Ladies, let's talk frankly, shall we?
Who among us is exactly the size she really, deep down in her heart, wants to be? That's right: very damn few. Most of us would very much like to look like this:
when the unfortunate fact is that we not only don't, we probably never will. The lovely Ms Alexander, after all, has the benefit of a great deal of money and free time in which she can afford a personal trainer, probably a well-equipped home gym, and somebody else to mind the kids/dog/bills/house cleaning/cooking/etc. while she spends hours in the gym getting her legs to look like that. You and I, on the other hand, are struggling to make ends meet and barely have time to get in a few jumping jacks, much less a two or three hour session with Hans and Franz. Am I right?
So let's talk fat.
Shopping For Fatties 101
Rule 1: Don't expect to find anything that fits anywhere, and that includes Lane Bryant.
Rule 2: If you do happen to find something that fits, expect it to look like something your grandmother would have worn around the house.
Rule 3: If you by some crazy miracle happen to find something that not only fits but looks cute on you, expect it to cost half your monthly salary.
Rule 4: If you wear above a size 16, do not ever embark on a shopping trip with the expectation of still having any sense of self-worth by the time it's done. I don't care if you're just shopping for shoes. Fat women are not allowed to have self-worth, especially when engaging in skinny-girl activities like shopping.
Family For Fatties 101
Rule 1: Your family loves you just the way you are, except that they just really want you to be happy and they are really concerned about your health.
Rule 2: Your size is extremely important to everyone around you, especially if you happen to want a second helping of anything delicious being served at a meal. Most especially if it's a family holiday and someone has cooked your favorite dish.
Rule 3: Do not expect to leave any family gathering with any sense of self-worth at all, because fat women are not allowed to have self-worth, especially when engaging in skinny-girl activities like eating or socializing.
Dating For Fatties 101
Rule 1: Guys think fat girls are easy lays because they're fat and therefore deaperate for sex/love/attention.
Rule 2: That saying about fat girls and mopeds? Guys believe that, too.
Rule 3: Fat-friendly dating sites are full of fetishists and guys who are into erotic feeding (read: they want to make you even more fat.) This, by the way, is not a joke.
Rule 4: Fat women are not allowed to date unless the person they are dating is either using them for sex or interested in them only because of their fat. Dating is a skinny-girl activity.
So what are fat girls allowed to do?
You're welcome to sit at home on your computer and write House fanfiction.
You're allowed to watch movies, as long as they are rented from Netfllix or iTunes (because movie theaters are a skinny-girl activity). Oh, and you also have to not mind that, while it's no longer okay to mock people of color in movies, and while it's increasingly not okay to mock LGBTQ people in movies, it's DEFINITELY still okay to make fun of fat women in movies.
Oh, you don't believe me?
Shallow Hal. Big Momma's House. Hairspray. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Any movie in which Eddie Murphy puts on a fatsuit. Austin Powers. The list goes on.
More things you need to know about being fat.
1) A study performed at the University of Vermont showed that women of size experience discrimination in the areas of hiring, promotions, and even firing because of their size.
2) According to the CDC, more than 57% of American adults are overweight. About half of those people are considered obese.
3) Bariatric surgery is one of the most-requested surgeries in America. In 2002, the incidence of bariatric surgery rose 40%, to 80,000. In 2003, that number nearly doubled, jumping to 120,000. Fast-forward to 2007: 205,000. 2008: 220,000. 2009: estimated at a whopping 350,000. Further, when followed for ten years post-surgery, 20.4% of morbidly obese and 34.9% of super obese bariatric patients gained their weight back.
Why are we fat?
There are a lot of reasons. Genetic factors especially play a big part. But why is obesity on such a sharp rise? I bet you know, if you've been grocery shopping recently. (Oh, as an aside: grocery shopping without being judged for the contents of your cart is DEFINITELY a skinny-girl activity.)
Don't believe me? Another study, this time at the University of Washington, found that healthy eating costs an average of $36.32 PER PERSON PER DAY, versus an average of $3.52 per person per day for stuff that will make you fat, sick or both.
That Lunchable you sent your kid off to school with? Grilled chicken, sounds healthy, right? Not so much. Try 390 calories, 10 grams of fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 56 grams of carbohydrates and 750 mg of sodium. Most of them are much worse; the Mini Beef Taco Wrapz, for example, have 450 calories, 10 grams of fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 71 grams of carbs, and 960 mg of sodium. How many of you ladies remember taking Lunchables to school yourself when you were young? I was in middle school when they were first introduced, and I remember stacks of them in the back of the refrigerator. We loved Lunchables, didn't we? And Mom loved them because they were cheap: they run between two and five dollars.
So what's the point?
The point is, being fat sucks. It sucks hard. It affects your entire life, from family and friend relationships to dating to your career. Being overweight is a self-sustaining condition; who among us hasn't resorted to sticking something delicious in our mouths when we're feeling down? And who feels down more than a fat girl who has just tried to engage in some normal activity like trying to buy a !&$#^ pair of pants?
Some friends and I have started a weight loss blog. We're using it to talk about what we're doing to try and improve ourselves, from the size to the psychological and everything in between. You're welcome to check it out: http://weather-girlz.blogspot.com/
Even if you don't, just remember: if you're a big girl like me, you're not by yourself. And yeah, it sucks. And no, nobody has the right to make fun of you for it. Especially not f*ing Eddie Murphy.