Fat Shame

by Brittany on January 25, 2013

in Chubby Girl

Obesity is an epidemic. We see it all over the news. Overweight people with their heads cut off walking down the street. Fat kids with faces blurred just enough to maybe protect their identity, but not enough to tell they are actively eating food.

You see, we need to see that. We need to be told that this is what fat looks like, and oh, isn’t it gross. Because I swear to God, that is the only we any of us can possibly justify the way we treat and approach obese people.

I’m not here to talk about the effects of obesity on health, because I don’t know your health, and you sure as hell don’t know mine. But, I do want to give my totally honest and personal opinion on how we need to treat weight in this country.

I’ve seen Dara-Lynn Weiss doing the media tour this week, promoting her new book that chronicles her experience with putting her seven year old daughter on a diet, a topic she wrote about in Vogue magazine. I watch her interviews, and I hear over and over again how she treated her daughter’s medical issue with all the specialists, diets and calorie counting she could throw at it.

But she never once talked about how any of this made her daughter feel. Was she eating because she was bored? Being bullied at school? Ignored at home? Depressed?

Because that’s the thing, we have feelings. Not just hunger cravings or exhaustion, real life feelings.

Reminding me I’m fat, threatening me with being bullied because of my weight, providing me with no fashion options, shaming me at restaurants, mocking me on national television; that didn’t scare me into thinness, it locked me in a closet with my emotions and a secret stash of food.

Oh, you don’t want to see me eat, awesome, I’ll do it alone. And I did. I hid what you made me afraid to do. You solved nothing.

So what changed?

I’m healthier and have lost more weight in two years (psst. still a size 16, hope we can still be friends), than I have in my life, because I finally felt like I respected myself enough to be worth it.

Because when we teach people that they have value, that their feelings matter, and they have a beauty inside them worth respecting, they begin to believe it. True story.

I’m more active because I’m less afraid to leave my house. I eat less because I have shit to do, in cute clothes no less. I make better food choices because I finally, finally, love and appreciate the body I walk around in. Every fucking curve and dimple.

It took me way too long to figure that out by myself.

So, I’m here right now because I’m passionate (and pissed) about having someone who looks like me able to tell someone that looks like you, that you are good enough, as is. Period.

Where you go from here, up or down, it doesn’t matter, your happiness is not hinging on any of that. Right now you deserve love and friends and clothes and happiness and to never feel like you should be ashamed or disgusted with your body. People have a problem with it, it’s on them, you’re not the weirdo walking around staring at people’s skin, they are.

You see, that’s so much of the answer. Worth, compassion and respect. Show people how to respect themselves, by respecting them. This is kindergarten level shit, y’all.

Not Fat Shamed

And the next time you want to video tape a fat person for a news story to illustrate how gross we are, use me, but don’t you dare cut my head off in an attempt to make people forget I’m a real person, not to mention, my hair’s fucking fabulous.

 

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Denia January 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

WooHoo!!! Preach it sister. I am fat, not happy about it but I struggle with it daily. I try and try, I go down and right back up. I like food more than exercise and have yo-yo dieted since I had my son almost 12 years ago. I was a fat kid, like FAT 4’9 and 165lbs @ age 11. My brothers teased me relentlessly, bullied at scholl for not only being fat but for being a ginger with freckles…Oh NO!!!! My brother recently put up a pic on facebook that read something to the affect that fat people will only lose weight when shamed into it. If that was true, I would be a size 2. I have my issues, as everyone does but MY issues are not their business as theirs are not mine. I am SOOOO happy I found your blog, you make me laugh and cringe and laugh some more, plus your an inspiration to many. You Rock!!!!

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Anjie B. January 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm

You are SO DAMN HOT! Love those shoes and even though I am sure others have asked about them- where did you get them???? And your hair IS fucking fabulous. It makes me want to grow my out again- but I’m too lazy.

Love how you write about things that actually matter. Thank you! And keep posting pics of your hot self with your awesome clothes. You don’t know how many of my outfit choices come from seeing what you’ve been wearing.

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Shannon January 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I love this post. I guess I’m not fat anymore, I’m a size 8. But I still see myself as fat in the mirror most of the time..because I was fat from the time I was 14 years old until I was 35..and EVERYONE let me know it almost EVERYWHERE I went. So yes Sister I do so love this post.

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hdj January 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm

All of you is fucking fabulous!

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Elinor January 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Can we, as a society, please stop calling people fat? Or really all names/labels, but especially appearance related names. It’s not kind, helpful, or informative. It adds nothing to the collective, but it does make me and many others hate themselves just a little (or a lot).

Thank you Brittany for using your space and power to help end fat/body shaming. It really does mean a lot, help a lot.

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Jill January 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I’m an avid follower and NEVER comment. But lady … you just totally ROCK! Love how honest you are. But more importantly, love how happy you are with YOU. THIS is what it’s all about!

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Amy January 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Hi-
Saw a post of yours on pinterest and i’m really glad i started reading this. My resolution this year was to stop hating what i look like, thinking I need to be tons thinner, and just stop beating myself up over all. Life it too short and its not worth it. I’m a size 16 too (twinsies!!) haha and I’m glad you posted that picture cause now that I think of it…if I look as great as you do at a size 16 in a picture like the one above i can’t be that bad :)

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Priscilla January 28, 2013 at 1:32 am

Fabulous! You really are gorgeous and I envy your self esteem! I have always been up and down in my weight. Size 6-18. I’m pretty comfy with my weight now and I’m a size ten. But can I just bitch a little about all the jeans that are so low cut that my ass crack hangs out the back and my muffin top is completely baking over the muffin pan?? Still have yet to find jeans that I like and feel comfy in and that are also fashionable. Do they even make something like that that’s not a total “mom jean” any more??? Maybe I just don’t know where to find them. But you go, girl! You’re amazing!

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Brittany January 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

My go to jeans are the Rockstar Skinny jeans form Old Navy, because they are basically jeggings and I can YANK them up….like a mom. Ahem.

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Nikki @ Styling You January 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

Your hair is fucking fabulous and so are you!

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Melissa January 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

Oh My God. You get the slow clap for this one.
http://youtu.be/PmUWx64c_7I
Slow clap begins at the 43 second mark.

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Melissa January 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

OMG – Better slow clap video: http://youtu.be/QhTiJEYqqY8

Plus, it combines Can’t Buy Me Love, Intolerable Cruelty, Cool Runnings (Cool Runnings!!!!!!!) and more!!!

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Desera January 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

LOVE this post!!! How I wish everyone had your mindset! You look fabulous by the way!!

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Sara Holtsberry January 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

Preach on, sista friend! And yes, your hair is FABULOUS!

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Sweetphi January 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

Simply put, I LOVE this post.

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Susannah January 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

I adore this. I adore you. And you are INCREDIBLY fucking gorgeous.

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StrongerMe January 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

Your hair IS fabulous. I have hair envy. I also have body image envy. I look at you and see beauty. I look at me, at pretty much the same size, and I see hideous. Maybe it’s the hair. Yeah, I’m gonna blame my flat, stringy, baby fine hair.

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Lulu January 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Brittany, more than just your hair is fabulous – but I think you know that. I wanted to tell you anyway.

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Amber January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I’ve been a size 16 since I gave birth to my twins almost 6 years ago…before I got pregnant I was in a size 10, but had always fluctuated between a 10-14 through most of my adult life. I’ve learned to love my size 16 curves and my husband loves them as well. Just want to tell you thank you!

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Amy January 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I love this! I also want offer up this insight and reminder: the omission of faces is because the TV crew needs to get permission from each and every person they shoot to use the footage on television, and in that kind of situation – a city street – it’s imposibble. Still, I’m with you!

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Adria January 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I love you and I can’t wait till I can figure that whole self-respect thing out for myself.

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Ashley January 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

This post, and others like it that you’ve written, have inspired — and continue to inspire — me to not only be happy with who I am on the outside, but actually make me celebrate being a size 12. I’m in the midst of planning my wedding, and seeing the numbers on the gowns I’m trying on increase even though I’m still rocking my skinny jeans is sometimes a real blow to my self esteem. But why focus on the size of what I’m wearing when it’s the day I’m supposed to feel most beautiful? The man I’m marrying loves my bubble butt, and more importantly, I love it too.

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meleah rebeccah January 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

you are fucking amazing. that is all.

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Junebug January 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

You are AWESOME!! Speak it, sister!! ((standing ovation))

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Heather January 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm

***crying so hard I can’t type***

Just thanks.

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Bubbles January 29, 2013 at 3:59 am

Love this post. Love you. Love your style. Hope to see more of you in the public arena. People need to hear this (and see your hair! The hair! I die.) . I’m packing a few extra kegs, married to a food nazi and cant believe at 38 years old i’m eating food in secret with hot angry tears on my cheeks. …

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Kimberly Smith January 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

I think you are beautiful. And you have more fashion sense than I can seem to muster up.
I’m also a “Fitness Professional” which seems fake and superficial to even say. I want to punch myself, ugh. I’m totally disgusted with my industry that preaches you can’t be HAPPY unless you are SKINNY, and “healthy” equals thin. I’ve been a size Zero and I’ve also been a 14, and I’m healthier now, at a 10-ish…sometimes 12, than I ever was at a single digit. I was a size 4 and got winded going up a flight of stairs. At size 12, I ran a half marathon.
Last year I was working at a fitness studio. I had just crossed that first half marathon finish line, was averaging 20miles a week, and teaching two weigt classes a week. Then the studio owner felt it nessecary to pull me aside and tell me that “customers” had been complaining that I looked lie I was gaining weight instead of losing it, and that “someone” had said If I really ran as much as I claimed, I’d be invisible by now. I’m not gonna lie, Marge, it devestated me. I went home and cried, and then asked myself why I was trying so hard. It too me a couple of months to pull myself together and not let those words haunt me (and if I’m really honest, almost 9mths later, I still hear them in the back of my mind sometimes). I left that place and I’m now out on my own. Coincidently, I’m down 5lbs since leaving there.
I never want anyone who comes to me for help to feel like I’m shaming them into anything. Be HEALTHY, whatever that looks like.

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erica January 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Your hair IS freaking amazing. I have also lost some weight in the past year but only because I started making changes for myself and really it has been a by product of making different choices to get out of my house and LIVE my life instead of being afraid of failing at everything. I have been reading your blog for years and I am so thankful for you because you have inspired me many occasion to think a different way. It is almost like you gave me permission to love my less than perfect self…between you and a Husband who doesn’t give an eff what I look like (but who is loving the new me in leggings) it is like I have morphed the last year. So thanks!

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Friday E. January 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Agreed! My mom passed away 3 years ago and since then I have been at my heaviest. I am an emotional eater and I would do it in hiding while crying becuase I missed my best friend. I am proud of who I am because I am stronger since then. But I don’t need you telling me I am fat because you don’t know me except by the size I wear. Thank you for your posts!

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Brooke January 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

YES. THIS. :)

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Cindy January 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

SING IT, SISTER. I love you. I really do. You are an inspiration. And just…thank you.

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Eliz January 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

maybe you’ve already seen this (it is from a year or so ago), but just in case not:
http://diannesylvan.com/archives/1358
“Ten Rules for Fat Girls”
pretty awesome stuff.
Rock on!

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Stephanie February 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Love this post! My sister showed me your blog and I check it about once a week and read through all the posts i’ve missed. I love this post! When I was in high school i was a size 9 and totally athletic, but then the years passed and exercise stopped, then I go pregnant and obviously I got bigger. And it’s amazing how many people won’t look me in the eye unless I look them in the eye. No one knows what you are going through. They don’t know if you are trying to eat better or exercise more, they just see you as a fat slob. So, Amen to your post. The only way I will lose weight is because I have decided i’m worth it, not someone’s mean, snide looks or comments!

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Melinda February 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

This hit home in many ways. After I had my daughter, I gained a bunch of weight, and I realized that I was fat enough to have my head cut off in one of those news reports, and I got really angry. I mean really. Cut my head off because I got arrested for doing something related to hookers or blow or both, but not because I’m fat…that will just make me look fatter. I also learned to accept myself…I lost a little weight, and I stop worrying about rogue “Obesity Cams” because all news organizations are stupid and not worth my time.
Oh! And that Vogue woman makes me so sad. That poor kid. Feed the kid a few less Doritos and sign her up for swim class. Don’t shame the kid publicly, so that everyone knows her fatness isn’t your fault.

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Kerry February 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

heard about you on Newstalk 650 radio, in your interview. Great stuff. It caught my attention on two fronts, I have always struggled with my weight, along with some of my children. My oldest daughter, Brittany (26) who we lost in a car accident about a year ago also carried too much weight as well. She was described as “the plus size barbie”. A striking confident beauty, totally in control at all times. A brilliant person at the top of her class, a leader to her peers, and a person with the whole world at her feet. She was at the top of her game rapidly working her way up in management and her personal life. Just engaged to an incredible paramedic, her plans for herself and her world were planned and no one was getting in her way. We miss her as do all who knew her..
Keep up the fight Brittany we need more people to speak up to the bullies of the world, and put them in their place. You are an inspiration.

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Gayle February 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

There is a great message here about teaching everyone that we are worth it, we are beautiful, and we should not be ashamed! Love it! Thank you!

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Kathryn February 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I saw this article today when a facebook friend of mine shared it via Huffington Post, and now I am sharing it with just about everyone I know. Thankyou. Girl, I think you are my new Hero. Not only did the message hit home, but it helps to know I’m not alone in wanting to see women treating each other better and accepting who they are. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

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Kelly February 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm

You are awesome! This made me cry. You go girl.

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Shae February 18, 2013 at 4:15 am

I just found this page and I must say you are awesome. I was looking for boots for wide calves (thank you btw!) and have been here reading ever since. This post especially spoke to me. I have finally come to terms with myself. With ALL of myself. I am the smallest size (16) I have been in my adult life due to small, positive changes in the last 9 months. Learning to look at yourself as more than just a fat body makes such a difference. Nobody should ever forget that they are more than their size or what their scales say.

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AnnMarie March 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm

I love you.

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