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

Footfalls & Presence


Have you ever noticed how some people simply have a much heavier footfall than others? I notice this often, actually. Perhaps part of it is being in a house with wood floors for the first time in my life. I have begun to notice more and more that the more confident a person is (or appears to be I should say) the heavier their footfall is or sounds. My own? Tentative. *Sigh*

I consider myself confident and certainly won’t take shit from anyone. I go about the world taking up the exact amount of space I need and make no apologies for it anymore. So why is my footfall so cautious? I think it is because I don’t want to announce my presence before entering a room. I don’t want to wake up my roommate or disturb anyone with my steps. In my own house…silly! I do this no matter where I am though. I walk most heavily when outside and that’s about it. I feel more firmly planted I suppose.

I recall my father making remarks to my mother about being a whale or my brother stomping through the house like an elephant. Perhaps this has made me walk a bit softer. I can’t say for sure. He’s never said anything to me on either topic (and he better fucking not ever!), but certainly this has had an impact on me whether I know it or not. As a kid I wanted to be Nadia Comăneci and would try to walk like her or how I assumed she would would. Later, I tried to walk with a ballet dancer’s gait. In the end, I let all of that go and just walked…however the hell I walk now.

I have no doubt that fat shame was part of why I walked softer in my old corporate job. I was always afraid of the cubicle walls shaking as I passed by the competitive-under-eaters in my office. I didn’t want to be noticed or singled out. Now I don’t know, perhaps it’s just that same shit different day type of thing. At work, at home, at friends homes and so on, I just keep myself to myself I guess. Never wanting to disturb or make waves…Fuck that!

My heart is punk and I should be making waves and tsunamis of revolution! I shouldn’t be concerned with how loud or heavy my footfall is! I should be shouting about the inequalities of the world and how we need to all speak up and out and not stop until things improve. Footfalls are unimportant, sure. But the reason for the lightness, the creation of them and their lasting imprint on the world? I should be making them for me. I should be planting my feet firmly in the direction I want to go and not look back or consider what others would never think about at all.

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6 Comments to

“Footfalls & Presence”

  1. On July 9th, 2012 at 12:37 pm Twistie Says:

    Sing it, Sister!

    This post makes me think of a line from Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she decides she needs to put on her ‘grown up stompy shoes’ to handle a situation. Sometimes we all need to make a noise and announce our presence.

    And what the hell does it say that at Casa Twistie the loudest footfalls come from Jake the Cat as he pounds his way down the staircase?

    Then again, what’s more confident than a securely loved cat? Not much!

  2. On July 9th, 2012 at 3:34 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Twistie: Heavy-footed kitty? Love it! No doubt that baby is smothered in affection. 🙂

  3. On July 9th, 2012 at 1:39 pm Kirsten Says:

    I know what you mean. If I’m indoors, anywhere, I walk toe-heel, instead of heel-toe, because it is quieter, and I’ve convinced myself that it’s more graceful. It’s probably just awkward, but hey, instead of being told I sound like an elephant (thank you mean ass boys from middle school and the teachers who heard and chose to do nothing) I get told all the time “You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that!” or “Geez, you’re sure sneaky!”. I just know they never add “for a fat person” to the end because it’s, you know, such an ANOMOLY that a fat person could be light in their feet. **roll eyes** My roommate is one of the worst sleepers ever, the slightest sound will rouse her, but I can ghost all over the house and right out the door without her ever knowing I was up. I’ve been there about 6 months now, and she only told me a couple weeks ago that it used to creep her out how I did that, move around like a ghost! But she said it’s proved to be great because I don’t wake her up!

    My breathing has also taken a fat hate bashing before too and because of it I breath so shallowly and hold my breath needlessly most of the time, that I have pretty poor blood oxygen levels when they measured. Possibly a reason I tire easily. And this became a habit when I was quite young and my father told me quite harshly to “stop breathing like a fat person”. He’d said ‘fat persn’ like it was the 2 filthiest words he knew, and even as a very young child (6-7) I instantly just knew he didn’t like fat people. But I was fat. I wanted him to like me, so despite allergicly reactive asthma and living in the Ohio Valley (highly poluted and loaded with smog and allergens……people with asthma have a hell of a time there) and it being summer when the humidity has everything running rampant, I made a conscious effort to not breath like a fatty. I assumed that meant breathing heavily, making some noisy intake/exhalation, probably wheezing. So I adjusted my breathing to the kind you use when you’re playing hide-n-seek in the house: stupidly shallow and holding your breathe for extended periods so the seeker wouldn’t know they were right by you.

    To be honest I think that’s partly where some of my hatred for intense aerobic exercise comes in, because it makes me breath “like a fat person”.

  4. On July 9th, 2012 at 3:34 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Kirsten: Interesting. I haven’t encountered he breathing “like a fat person” thing before. I’ve heard “mouth-breather” as an insult, though. I’m guessing it’s similar? That’s tragic though, to feel a need to change your breathing patterns?! I suck at hide and seek purely because I want to laugh sooooo hard that I usually end up laughing super loud or dying from an urge to pee (anticipation/suspense!). Ha-ha! Have you tried relaxation/breathing exercises? I have found that I don’t even realize that I’m slouching and breathing shallow until someone says something or I stretch. Then it’s like *bang* oh yeah! I am not doing this right! Ugh! I love your sneaky-ness though. Sounds rad! I also walk toe to heel indoors. And I have heard of the graceful fat person as both aspiration and myth. 🙂

  5. On July 10th, 2012 at 3:55 am Cia Says:

    This post reminds me of a night several years ago, when a friend and I spontaneously started stomping around like elephants while listening to White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. We should do that more – training the feet to know it’s ok for them to make sound! 😀

  6. On July 10th, 2012 at 11:32 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Cia: That sounds like a fantastic night! You gotta stomp to that song, anyway! 🙂

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