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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

hopita
Feb. 24th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
Exactly! It falls under that same slippery heading "Everybody Knows." I made this comment in another post, but it reminds me of last winter, when I tore the tendons and ligaments in my ankle. Recovery took months. I went from crutches, to a cane, to walking, first with a limp, and then more evenly, but still very slowly. I wonder how many times in the course of a subway ride, or walk down the sidewalk, somebody saw me and thought "she's so fat she can't even walk." None of them knew that I'd gotten my foot stuck in a hole in the sidewalk, something that could happen to a person of practically any size. Culturally, we have it so ingrained into our heads that fat = unhealthy that it becomes the oft-made (and frequently erroneous) default assumption.

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