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Meanness is Measured in Pounds

June 5, 2012
by

Recently, I was browsing the YouTubes and found this video by one Laci Green.

It’s a pretty great video, if you ask me, but it’s probably best not to wander into the thicket of hate and arguing that is the comments section (seriously, unless you’re in a fighting mood, just don’t).

It was there, in the bubbling mix of muck and occasional puddles of wonderful, that I met a man and his theory that fat people deserve what they get because…

“Ooh! I know this one!” I hear you yell. “Because they’re fat!”

No.

“Then because they’re unhealthy!”

Nope.

“Because they’re a financial drain!”

Not that either.

“Because fatties are gross? Because fatties cause global warming? They’re gluttons? Lazy? Greedy? Amoral? Immoral? Smelly? Think of the children?”

Not even all of that. Here, let me quote him:

“If you were nice to people, we would be nice to you.

But fat people are mean, that’s why I’m an asshole to them.”

Yeah. Fatties deserve the treatment they get because fatties are big meanies.

I was honestly really surprised by this. I’d never heard this argument before. Do people really see fatties as being mean? I thought the stereotype was “jolly” (thank you, St. Nick). So I began to think about it and talk to this fellow through comments and replies.

Could my behavior ever be considered mean? Sure. There are times when I’ve done mean things and I regret those times. But there are also times I’ve been short with people because I’m scared. Most of the time I’m aloof and unfriendly because I’m terrified of what people have, or could, say and do to me because of my body.

That could be seen as mean, I guess. I know I’ve also begun defending myself against hateful attacks before there was a hateful attack and misjudged what the person was saying, believing him or her to be a bully when they weren’t. That certainly could be seen as mean.

So, in general, are fat people mean? I guess to an outsider looking in, yes.

But let me explain, as I did to this YouTube commenter:

From the moment a fatty becomes fat, he or she also becomes an outcast for all or most of society. They’re fallen angels. To some, literally sinners: greedy, gluttonous, dumb, smelly, wastes of air, money, and space. And from the moment the world realizes we’re fat, we fatties are told we’re no good. I, personally, have had food and bottles thrown at me, have been sexually harassed, have had a man use a bullhorn inches from my head to tell me I was not good enough to have sex with. I have, on other occasions, been threatened with rape and even had people threaten to kill me, all while I begged for help and received none.

These experiences have scarred me. I will never fully heal. I’m terrified of groups of people I don’t know. I hate crowds. I am constantly on guard when I’m outside of the house because I know that at any moment someone could come up to me and say something or do something to me and, most likely, no one would stop it or help me.

Some may even laugh at my expense. Some may shake their heads in sympathy. Some may shake their heads in pity. Some may shake their heads and think, “Well, maybe she’ll learn her lesson, now.” I can’t remember how many times I’ve been punished for being fat in public. So when I’m out in public, I may look full of self-esteem, and I am, but there’s also a little bit of me that is, and will always be, terrified. I’m always silently begging people to leave me alone.

So, okay, maybe people see me, walking with my head up, proud of who I am (because someone has to be), making eye contact with the people I pass. Then when I’m sitting alone, and I move away when someone gets too close, they might think, “What a bitch! She’s not even good looking! What gives her the right to be a bitch like that?”

And I’m not going to sit here and act like all fat people are super-nice, but misunderstood. We have just as much variety in our personalities as everyone else. And I’m not going to sit here and say that fat people are the only ones who get bullied, or even that all fatties get bullied to the same degree. Of course that’s not true.

But trust me when I say that we all know that sometimes we’re our only allies in a world that has permission to teach us a lesson about how our bodies should look.

I’m not trying to be a bitch. I’m just trying to survive.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2012 9:40 am

    I really liked that video. She did a great job and her points were accurate and helpful. Go Laci Green!

    But mean fat people is a first for me. It’s an interesting response because it’s so unusual. If this person is saying that he will treat fat people with respect once they stop being such bastards, then he needs to grow the fuck up. You treat people the way you want to be treated, not the way some other people have treated you. Yeah, if a person (fat or otherwise) is an asshole, you are justified in being an asshole back. But simply disliking fat people because one fat person had the courage to not put up with your shit is ridiculous.

    I’m surprised more fat people aren’t mean, based solely on the way society treats them. But I think Lexie, you are justified in being anti-social of others because your experience with people informs your fears of how strangers will treat you. Hopefully, as a society we can gradually tear down these walls that make living so much more difficult for all of us.

    Peace,
    Shannon

  2. vesta44 permalink
    June 5, 2012 10:08 am

    Lexie – You have nailed exactly why I don’t let people get close to me, not in real life anyway. Been there done that, and it’s why I’ve cultivated my “Helga the Bitch Goddess” persona – with an alter ego like that, people don’t usually have enough nerve to abuse me. Even when I’m being nice and “normal”, I think there’s still a hint of that alter ego slipping out, which is why I don’t catch near the hate now that I used to years ago (although I sometimes catch hell for being Helga, but she can handle that)..

  3. Fab@54 permalink
    June 5, 2012 4:40 pm

    Loved the video! I’m Sharing it on FB.
    And wow, Lexie, I’d never heard the “fat people are mean….” excuse before. Interesting. But like you, I think it *could be* possible that some people may read our reluctance to be socially “out there” with no reservations or inhibitions, as kinda mean, or aloof, I guess.
    But even if that mis-perception is true – it’s still no excuse to bully or shame, is it?

  4. lifeonfats permalink
    June 5, 2012 5:26 pm

    Are there mean fat people out there? Hell yeah! I’ve met them! But they were mean probably not because they were trying to survive being the scapegoats for every world problem out there, they simply had nasty attitudes period.

    But the excuse that fat people are mean so I need to treat them like crap is a very poor and weak one. Otherwise, two things will happen: More fatties will become anti-social and retreat even further, or they will become bullies themselves, and the last thing we need in the world is MORE bullies.

  5. The Real Cie permalink
    June 6, 2012 11:10 am

    I was shy long before I was fat. I’ve been shy for as long as I can remember. I was accused of being a “stuck up snob” as far back as elementary school. Then, when I developed this big ass and hips that are my hallmark (even though I only weighed around 110 pounds) people started calling me “fat” on top of everything else.
    I have never liked myself. And yes, over the years I have developed zero tolerance for assholish behavior from other people.
    But I’m not mean to anyone, unless they’re mean to someone else first.

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