NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

When will it stop hurting? (By Fattiboombalatti)

September22

When will it stop hurting?

I’m doing the work, taking fatty back, owning the name and feeling confident in my body, in the space I take up, my largess, my rippling waves of undulating life… owning that, flaunting it, embracing the power that emanates.  So in these empowered spaces I read a book, watch a TV show, open a magazine and sometimes fat hatred comes out of nowhere,  a violence dealt with a careless blow and it leaves you with a chestful of air that won’t expel… If I have some inkling of what it’s going to be, or said or done my defense system is moderating on all channels and purging the malcontented viruses as they appear in my midst. But sometimes that system is shut down for repairs, or for regeneration, sometimes I am my naked face and its then that the insidious fat hate, the hatred of all that I am can come in again and leave me so breathless with eyes prickling, shoulders hunching and once again I can be that girl on the field, in class, on the bus, who was that object of ridicule.

The other day I was watching the new premiere of “How I Met Your Mother”,  I am not a big fan, in fact I don’t even have cable, it’s just something on and sometimes it’s funny. This happened to be the premiere and within the space of 5 minutes “Barney” laid the track down for not one but two fat bombs. The first one was, “ What if this tie gets fat and old and I don’t want this tie anymore?” meaning the woman he was about to marry.  Then within a few minutes he loudly proclaims in the bar, “except for fatties!”… The first joke I was just shocked but snorted like whatever , the second time I it was just like someone dumped water on me. Overwhelmed with new feelings of sadness, shame and  shame for all the FAT girls sitting in their own living rooms hearing these fucking stupid jokes, while their thin families, friends, boyfriends, wives, all roar in the standard appreciative laughter…” ha ha ha ha… yeah Barney, you tell EM! NO FATTIES!!” The shame of that; of having to laugh along with your company to the jokes that demean who you are, that makes you the last stop, the utter desperate resort… beyond redemption, humanity or hope. Then you might feel more shame about feeling shame at all, like it’s just a joke, right? What’s the big deal? But you and I know a little more of your beautiful darling glistening soul shrunk more into her conch shell, fell back deeper into the coral, being told that you. Are. Not. Worthy of love.  And if you are thin you better not fuck up and get fat because if you do that will be your husbands’ worst nightmare and he will leave you. The message? Fat people are not worthy of love. How could this possibly be just a harmless little joke?!?!?!

Maybe I am putting too much leverage on a stupid comedy sitcom, I mean I invited it into my house, but that’s a microcosm of the whole thing. We, as fatties try to surround ourselves with messages that are not the dominant paradigm (if we have survived enough to get to the point where we find them…. So many others are still stuck in the old culture, killing themselves on an impossible dream), we surround ourselves with blogs and friends and websites which tell us a very different story. But sometimes, one sneaks in like this show for a shitty uppercut.  When will I no longer be affected by things like this? It’s like having a glass jaw, a constant inherent weakness in the OK of me… but then again, if it got to the point where I no longer cared… is that really the goal? To be totally inured to the taunts and jingles of others? Shouldn’t I be doing something more? To stay fragile and awake and alive and to fight the very things that are inherent prejudice in our world?

So I guess I am working on that, to remain effective but without the anxiety. To be clear without the internalization and to stand up when we see these things and consistently denounce them.

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14 Comments to

“When will it stop hurting? (By Fattiboombalatti)”

  1. On September 22nd, 2011 at 10:27 am Veronica Says:

    I think you really hit home for a lot of us with this post, I know you did for me. I wish I had an answer or a coping mechanism to share, but I think you and I are in too similar places in our journeys for that.
    I try to comfort myself with the fact that the strongly and blatantly hostile way fat people are treated in most societies can’t go on forever, simply because it’s not trying to hide in any way, and therefore is impossible to ignore when pointed out. I just hope the major shift comes in my lifetime.

  2. On September 22nd, 2011 at 10:33 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Veronica: Yes, I agree. Fattiboomblatti really hit my heart with this post, too!

  3. On September 22nd, 2011 at 2:31 pm withoutscene Says:

    It sucks and it’s hell, but I don’t think it’s bad that you were affected by this. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing this, stupid fat hate jokes are going to get to you sometime. They are a reminder of the gigantic web of fat hate out there, which is always trying to hold us back, shame us, rub our noses in the mud. And sometimes you’re going to have to feel that shame, and grieve about it, and write about it for awhile, and process it. And it’s not fair. But it’s also not wrong to feel wounded–that’s the object of the fat hate game, after all. You’re not a failure if you feel wounded, you are a hero for all the times you take such negative energy and transform it, all the times you *do* feel strong enough to turn that shame into the anger that motivates you to move forward and fight.

    In those moments, we feel small. It may make us feel like a failure. But we are amazing. Living our lives, living liberation, people are gobsmacked at our audacity. And it’s sad that not hating ourselves, claiming our space, is so audacious, but in this world we are incredible.

  4. On September 23rd, 2011 at 9:16 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @withoutscene: That was so well said. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I know you’ve written about it as well and I remember giving a lot of thought to that post. While I didn’t write the post (Fattiboomblatti did), I can certainly identify with the feelings discussed there in. I did in fact watch that episode (I’m a big fan of the show), but I did not get those same feelings, more of a simple disappointment than anything else. Not sure what that means. Am I giving HIMYM a free pass? It’s what I’ve come to expect from that show? Or am I used to the BS fat jokes? There was also a comment by “Barney” in the show when speaking of a wedding in the mid west (I forget the state now), “You can start the line here ladies, no fatties. Oh wait, it’s (insert state name here)? Okay, start the line here ladies.” and I thought that was interesting. Because it’s a specific state it’s suddenly okay for fatties to fuck him? Hmm…

  5. On September 22nd, 2011 at 3:23 pm Twistie Says:

    Oh, Fattiboomblatti, THIS. So much THIS.

    But as hard as it is living with the constant stings of a world determined to tell me I shouldn’t be, that I’m disgusting simply for existing; the only thing I can think of that would be worse would be to live in a world where I hear and see these messages without them hurting. I used to live in that world, and I am never fucking going back.

    This one may be hard, but the other was ignorant. This one may hurt, but I know enough to speak out against the hate.

    I’d rather keep bleeding than go back to blithe thoughtlessness and insensitivity.

    All the same, hurting sucks.

  6. On September 22nd, 2011 at 7:09 pm Mulberry Says:

    It will stop hurting when most fatties feel good enough about themselves to march forth and take back the piece of the world that’s been lately denied us. IOW, when we as a group get angry and express our anger and refuse to be shamed out of it. When we are listened to. When we don’t try to fit in according to someone else’s rules.
    I don’t know when this will happen. Fat acceptance has been around for at least 40 years. Other groups that fought for civil rights and won (at least on paper) the battle. And yes, those groups still have to fight. Sometimes it feels that we as fat people have not even started the battle – en masse, I mean, not as individuals.
    All I can suggest is to ditch the tv. What good is an entertainment medium where you hardly ever see yourself reflected? Don’t we get enough crap from other media?

  7. On September 22nd, 2011 at 9:27 pm Lori Says:

    To be honest things like this used to make me feel shame then sadness then white hot rage. I totally deserve love, you deserve love, everybody deserves love… well perhaps apart from the Barney’s of the world. I would rather be fat than a bigot actually I would rather be fat, ugly, stupid and smell of urine than a narrow minded bigot who hates based on appearance. I am rarely called fat to my face or in public by strangers my mum says I ooze confidence which makes people nervous of insulting me plus I have a rapier wit and a tongue like a razer blade I dont tend to be insulted by the same person twice.
    I have no cure for the hurt feelings but if it gets really bad look in the mirror, stare yourself right in the eye and list all your wonderful qualities, every achievement you are proud of then what you love about your body and face. I find it is a really effective way of taking back my pride and desirability. I wish every fat person on the planet could see their true worth, their inner beauty and secret strength which comes from dealing with this type of hate. I honestly wish I could reach through the screen and give you a massive hug and take away the hurt. Lori x

  8. On September 23rd, 2011 at 3:16 am KattyBoombalatti Says:

    Why is my greatest hope (always) that someday I’ll be skinny?? (not that I’ll cure cancer, fall in love or even to simply have enough money to pay all my bills oneday?!) ~ And WHY, (if I possess the power to GET SKINNY)… WHYYY DO I KEEP FAILING to do the work it takes to make that dream come true?? I’m not a lazy person but I am a fearful. I’m not a sad person but I am depressed. I’m a beautiful woman but I feel ugly. WHYYYY does it FEEL like ALL MY WORTH is tied to whether I am THIN or NOT????? *DAMN, I am FRUSTRATED (!!!!!!!) and right now I feel like I HATE FOOD (or the way I abuse it to cope with life) I need some FREAKING PROFESSIONAL HELP but I can’t even ADMIT these FEELINGS to the world because IF I DO… it’s like I’m wearing a BULLS EYE an asking to get shot down by all the Fatty Haters!!! ~ TRUTH??? – I am a very isolated person. I hide away from life, hoping that one day I’ll get skinny and be able to HAVE a real life again!!! (I’m in the FAT CLOSET, so to speak!) and I have no grace for myself. *See, even now… I am making mind (fat) jokes AT MYSELF!!! (saying, “well it’s not that you WON’T COME out of the FAT CLOSET, it’s that you CAN’T FIT through the CLOSET DOOR anymore!”) or here’s another FAT CLOSET bit: (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) ~ *Don’t Ask (cause there’s no need, we can BOTH see that I’m FAT! *Don’t Tell (because my 13 cats love me anyway!) ~ Am I truly hopeless???????? ps ~ It feels like it will NEVER stop hurting just to BE ME!!!! * I am crying out for help but no one gives a sh*t…

  9. On September 23rd, 2011 at 9:22 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @KattyBoombalatti: You’re wrong, I care! I give a shit! I am not exactly sure why you chose this post or my blog to speak up, but I’m glad you did. You say you’re fearful, of what? Of empowering yourself? I’ve been there. But you’re worth every ounce of effort and love in this world. You just have to find a way to see that in yourself and accept who you are (including how you look) right now! Just as you are! It’s not easy, but it’s so very worth it. If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to drop me a line, I’m no professional, but a compassionate lady who is willing to listen without judgment. Email me: notblueatall@notblueatall.com

  10. On September 23rd, 2011 at 3:20 am KattyBoombalatti Says:

    PPS ~ FUCK BARNEY!!!!

  11. On September 25th, 2011 at 7:28 pm thirtiesgirl Says:

    Ms. Boombalatti: I hear you and I have the very same reaction to seemingly “typical” fat/old/women hating jokes on tv sitcoms that have been made for years. It’s NOT OK, no matter how many times tv writers and others try to tell us that it’s “standard humor,” that we “just need to lighten up,” “it’s not personal,” “it’s just a joke, we shouldn’t take it so seriously.” Like you, I *do* take it seriously because I’m the one the joke is about, I’m the one at whose expense the joke is being told.

    When I think about size activism, this is what I think about: these seemingly “typical” jokes that are tossed off as if “everyone knows they’re true.” Other size activists want to work on fat hatred in politics, in the medical industry, in the workforce. And those are all important, very valid areas in which size activism is very much needed. Me, I want to work on the media, on representations of fat people on tv, in magazines, in the news (no more headless fatties!), and, to a lesser extent, how we’re so vastly under-represented by the retail clothing industry. That’s what I’m most verbal about when I participate in size acceptance communities and blogs.

    …And yet, most of the time when I do, what I hear from other size activists is much the same as what I hear from tv writers, producers and the general public: “lighten up,” “it’s just a joke,” “it’s the media, you can’t take it so seriously,” “don’t let the media control you.” Which I’m always slightly incredulous to hear. I feel that if we *don’t* take it seriously, if we continue to let those stereotypical jokes roll by without comment, without action, they will only grow and continue, causing further damage to the general public’s perception of fat people.

    All of which is to say, like I said above, I hear you and agree with you. I’m just as affected by this b.s. as you are.

    That said, though, I’m guessing by your response in which you write that your greatest hope is to be thin, that you’re still relatively young. I say that because getting thin was my greatest hope, too, for many, many years. As I’ve aged and lived a bit more of life, that hope has fallen by the wayside. I’ve outgrown it and accepted that it’s just not going to happen. My genes dictate that my body is a certain size and shape, and that’s just not going to change.

    My greatest hope now is that I get better at accepting my body as it is. I’ve accepted that I’m not going to get thinner, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle with accepting my body as it is on an almost daily basis. Every once in a while, I’ll have a good day where I’m totally accepting of my body and myself, but it’s certainly not every day. My hope, my goal is that one day it will be, as much as possible. Thin is no longer the goal; acceptance is.

  12. On September 26th, 2011 at 9:52 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @thirtiesgirl: It wasn’t Fattboomblatti that said she wanted to be thin, it was a commenter “Katyboomblatti” who had said that. Easy mistake. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the subject here, as always! <3

  13. On September 26th, 2011 at 4:25 pm thirtiesgirl Says:

    Ach! Oops! My bad. Apologies. The above, then, is addressed to Ms. Katy.

  14. On September 26th, 2011 at 4:29 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @thirtiesgirl: No worries! =0)

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