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.

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