point that most miss is that there’s a third place to be. And to get there, we have to stop waiting.

  6. FJC

    Interesting… in so far as there is a single asterisk floating over my knobby head and a question mark shaped furrow between my Hoss like brows.

    From what I hear, Godot is like the movie, “Brazil” in that it is designed for folks to read a lot into it. I like bragging that my first thought about, “Brazil” was later echoed by Gilliam in an interview I found in a Starlog magazine about 600 years ago where he said that “Brazil” was about a guy who dreamed too much, which was pretty much my take on it.
    [truncated]

  7. jen

    Meg,
    I think you are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. In both appearance and in your personality.

    You have spoken for so many people who have struggled, still struggle and may very well always struggle with this. You have spoken to so many of my deepest fears, feelings and thoughts.

    Meg you have always and will always be one of the sexiest women I have ever known.

    Thank you

Comments are closed.