Funnily enough I was contemplating what to write about next for this blog, but I needed not despair as a great topic came along in one of the health WeChat groups I am part of. Before last week I had never been “fat shamed”, and I am positive this was not personally aimed at me. But I felt the need to respond. I will call this guy “Mister X” and I will quote verbatim how the conversation unfolded:
“And if you are fat as f*** and want to loose weight you will be stuck with flying squirrel skin”
Now I should have not put my two cents in but frankly, you can’t be calling people “fat as f***.” So I said:
“Mister X I am fat as f*** as you describe it, a bit harsh way to put it.”
Things escalated from there and some very uneducated, discriminatory things were said. These were the best quotes of this Mister X:
“Now that you know you are fat as…its time to change”
“Being fat is ridiculously selfish, to yourself and to society. Yes and their body being different needs to eat different things. But what’s the excuse to being fat as f***.. oh their body reacts differently to refined sugar and carbs? Or is it reacting differently to salads?”
“the point is the information is out there and one is responsible for themselves and should seek help and knowledge. Fat people use more water to shower and they over eat to full their larger stomach and they are a burden on tax payers in socialist countries that provide healthcare”
“They are not stuck in anything. They created that body. They made their bed and now they have to sleep in it. “
I could not believe my eyes. I have a very thick skin (no pun intended.) I have worked in kitchens for 15 years, I am used to any kind of verbal abuse. But I have never received any kind of “fat shaming” before, since my weight and health have spiraled out of control. I don’t know why I responded that morning but I did, and I regretted it. I was by myself in the office, when my boss and colleagues came in I was crying bitter tears. I was shocked and so saddened that people like this exist; it was an awakening. I knew about fat shaming and internet trolls, but I never have been on the receiving end. Maybe I was having a bad day, but I cried like a child. I cried for the meanness in the world, I cried for other overweight people, and I cried because there are people out there that see me, and think these things.
I need to add that the rest of the group had some amazing comments regarding this Mister X and he was removed from the group. But harm was done already. My colleagues were amazing, and I had never seen my boss and the IT guy at work so feisty. This made me smile through my tears.
I feel like I should not have to explain this but here it goes anyway: Yes I am fat, I can call myself “fat as f***.” But you can not. Never can you say things like this about overweight people. We don’t know people’s stories, we don’t know why they are overweight. We don’t know what fight they are fighting. We can’t make assumptions because of how people look. It’s discriminatory, and it’s very dangerous.