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What Not to Get a Fatty for the Holidays

December 27, 2012

Hanukkah is over, we’ve celebrated the Winter Solstice, and Tuesday, we unwrapped our Christmas presents. I hope Santa treated you well.

However, being a fat person on the receiving end of gifts sometimes might lead to embarrassing and uncomfortable moments, especially if the gift in question relates to our size.  Here’s a list of five main offenders:

  1. Clothes that are too small — Now, to be fair, some people innocently don’t know what size we wear. There are those who really believe we’re not the size we say we are, perhaps because they don’t see us as fat. Others give the clothes as incentive to lose weight. To avoid a fashion disaster, tell potential clothes-buyers to buy a gift card to a brick-and-mortar or online store that we like which carries our size (the 11th day of Fatmas featured Kerasi’s favorite affordable online retailers). Or they could just not to buy any clothes at all.
  2. Gym memberships/exercise videos — There’s nothing wrong with going to a gym or using videos to get physical activity, and many of them are pretty pricey, so having someone else pay for you to exercise can be a bonus. However, when they’re given to us fat people and we didn’t ask for one and have no interest in one, it can safely be assumed that the only reason we got one was sent as a not-so-subtle message that our size doesn’t meet with their approval. That’s pretty offensive. Most fat people who use gyms should know which are big body-friendly. Then there are those who prefer a DVD so they can exercise in the comfort of their own home. Some suggestions:  A fat-friendly workout DVD such as The Fat Chick Works Out,  or a dance video game such as Dance, Dance Revolution, so we can have fun and move without being shamed.
  3. Diet cookbooks — I’m talking about the ones like “Eat This, Not That,” “Hungry Girl,” (which I will not be linking to) and any others that focus on eating for intentional weight loss or restricting calories when there’s no a medical need. Like the gym membership above, giving a fat person a diet cookbook may be an assumption that we’re eating a poor diet and we’re not intelligent enough to know what we put in our mouths. On the contrary, many of us do know what we’re eating, and many of us prefer the so-called “healthy stuff.” So skip the book and perhaps buy a grocery store gift card or a co-op that works with local farms to produce seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  4. Weight-loss program memberships — I think only a real hardcore concern troll would actually pay for someone to join Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, etc. but stranger things have happened. This would be a good time to bring up Health at Every Size®, or use Ragen Chastain’s advice to confront those who participate in concern trolling and weight harassment, if it’s safe to do so.
  5. Personal hygiene products —  I’m not talking about nicely packaged scented bath and shower gel, but bars of soap, combs, brushes, deodorant—usually given as care packages to soldiers serving as overseas, veterans in VA hospitals, and the homeless population. Since there is the stereotype that fat people are constantly dirty, giving these items could be seen as thinking we’re not cleaning ourselves properly and it may not be seen as a gesture of kindness, but disdain.

So there you have it — five “what not to get a fatty for the holidays” gifts. If you can think of any more, please feel free to comment below. Happy New Year!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    December 27, 2012 10:45 am

    I once had a co-worker who anonymously mailed me a tin of diet protein shake crap. It was fun making a huge point of telling everyone in the office that some anonymous person had sent me this, and laughing that I’d given it to my roommate who was trying to gain weight via weightlifting. It wasn’t true but it had the desired effect — after gasping in shock (!) she had to admit she was the one who sent it. She didn’t apologize though.

  2. Fab@54 permalink
    December 29, 2012 1:57 pm

    People are such idiots….

    #1 — I would let this slide, only because the chances are pretty high that clothing bought in the wrong size (especially by people who’ve never had to venture out of the size 2-12 range) was an honest miscalculation.

    #2 thru 5 — especially number 5, (but they all suck) I would box them all up and send them via snail-mail back to sender/giver with a polite note as to why their gift sucked.
    I would also explain to them the reason I mailed it back (and not thrown it in their faces upon immediately getting said gift), was to spare THEM the embarrassment of being viewed – by all in attendance– as the total douchenozzle that they are.

  3. Emerald permalink
    December 29, 2012 3:47 pm

    I’d also add mirrors. As a belated wedding present for what wasn’t actually our wedding (very long story), my late mother got me and my husband a full-length mirror ‘because you don’t have one in your house, and you obviously need one’. (This was someone with a history of gift-giving with not-so-subtle appearance-related messages attached, though. The rest of my family sometimes got me mis-sized clothing, but on reflection that was probably because they were relying on my mother for information.)

    • vesta44 permalink
      December 29, 2012 7:28 pm

      Emerald – If you had really wanted to shock your mother (and possibly stop those appearance-related messages attached to gifts), you could have said “Gee thanks, Mom, that mirror will be perfect mounted to the ceiling above our bed. How did you know we wanted one?”

  4. The Real Cie permalink
    December 31, 2012 12:59 am

    Here’s what my mother did to me this year. She bought chocolates and shortbread cookies for me and my son. And then she said “but you don’t have to take them if you don’t want to.” I said “why wouldn’t I want to?” She gave me a very meaningful look and said pointedly “YOU have a LOT of reasons why you might not want to.” I played dumb and said “huh, can’t think of what those might be.” I know she meant the “excess pounds.”
    I thought about asking her why in the flying fuck she would buy us sweets if she thought I didn’t need them because I was such a heinous fatass, but it wasn’t worth the argument that would have ensued. In the past, this would have sent me into a depressive spiral. At this point, it’s just status quo.

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