Thursday, 26 February 2009

And today I overheard...

So, this morning I was walking to work and caught a snippet of conversation from behind me. In a male voice talking about an image where a woman was bent over a table. I was like, "Oh shit, what ass-hattery today?". He's describing this image in detail and I'm trying to walk faster to get out of hearing range, then he says "And it was totally demeaning to the women". His friend says "Yeah, it's disghusting". Guy one again "You couldn't even see her face, it was awful. And then there's the advert where..."

Two young men walking down the street discussing a range of adverts in a feminist light.

It kinda made my day.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What we teach fat children.

So, after work I went into the canteen/cafe on campus for my dinner. I bought my meal and sat down at one of the comfy tables, intending to eat my dinner and read a little before I headed to anime society. Unfortunatley, where I was sat, I couldn't help but overhear the conversation of the two women on the table next to me. One of the women was remenissing to the other, talking about a girl she knew in high school.

You see, this girl she knew in high school was fat. This was horrible, horrible and disghusting. She was the worst person in the world, in the eyes of the narator. She was fat, and she wasn't trying to loose weight. Anecdotes recalled include that this girl used to drink high-sugar drinks other then when she was directly engaging in physical exercise so the sports teacher had to tell her to stop (that stupid fatty didn't know what was good for her). When they had a fitness day, this girl didn't even want to share all her details for public disection, because she knew she was fat. This girl dared to admit to eating pizza instead of piles of veg for every meal, how disghusting. This girl talked to the boys, which was stupid because anyone could see because she was so fat and disghusting they wouldn't be interested in her. The narator wasn't shallow, or a bitch, because if this disghusting fat girl had a pretty face, it would have been ok. If she'd just been chubby, like the narator and her friends, that would be fine, but she wasn't. She was fat. And, furthermore, this girl didn't just sit back and accept that she should be bullied and tormented because she was fat but complained about the people calling her fat, that bitch.

So I sat there through this story, there with my dish in front of me, and I know that in high school I was that girl. The disghusting fat girl. THAT is why I believe my own body is so disghusting to other people that they'll be repulsed by it, because for the longest time it was. I know the narator. Not her, of course, but others like her. I know Paula, who stopped talking to me when I was 10 because she didn't want a fat friend. I know Stew who called me fat. I still remember getting taunted when I tried to be in the school play, people yelling at my across the hall to be careful to not break the stage.

What those people did to that girl, what those people did to me, that's never acceptable. It hurt me in ways I don't even understand some days. It hurt me in ways which, 13 years and 200 miles later, will cause me when listening to these women to be back in those days. To be that awkward teenage girl in my school uniform trying to hide behind the desk, knowing I'll never be accepted. It can still acuse me to sit there, staring at my pea soup, not knowing if I want to cry or throw up, but too scared to move. I sat there, forcing my food down as quickly as I could, even though I felt physically ill from listening to them, because I couldn't afford to throw the food away, couldn't manage to move, and just wanted it over as soon as possible.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to stand up and look at that women and tell her she was the worst kind of human being. I wanted to make her understand, to understand what it is to have no friends. To understand what it is to have everyone hate you for your body, to hate your own body every day. I want to tell that what it is to be told by the media, by the goverment, by your family, by people on the street, how easy it is to change when you can't. To be told that you're how you are because you're lazy and worthless.

Lazy, worthless and disghusting.

But I didn't. I could already see the scorn in their eyes, hear the retorts on their lips. I'm still just that horribly worthless lazy disghusting fatty to them, and I always will be.

I don't want one more kid to grow up to be me, but we're busy raising yet another generation who, in 13 years, are going to be eating their dinner, overhear these conversation, and realise that there's something damaged in them, under the surface but never quite healed, a hatred of their own body based on what society thinks about their weight.

Monday, 16 February 2009

A collection of anger

The BBC's pissing me of today. To start with, they use an image of a woman of colour eating a piece of fried chicken linked ot an article about KFC creating new jobs. Because, you know, fried chicken is what them black folks eat, lol. Though I suppose I should give them props for having an image of a woman actually putting food in her mouth without an overt statement about it being disghusting.

Then we get this - Uk to shift anti-terror strategy. Seems that the goverment have decided the best way to comabt terrorists is to target anyone who is muslin and says islam isn't compatible with current western morals and call them unislamic. To start with, who on earth do the goverment think they have the right to say to a bunch of muslims who is and isn't muslim? Second, never know it was against the law to have a belief. Who are they going to take acton against yet? Anyone who expresses a communist or anti-capitalist sentiment. Anyone who criticises the modern status-quo and advocates moving away from it?

Will be writing to my MP about it once I get a reply to my last e-mail, a reasponse to a letter circulated in the local area blaming every problem in the local area on student tennants and advocating putting a limit on the number of houses in the area that could be let to students. Hello, students in an area aren't the problem.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

I have made a decision, I want to get fit. I'm not fit now, I pant when I walk up the stairs. This summer I'm going to an anime convention which involves camping, and will no doubt involve a lot of running around with water guns and other sillyness, and I don't want to be the person who has to go and sit out after ten minutes because they're not fit.

The problem I'm coming across is how much, in our society, we equate fit with thin.

I'm not trying to loose weight.

I mean, since I'm planning on changing my activity routine, it's only natural that my body will change too. I can already see the knowing looks from my mother. The approving nod from the doctor "Well, you still need to loose weight, but aren't you doing well". The "compliments", the comments. But I don't want any of that.

Then I'd like a support group. I'd like people I can chat to about ways to increase my activity level while having fun. Gyms are right out, to start with. I will be judged if I go and take a fitness class, not because I'm fat but because I'm "trying to get thin". They'll look at me and they won't think "Oh, she'd trying to get so she can run up the stairs at work and not loose her breath" but "Oh, good, she'd trying to loose the fat."

Well, I'm not. I am NOT trying to loose weight.

Then there's online communities, but they're all the same. I'm a stats nut so I'd love a site that let me put my fitness stats in every day and see how they change over time and chat to people about exercise and what's fun...but I can't because every site I've found that lets me do this comes coupled with weight loss. They want to know my pounds and inches and how thin I want to be and what I ate today. I can't join these sites as it's a small step from using it for the fitenss side to "I might as well put in my food too, just for me own records" to "Oh, but I already had x-calories today, I can't have that chocolate bar I'm craving" to "Oh, but I'm doing so well today, if I only skip dinner then I'll beat yesterday's score for my calories".

Aren't there any resources out there for fat-possitive girls who want to talk about dance classes and progress in feeling fitter with other people who don't give a shit about how much you weigh?