posted by meowser
Way to go, fellow fatasses and honorary fatasses! The pushback against the M***a K***y thing has been a thing to see! Everybody keep on kissin’!
My oh-two is as follows.
I’ve never been a good-old-days person particularly, but one thing I did appreciate about the time I grew up in is this: At least nobody back then pretended that revulsion towards fat people was about anything except aesthetics. I’d much rather be blatantly hated because someone thinks I’m ugly, than have it couched in a bunch of concern-for-your-health horsehockey. Because if you assume I’m fat because I don’t care about people, only food, and that my size makes me ipso facto self-destructive, then you are telling me I am not a reliable witness to my own experience. That no matter what I say about my life, it must be a lie, because all fatties, every single one of us, to a person, are incapable of honesty, people whose word is not to be trusted.
Let me tell you, as a member of the We With Mental Health Iss-Yews Community, that that basically amounts to killing us.
Remember Lauren Slater? I wrote about her a few months back, about how she wrote an article saying she’d rather risk suicide than be fat because of the meds that keep her from craving death. Think she’s the only one? Look, every fucking day I ask myself, is it time to discontinue? Not because my meds aren’t working. They are, oh my gods yes they are. But because I worry about being asked to buy a second airline seat. And because I worry about being rejected before anyone knows anything about me as a person because they think my body size makes me fundamentally dishonest and lacking in knowledge. And because I worry that I’ve blown my chances to be everything I could possibly be, because I’ve just assumed — not without a fair amount of justification — that my talents would never be appreciated because of what I look like, no matter how good I got. And because I worry that all of that means that I will be one of the old people who has to live on cat food, should I survive another 15 years or so.
In other words, I am forced to choose between life and thinness, and being strongly pressured to value the latter over the former. I know for sure I’d have been about six sizes smaller if I’d never seen a doctor in my life; I’d probably also have been hospitalized at least once a year for trying to do myself in until I finally succeeded. (Think that’s cheap, all you MY INSURANCE BLAAARGH folks out there?) Take your pick: I can either be dead, I can be much thinner and not the slightest bit functional, or I can be the size of a Buick and actually function. Buicks are pretty damn functional, you know.
And if you, the M***a K***ys of the world, are putting pressure on me to risk my own life for a shot at thinness, you don’t give a flying bat crap about my health. You might as well just say it: You really should kill yourself, fatass, at least I won’t have to look at you. You would have said it in eighth grade and you probably still think it, so go ahead. Show your true colors.
And the stuff about comparing us to addicts and alcoholics is just hilarious, really. I mean, come on. Unless you only listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and watch only fundamentalist TV, chances are that a goodly percentage of the people whose creative works you love, including the performers whose faces you love to see, dissipate themselves or abuse their bodies anywhere from a little to a lot. The very idea that we ban all but the cleanest livers from the airwaves and from art and music and literature…that’s a joke, right? I mean, sure, if you’re an Amy Winehouse fan you probably worry some that she’ll OD (again), and Winehouse has certainly had her share of detractors — including Natalie Cole, who apparently believes that if someone had withheld a Best New Artist Grammy from her when she was neck-deep in junk herself, she (Cole) might not be facing the life-threatening health problems she has today. But it’s not like Winehouse is banned from the airwaves or anything. And if you like her, it’s not like you’re going to pass on her next album, right?
That’s the thing. For fat people, there is no next album, because there’s never been a first album. If we don’t like your looks, you can fuck straight off. You won’t even be given a chance to show what you can do. And conversely, if we do like your looks, it doesn’t much matter to us what you had to do to get them, or what you do to your body otherwise. Heck, in my other bloglife, I write about a TV show where people — even pregnant women — smoke and drink like they get a $10 spiff for each drag or chug; yes, it’s set in the past, before we supposedly got All Concerned About People’s Health, but people are watching it today, and they’re under no illusion that everyone involved is a goody-two-shoes in real life. In fact, show creator Matt Weiner has said (per the comment tracks on the season 1 DVDs) that he doesn’t want actors who have never smoked to be cast as smoking characters, even if they’re smoking herbals on screen, because it doesn’t look authentic.
So really, don’t give me that “we of course only want to look at perfect people with perfect habits” crap. “We of course want to look only at young, thin, fully abled people with symmetrical WASPy features, even if we make people chop 20 years off their lives to try to look that way” is more like it. My mom cares about my health. You, the M***a K***ys of the world, do not.