Monday, February 21, 2011


As much as I try to be a good fat acceptance-y type person, I struggle with it. I truly believe that being fat, just as being thin, is simply a state of being. It's just the way some people are. I am intrigued by the variations produced with only tiny changes in our genetic makeup; it is something we should celebrate, because it is really pretty amazing.

While I am quick with the rhetoric,  I am unable to accept my own body. Which makes me a bit of a hypocrite, well, a massive hypocrite, actually. I want desperately to be one of those people who truly loves her body, but have no idea how to get there. I have never considered myself pretty, or even average. I am somewhere between plain and slightly grotesque. According to every magazine I've ever read, confidence is the sexiest thing any human being could posses. But, that one little line thrown in every couple of months does not make up for the avalanche of perfection thrown in my face everyday, and the smug and disgusted attitudes that insure I know that it is complete crap; nothing more than a patronizing parting line thrown to a pathetic loser searching desperately for validation.

I hate not being able to appreciate my body for the things it can do, especially when there are so many things it can't do. There is also the indignation I experience at the thought of celebrating my able-bodiedness knowing that there are so many people who can't do the things that I can, but who are beautiful people nonetheless. That would make me no different than the patronizing magazine editors and celebrities.  So, maybe it is good that it is not something I do, but it is also nice to acknowledge that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so celebrating what I can do might be good...

For me, what it really comes down to, I think, is that I really don't care much about what my body can do in terms of running and jumping, and the other standards usually used to determine fitness. It is my mind that I am concerned with. I revel in other people's brilliance, and know that at one point, I was really, properly smart. I guess I still am, somewhere in there. But, years of pretending not to be less intelligent, so no one noticed me, and illness, including long periods of nearly continuous migraine symptoms, have left me feeling downright stupid. I couldn't do well in school. I tried, it didn't look like I tried, but I really, really did. I want nothing more than to be an intellectual, but my mind has let me down.

When it comes to celebrating the things my body can do, I can't help but look at all of the things it used to be able to do, and all of the strength and stamina that has been zapped by chronic ailments. But, the real issue is that I would trade all of the physical activities for a mind that functions properly.  And that, I think, is the real reason I refuse to see my body as something beautiful. Oh, the constant messages telling me I'm hideous haven't helped, but in my strongest moments I can pull back the curtain on those. It is my inability to do the things I want so desperately to do, the constant yearning to be bright again, that makes me hate my physical form so. It is not the fat that makes me feel sluggish or disgusting, it is just an easy target. Feeling physically ugly is an everyday occurrence, to be sure, but it passes, or at least it would if I could acknowledge my real displeasure. It is easier to rage against belly fat.

I hate my fat, and I hate my useless mind, and I hate the damned stretch marks I got in my teen years, and I hate my ugly feet that don't fit in shoes properly and my disgusting toes, and I hate my arms and legs that used to be so strong, and I hate the eczema that makes me so miserable, and I hate the stupid acne that should have gone away already, and I hate my giant nose... but mostly, I hate when people try to tell me that these things are not true, and that I am really lovely, whilst employing varying levels of feigned sincerity.

I don't care. To me, those things are true, what I really want to hear (mostly from myself, but it wouldn't hurt to hear it from others too) is that those things that I hate so much are either not important to my worth as a human being, or that there are so many other things about me that are brilliant, no one will notice my giant, zitty nose. That is the goal of fat acceptance. It isn't about telling people they aren't fat, because that is dishonest and patronizing, but more importantly, it is telling that person that being fat is bad and makes them less than. Fat acceptance isn't really about fat at all, it is about genuine acceptance of other people, and, most arduously for me, the genuine acceptance of self.

No comments:

Post a Comment