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Fat Shaming Double Team

So I got into a fight on the train. That was fun. I sat down next to a woman who was in the mood to do some fat shaming. It happens from time to time. Being a woman of a certain size, I take up a certain amount of space. Occasionally, people don't like to share, and feel compelled to yell at me and my "fat ass" for sitting too close to them. Whatev.

The thing that surprised me was how little I cared. I sat down, and this woman said something snarky about my "fat ass." And I turned, looked her in the eye, and calmly said "fuck you." She started getting riled and proudly announced that I didn't know what kind of an asshole she could be if she was so inclined (I may not know, but I've got a pretty good guess). I said she started it, she said no, I started it by touching her when I sat down (she was taking two seats, BTW, and had ample space next to her to slide over. And yes, it *was* the only empty seat on the train). I let her have the last word, and that was the end of that.

And it struck me: Sure, I was pissed, but I wasn't really mad -- mostly, I just didn't give a shit. Not scared, not fuming, no blood pressure surging -- just calmly refusing to let some douchenozzle treat me like crap.

It's been that way for a while now. Remember when I broke up with aaronbenedict? I called him on the phone, told him that it was over, talked for a bit, and then said goodbye and went to class. Made it through class with only a few momentary lapses in concentration, too. A handful of friends called or emailed in the days following to make sure that I was OK, and I was. I was fine.

Is this perimenopause? Are fading hormones calming my once unpredictable emotions? Or maybe it's just getting older. I kinda feel like I have seen it all at this point. Or maybe something else? I don't know.

But you know what did piss me off? This poster, directly across the aisle from me:



Can we deconstruct this a bit?

I know that that woman is a paid model, and I'd bet that, like me on my "gluttony" day with Law & Order, she was just glad to get a call for some paid employment. Everyone on the shoot that day was probably very nice to her -- they usually are. But does anyone disagree with me that the subtext of this ad is "Ugh! You don't want to end up like her!"

This ad campaign has already come under fire for other things. Like "ZOMG if you drink soda they're gonna cut off your leg like they did to this guy!" Except that they didn't. Fat is so deadly that we had to use PhotoShop to prove it to you!

This campaign purports to be about healthy eating, but it's really about fat shaming. If it were really about making healthy food choices, they wouldn't need the boogeyman of the fat people as cautionary tales. Because P.S. there's plenty of skinny people who eat like crap too. Isn't that unhealthy for them? Or just us fatty fattersons?

It was just incredibly ironic timing, that I would be staring at one of those "Yo! Ugly fatty!" ads at the same time that some obnoxious bitch would feel the need to yell at me for taking up more space that she personally feels that I deserve. I said it once tonight, and I'll say it again: Fuck you.

Comments

furious_mold
Feb. 24th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
A while ago, when I was still on Facebook, I made a post about how I noticed women doing the "Oh no, I shouldn't..." when faced with tempting food choices during Italian Days in Bloomfield. Someone I know commented and it turned into a debate (about unhealthy food) where I basically said, "All I'm saying is, every once in a while, people should indulge their cravings. There is nothing wrong with eating a pastry or a meatball sandwich during a food festival. I see a lot of people, especially women, deny themselves things like this and it's getting old. Eat what you want!" I didn't want it to turn into the "obesity in America" debate, but the person made it that way - he said something like, "The problem is people are eating what they want, and too much of it. Fat people are sick people. Period.". I remember trying not to get into the debate because I didn't want to, but I pointed out that skinny people could be sick people too and they can also make poor food choices. He said something like, "This isn't about teen girls who starve themselves to look like models. I could care less about them. Fat people need serious food and nutrition education." That statement angered me because, I do kind of care about all of those young girls. I also agree that nutrition education is an issue, but not because of fat people.

The other thing that used to get to me on Facebook was this one guy who would post things like, "It's your fault you have diabetes, so don't whine to me!" Then he would post about how we all need to do yoga, be less negative, and eat vegan cuisine for social change and weight loss. Um...

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