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One Syllable

August 17, 2012
by

It’s been really hot in California lately. To beat the heat, my family and I went to the mall to bask in their sweet, sweet air conditioning. We wandered around for about two hours and decided to grab an ice cream at the ice cream stand we had passed about four times that day. My mom and brother got ice cream cones and I got a frozen chocolate-covered banana.

So what happens when a fat woman decides to eat something in public? Well, she gets shamed of course!

Right after leaving the ice cream stand, banana-on-a-stick happily in hand, some douche meanly, and with intentional naughtiness, said “ew” as he walked by. I make light of it now, but at the time I was shocked. I hadn’t been publicly commented on (so as I could hear) in over five years. I wasn’t used to it anymore.

I looked at my mom and asked what he said. She confirmed my suspicions, so I spun around. My brain throbbed with confusion. What should I do? Should I yell at him? He was so far away. Was he even talking about me? Of course he was, I’m a fat girl eating a phallic-shaped treat and enjoying it. I visually assaulted him by making him think about me in a sexual way! Or something… I shouldn’t have had a frozen banana. I should have just had a regular ice cream… I opened myself up for comment. I can have what I want, though. It’s my body, it’s my life! But why would he say that? Maybe he didn’t say that about me… He doesn’t know me…

“He wasn’t talking to you,” my mom assured me, “he was talking about me.” I knew my mom was trying to protect me. I knew that she said that because she knew he was talking about me. And for some reason that one, tiny syllable broke me down. Whether it was about me or not. For some reason, I crumbled. I held in everything until I found an empty corridor and then I sank to a bench, crying. My huge, yeti of a brother wrapping me in his arms protectively, while my mother sighed.

“You never let them get to you,” she said. And I knew she was right. Why was this any different? Why should he have power over me that no one else had? Why did I even think he was talking about me? I soon got over my surge of emotion and ate my quickly-defrosting banana and we continued our day.

But why is it that something as tiny as a breathy syllable said in passing that maybe about you, or maybe not, can bowl you over? Why is it that we’re so strong one day and so vulnerable the next… without even feeling vulnerable? What happened to my emotions that day? Why did I act so strongly?

Why is this kind of shaming so strong that you feel it even when you’re not sure it’s even there?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    August 17, 2012 10:10 am

    I’m so sorry that happened to you. I think part of why it can be so painful is because for some of us, it doesn’t happen that often anymore. We project this confident aura, this I’m-not-going-to-take-any-bullshit attitude and most people just don’t have the nerve to say anything to us. Then we run into the douchebucket of all douchebuckets, who would say something nasty to a saint if he had the chance, and all it takes is one little comment from him and all the BS we’ve put up with for years is brought back to us in an avalanche of feeling. It’s really hard, at that specific time, to tell yourself that it’s not you, it’s him and his insecurity about himself that made him say whatever he said. And that’s okay, sometimes you have to shed a few tears over it in order to get past it and then be able to remember that he’s just another insecure douchebucket who doesn’t really matter in the totality that is your life.

  2. August 17, 2012 10:20 am

    it really sucks donkey balls *hugs* it’s very hurtful. I understand perfectly. You know what? I think it’s deliciously ironic he thought of you in a sexual way if he did so. Even him has to admit that you are a sexual being with appetites. Also, Bananas are good. πŸ™‚ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7GzwddZqP4

  3. August 17, 2012 10:58 am

    I don’t know when I got the ability to ignore that crap, but I have it now. At least outwardly, I am capable of either ignoring them completely, glaring or telling someone to fuck themselves, depending on my company and what the offender has done. I really do think that we all reach a point where we can’t be bothered to care – that we’re too busy living to deal with those types. I think you’ll get there.

  4. fatology101 permalink
    August 17, 2012 12:54 pm

    Im sorry you had to experience that. I think sometimes not knowing what to say is frustrating. The frustration boils over. There is no answer to what you could have done. It catches us off guard. It takes the brain up to 20 sec. to process new information and by that time he is gone. It really was all about him. He is the ___________! (fill in the blank).
    Even if you were to say something to him, he would come back at you harder. He has his bigotry imbedded very deep. It is still socially acceptable to bash us in public. When that is no longer acceptable, onlookers will come to your aid. Until then we are on our own. I dont know what has changed, other than I am older, I dont get snide remarks. (now that I said that…..) I wont put up with it. I think about what I will say. Im sure I will go away and cry too! LOL I cry when I am frustrated. You did fine and it was the right thing to do for you at that time. Big hugs, Marla

  5. pyctsi permalink
    August 17, 2012 6:31 pm

    I used to have a hard time dealing with guys who’d notice my extremely large chest, start to drool and the realise it was attached to a fat chick and start to get verbally abusive so no body could think they got hot for a fat chick, then I started to realise it is not me that was the problem but them. I now wear low cut tops whenever I want and if anyone doesn’t like it they can sod off, but I still have a bad day now and then – especially if I’ve had a long run of good or neutral days where nobody I pass cares about the size of my body.

    I do find I tend to get less problems when I’m wearing something I really like and feel good in, than when I throw something on that is not so me, so I guess attitude helps too at times.

    Hopefully the next time some idiot has an unfamiliar thought pass through his brain he’ll keep it to himself rather than project his discomfort onto the nearest available target.

  6. sex2poetry4life permalink
    August 17, 2012 11:52 pm

    People like that need to be called on their behavior. One day they will sat the wrong thing to the wrong person and be totally owned for their ignorance

  7. August 18, 2012 10:20 am

    I wish I knew the answers to your questions 😦

  8. Fab@54 permalink
    August 18, 2012 3:32 pm

    ((((( Lexi))))) Sometimes, people just suck.

  9. August 18, 2012 4:36 pm

    In my personal experience it’s shaming and hurtful because I so much want to be accepted and liked and loved. Like all human beings really. And I went through a lot of rejection from a young age, people not wanting to be my friend because I was chubby, other kids being told by their parents not to my friend because I was chubby, and other kids afraid of getting bullied themselves even though they weren’t chubby. It started in Kindergarten and continued from then on. That’s why, it’s still the one thing that can get to me; public disapproval. IN other words “You aren’t good enough to be friendly with, notice, like, hang out with” and it’s purely bullying behaviour. Sadly, it still works. I’m so sorry Lexie, that you had this happen to you. And it takes a lot of confidence to publicly shame the bully back in return and I do think they need shaming. I know most bullies exhibit this behaviour because they themselves have been bullied so to feel better they do it to someone they perceive as weaker, but that’s not excuse. I remember once that I fought back and was really proud of myself. Some guy made a rude comment and I had just had it. I turned around and said something along the lines of “Really? YOu have to make rude comments about me to feel like a big man? Well, I could do the same to you. How about calling you Tinydick, or pizza face (he had really bad skin), or (fill in insult here)? How would you enjoy that? I’m guessing not. So why not take your tiny immature mind back to the playpen, learn some manners and leave me the fuck alone.” He was shocked that I spoke back to him and his friends laughed at him too. I don’t know what affect that had on his future dealings with others but I felt better. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire!

    • fatology101 permalink
      August 19, 2012 4:58 pm

      Thanks Janet, that made my day. Good comeback. I will remember that one.

  10. The Real Cie permalink
    August 20, 2012 8:53 am

    I know where you’re coming from. Since I have an eating disorder, that kind of thing can be very triggering for me. I hope that douchenozzle slips on a banana peel in front of all his douchenozzle friends. That would be karma.

  11. August 23, 2012 9:18 am

    You have a nice mother, she sounds like a dear. I actually get afraid when my husband wants me to buy something for him. He has a sweet tooth. He EATS a LOT of cake, like acouple slices a day. He weighs around 280. I don’t buy this stuff but he does. Like the other day he bought this set of chocolate donuts with frosting and he had placed them in my scooter, and I felt embarrassed like everyone thought the 500lb fat woman was going to go pig out. I have eaten bites of his cake before but had to recently give that up because the egg/chocolate allergy has grown too severe. I usually don’t care what people think and usually people don’t insult me to my face because I do go up and say something to them, but this sort of thing with husband’s cake flitteres across my mind all the time.

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