I’m learning to love my large body, and writing this spoken word piece was a giant step for me. It’s called “Too Big” and I would love to share it with the community that inspires and supports me. 

A group of us in London were driving home from an outing and happened to pull up behind a car with not one but at least two No Fat Chicks bumper stickers. My pals and I were astounded, not only to the dedication of the car’s owner to not having Fat Chicks like us in the vicinity of his vehicle (he obviously failed, because there we were, right next to him), but that stickers like this are still a thing. Haven’t they heard that fatphobia is terribly uncool?

The stickers actually said: ‘No Fat Chicks - car will scrape.’ Perhaps the car owner is worried that angry fat women might get their keys out and scratch the shit out of their penis extension? My sweetheart said: “What’s the problem? Just put more air in your tyres if you’re worried about scraping”.

Anyway, we whipped out our phonecams and said “Smile, Sizeist!”

I relate all too well, but remember, but isn’t only women who suffer from nasty fatphobic comments.  I’m a 6’5” tall heavy-set man in his 30s (well, I was at the time of this story, anyway). I was in The West Village, off 7th Avenue, at an outdoor Chase ATM. I hadn’t bumped anybody (ya know, so they would have reason to be annoyed with me). I hadn’t even made eye contact with anyone.

As I’m waiting for my money to come out of the sidewalk ATM, this group of young guys walk by, and shout loudly at me, “HEY! WHEN YOU GET YOUR MONEY, GIVE IT TO JENNY CRAIG!!!” They laughed hysterically as they walked away. I was crushed. 

I am so, so glad that this tumblr exists.  Thank you.  I actually wrote a blog post about this a couple years ago and I wanted to send it over because it made me so angry.  The post was entitled, “Hey, You Look Fat!  Buy This!”
"So I have to vent about the dumbest thing that happened to me yesterday. I was trundling along, doing my boring security job. The rain had stopped so I was feeling a little better because there would be a standstill in the continuing frizziness and curliness of my hair, and I figured at least people would roll their windows down to deal with my ass. Nothing doing with the latter. This guy drives up past me and up to the [gate] arm without looking over, his car nearly in the hedges that line my little shack. I stare at the side of his face through his closed window for a second before walking up to him. Without rolling down his window, he jabs a finger at his dashboard. Okay, he has a pass. The trick was in inserting myself between his car and the hedges to read the number and date off of it, since this guy was clearly too lazy to pick it up and show it to me. I get the number, timestamp his shit, half-heartedly wave him on, and get back to whatever I was doing.

About an hour later, he pulls up again, again so far up so that he has to look back at me. He rolls down his window, makes a show of looking me up and down, and says, “You know anyone who’s looking to lose weight?” in the conspiratorial whisper of the guy trying to sell you fake Rolexes in movies.

“Is it some kind of creepy scam?”

“No, of course not.” He hands me his card.
At this point, I was skeptical and aggravated. This guy didn’t give me the time of day an hour ago- couldn’t even roll down his window or lift a card up- but now he’s got a quota to fill and my fat ass is looking like a sweet payout. Fuck that guy. And fuck the chubby-looking guy in the tiny picture on the card trying to sell me skinny. Worst salesman ever. Also, can you read that sentence on the bottom of the back? What does that even mean?”
I’m a few years older and I think nowadays I would have made a huge joke out of it in right in his stupid face, but I was a fat woman in an ill-fitting security uniform for about 5 years and I had people harshly judge me based on my weight and my job the entire time.  One day, an otherwise very nice woman asked me, “How are you going to get a boyfriend if you keep working all these nights and weekends?” when I had been/still am happily in a relationship since before I started working that job, although even if I hadn’t been, HOW WOULD IT HAVE BEEN ANY OF HER BUSINESS.  Like I can’t find a person on my own terms and schedule or be satisfied being single? Blorg!
P.S. I’ll look however I want.
<a href=”http://smg.photobucket.com/user/MinervaMadness/media/Me/2010/2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/MinervaMadness/Me/2010/2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg” border=”0” alt=” photo 2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg”/></a>

I am so, so glad that this tumblr exists.  Thank you.  I actually wrote a blog post about this a couple years ago and I wanted to send it over because it made me so angry.  The post was entitled, “Hey, You Look Fat!  Buy This!”

"So I have to vent about the dumbest thing that happened to me yesterday. I was trundling along, doing my boring security job. The rain had stopped so I was feeling a little better because there would be a standstill in the continuing frizziness and curliness of my hair, and I figured at least people would roll their windows down to deal with my ass. Nothing doing with the latter. This guy drives up past me and up to the [gate] arm without looking over, his car nearly in the hedges that line my little shack. I stare at the side of his face through his closed window for a second before walking up to him. Without rolling down his window, he jabs a finger at his dashboard. Okay, he has a pass. The trick was in inserting myself between his car and the hedges to read the number and date off of it, since this guy was clearly too lazy to pick it up and show it to me. I get the number, timestamp his shit, half-heartedly wave him on, and get back to whatever I was doing.

About an hour later, he pulls up again, again so far up so that he has to look back at me. He rolls down his window, makes a show of looking me up and down, and says, “You know anyone who’s looking to lose weight?” in the conspiratorial whisper of the guy trying to sell you fake Rolexes in movies.

“Is it some kind of creepy scam?”

“No, of course not.” He hands me his card.

At this point, I was skeptical and aggravated. This guy didn’t give me the time of day an hour ago- couldn’t even roll down his window or lift a card up- but now he’s got a quota to fill and my fat ass is looking like a sweet payout. Fuck that guy. And fuck the chubby-looking guy in the tiny picture on the card trying to sell me skinny. Worst salesman ever. Also, can you read that sentence on the bottom of the back? What does that even mean?”

I’m a few years older and I think nowadays I would have made a huge joke out of it in right in his stupid face, but I was a fat woman in an ill-fitting security uniform for about 5 years and I had people harshly judge me based on my weight and my job the entire time.  One day, an otherwise very nice woman asked me, “How are you going to get a boyfriend if you keep working all these nights and weekends?” when I had been/still am happily in a relationship since before I started working that job, although even if I hadn’t been, HOW WOULD IT HAVE BEEN ANY OF HER BUSINESS.  Like I can’t find a person on my own terms and schedule or be satisfied being single? Blorg!


P.S. I’ll look however I want.

<a href=”http://smg.photobucket.com/user/MinervaMadness/media/Me/2010/2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/MinervaMadness/Me/2010/2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg” border=”0” alt=” photo 2010-06-10102024_MissionViejo_Calif.jpg”/></a>

Was walking thru NYC minding my own bidness when this multicolored f!cker squawked, &#8220;Caw! Fatty want a diet?!&#8221;  I dared him to remove his mask, but he didn&#8217;t&#8230;oh, well&#8230;got a pic anyway. Feeling good.

Was walking thru NYC minding my own bidness when this multicolored f!cker squawked, “Caw! Fatty want a diet?!”  I dared him to remove his mask, but he didn’t…oh, well…got a pic anyway. Feeling good.

My friend Lisa and I were at a local pool when this couple showed up. The male in the photo was the first to notice two fat women showing some skin. He elbowed his wife and said “Look at that fat one in the sunglasses!” I immediately stared at him. I took my sunglasses off to let him know that I’d heard his jab. The rest of our time they just stared at us laughing to themselves. We didn’t allow these terrible human beings to ruin a good day. We took photos in front of them in our swimsuits. To jerks.

image

i was heading back from nyc on the northeast corridor train last year when these two rutgers university students sat across from me. i immediately noticed the guy in the outer seat barely concealing the fact that he was taking photographs of me with his phone.  the guy by the window was laughing and at least seemed a little embarrassed. i lifted my camera and very obviously took a picture of him, and i said, “it’s super obvious what you’re doing.”  he then attempted to fist-bump me and said, “well played”

he and his friend were very drunk, and i don’t think either were used to fat people (especially fat women, judging by the way they were talking about women they knew at school) standing up for themselves, so he at first tried to convince me that he was “just” a pervert trying to take a picture up my skirt when i pointed out that he was being fucked up to fat people. i told him that it is very easy for fat people to identify when they are being targeted because of their weight, and that i wasn’t stupid.  we actually had a pretty involved talk at that point about fatphobia and the guy on the outer seat (the photo taker) said he was “trying to be less fucked up as he got older,” but i knew it wasn’t really sinking in.

in a surreal turn, the two guys kept playing 80s/90s slow jams to each other on their phones, like taylor dayne and jon secada, and loudly singing along, and we ended up trading slow jam suggestions.  toward the end of the ride, the guy said, “i really fucked this up, didn’t i?” and i told him we might have been friends if he hadn’t done a shitty fatphobic thing.  i refused to tell them my name and said they hadn’t earned it.

this is one of the more bizarre and surreal instances of fatphobia i’ve encountered- i’m a pretty confrontational person, often at the risk of my own safety, but i’ve never elicited an apology or attempt at friendship from someone before. i doubt i changed anything about the way these guys behave, but in every situation where i confront a fatphobic person, i am struck by the fact that they simply don’t seem to understand or care that fat people are… people.  that we are fully realized human beings with feelings and lives and friends and interests who might be nice or cool or interesting.  we are just fat, to them, and therefore deserve whatever shit they decide to heap on us.  

when they exited the train, the woman seated behind me said, “you handled that well.” if i handled it well, it’s because i get to practice this skill every day of my life.

I wish I had a photo of these twerps. I was standing in line at Target, in Hadley, Massachusetts. For reference, I’m a size 10 US. A young man turned to his mate and said, “Girls that big shouldn’t wear tank tops.” They were looking right at me. The cashier, much larger than I, turned pink, embarrassed for me. I couldn’t let it stand, so I responded, “Douchebags […] should be seen and not heard.” The line applauded, and I left. I feel great about my body, and I’ll be damned if someone else can make me feel otherwise. 

See this guy? I was standing on the F train one day last summer, with my dad, headed to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade (my dad was headed elsewhere). I had my earphones in, enjoying some quality time with some tunes, when my dad pointed to this guy and said “I think he’s trying to tell you something.” So I took out my earphones and looked over. The guy made a little running motion, then mouthed “one hour, every morning.”

It clicked that he was telling me I needed to exercise more. So, loudly, I said “Are you telling me I’m fat?” Obviously, I am, and I know that, but I thought that would catch the attention of more people around us. My dad was like, “Is that really what he said?” So I (still loudly) said “He’s telling me I need to go running every morning.”

So I turned to the guy and said (yes, still loudly, and well enunciated) “That’s none of your business.” He got a little flustered and apologetic, but I continued, “You don’t just make comments on random strangers’ bodies.”

At that point we arrived at the stop where my dad was getting off, and after I said goodbye to him I moved to another part of the car. But I also took this picture, because people who harass others on the subway don’t deserve anonymity. If I knew this guy’s name I’d say it. I’d tag it and post it everywhere, so whenever someone Googled him this came up. But I don’t know his name, so all I have is a picture.

It’s just another reminder that if you dare to be fat in public — especially if you are a woman — your body is not yours. There are people who think that because you are out of the norm, you should hear their opinion and “suggestions” for your body and your life. Because they assume they can tell how you live based solely on how much adipose tissue resides on your body. Of course, this happened in a city that wants to legislate away fat through arbitrary things like soda and bake sale bans.

Luckily, I am very confident in my body — the one I’ve been living in for 29 years. I know that I am fat. I know my lifestyle, my health, my limits. I am not going to share any of that, because it’s no one’s business but mine. But because I am content with myself, I look back at this incident horrified at this guy’s gall, but not feeling any worse about myself. If I were more sensitive about my appearance, this might have ruined my day. I hope he’s never done that to anyone who might really suffer a blow to their self-esteem from it.