Let’s just go ahead and state the obvious. Imma fat bitch. I’m not just saying that because I think I’m fat, I actually am fat. I’m not saying it to be down on myself, I’m not using the term to define myself, and I most certainly don’t say it as a negative aspect of who I am. It’s just a fact. I am perfectly fine with it, I am comfortable in my own skin, and I own it.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in life. Just like everyone I went through my awkward teenage phase where I hated everything about myself. My hair was gross, my skin was grosser, I had to wear glasses because they didn’t really have contacts for astigmatism yet, I have always had wider hips than my friends, and I’m short.
When I was in middle school I once had a nervous breakdown because I refused to go to the 8th grade pool party the next day without board shorts to wear over my bathing suit. My mom had to drive around to about four different stores until I found a pair that matched and fit well enough for me. (Looking back it was definitely an obsessive outburst, but we didn’t really know anything about that sort of thing yet.) I was so concerned with the size and brand and look of my clothes that it nearly drove me insane. Of course, when I came home upset about not being popular or having more friends, my dad didn’t help when he would tell me that if I took better care of myself and looked better I would have more friends. I’m not sure if he meant it as constructive criticism, or if he seriously thought he was helping, but he just made me feel even more inadequate, and worse yet, undeserving.
(Side note to any dads, present or future: NEVER TELL A TEENAGE GIRL (or boy for that matter) THAT SHE NEEDS TO LOOK/DRESS/ACT BETTER OR DIFFERENT in order for people to like her more. JUST DON’T. Seriously.)
Moving forward to high school, I had another nervous breakdown in K-mart because I went from a size 7 to a 9. (Being an 18/20 now, I laugh at the idea!) The summer before my senior year I started taking birth control and gained the typical “10-15lbs,” no big deal, except that I flipped out a tiny bit and all but starved myself to get back down below 110. My senior year in high school was the first time they put me on antidepressants; the first ones made my blood pressure drop so that I would nearly faint when standing, and the second made me gain 20lbs in two weeks. I really flipped out then and took myself off of them. (Coincidentally, I had also recently seen Beautiful Mind and decided mind over matter, but that’s a story for another post.)
In the years that followed I switched birth controls trying to find the right one that worked for me and what I wanted (mainly, no period) and I landed on Depo-Provera. Apparently I’m not the only one who has had the same issue with this particular birth control, but I gained the “10-15lbs” with every shot, and at a time when my body and metabolism was also changing. By the time I realized what was going on I had gained over 80lbs. I can only assume that the combination of all those things has made it nearly impossible for me to loose the weight. I’ve dieted, nearly starved myself, worked out, been so ill that I literally couldn’t eat, and still not been able to shift more than a few pounds. Granted I haven’t really gained any more either, no matter my activity level nor eating habits. Once I got out of a not-quite-the-greatest relationship I learned to be content in my body and realized that mine was the only opinion that mattered concerning what I looked and felt like. I was in my early 20’s and had just moved away from home really for the first time.
In college, after embracing my awesome curvaciousness, when I would say that I’m fat I would get the “No, you’re not!” or “Don’t say that!” I’m over here like, “Um, dude…I have to lift my belly roll to shave my cooch…I’m fat.” To get at my bikini area I’ve got to do my best impersonation of a splits to even get at the crease, then pull at my skin to keep the razor from just bringing all the fat with it and actually shave the hairs. There’s no escaping the fatness of it all. Not using the word doesn’t make it go away. “Possitive thinking” doesn’t make it go away.
I think my favorite part of being an attractive fat person is when someone describes me as being “cute in the face,” or having “gorgeous eyes,” or “fantastic tits.” Like I can’t just regular be beautiful or cute or even sexy; only certain parts of me are attractive, not all of me. That being said, I am aware of the entire subculture of people attracted to bellies and the like. I’ve even met some…but even then it’s only about the fetish and my body and the sex. Not really me as a person. I have yet to find a happy balance, and to be perfectly honest I’m not looking, and I don’t care anymore. I’ve sort of become A-sexual. Looking into it a little more, I’ve learned that “switching off” like that can actually be a side effect of BPD. Not caring about it seems better than being in a mania induced, uncontrollable state of horniness with no one to help out.
There is a flip side to this as well, being too thin. I know a few people who try to gain weight and aren’t able to. They get called anorexic when they are anything but. It seems we as humans, especially Americans, do everything we can to judge everyone else based on how they look. It takes time and training but it is possible to unlearn all of those habits and social behaviors we unfortunately grow up to have. Just keep in mind, everything that you hate about yourself, everyone else hates about themselves as well. (Something everyone should have learned watching Mean Girls!) Maybe not the same exact things, but something. It’s very simple and should be considered common courtesy, but just be kind to other people. Don’t point out their shortfalls, they’ve probably already done it more times than you can count. You never know how one off hand negative comment can ruin someone’s day, or how far a small compliment can go to brighten it.
Be kind to yourselves and each other; love you awesome nerds!