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When Shit Happens

April 18, 2013

Lots of stuff has happened in the past few days, so bear with me.

So… I have a brace on now. Yeah.

What the hell happened? Well, remember when I was talking about going to Arizona and had a short fall down the Grand Canyon about a month ago?

Arizona Trip 188

This was the wall of rock I fell down. It was only about halfway down. But you see that woman up there? She is 6 feet tall.

It seems like I hurt myself then and because I’m a gym rat I kept working out on my wrist to the point that I couldn’t move my hand at all from the pain. Luckily I didn’t break anything. Unfortunately I am out of weight-lifting for a whole damn month. Just the past two days have almost killed me! UGH.

Arizona Trip 183.1

I did it for this picture.
It was worth almost dying for.

In other news, I got a particularly nasty comment made at me. I was told that I “bring shame upon my family and friends” with my “unacceptable, irresponsible” fat body and that I have a “moral and parental obligation” to become “healthy” (i.e., thin) for the sake of my family and friends’ honor and reputation. It really got to me because while I can handle backhanded comments about myself, I question the ability of my friends and family to do so. I have struggled with this before, thinking that I was not worthy of being around other people, that I was too disgusting and that I would just bring them down with my presence. It is one of the major reasons I never went outside and rarely went to social gatherings.

So I asked my brother if he felt shame when we spend time together in public. He said no, that he is just happy that we get to spend time together and that the people who told me the above were mean and wrong. I love that boy.  The rest of my family expressed that they never felt shame toward me either, and that the things I have done and continue to do are amazing milestones; not just in my own life but also in our family history: first woman to go to college and first woman to graduate high school without a child of my own.

I think the best reactions, though, were the ones of my friends. Oh, the look on their faces were priceless. When I told my workout partners what that guy said, the male partner looked me straight in the face and said “I have absolutely no shame about hanging with you.” He is awesome, I heart him. The women expressed the same sentiment, and were incredulous that anyone would say something so cruel.

I will shank that asshole in his left eye.

I even asked a random acquaintance (oh yes, I asked/told everyone). What really gets me is that no one said anything even close to agreeing with this jerk, even passive aggressively (i.e., “that guy was a jerk but…”).

What the hell does it mean?  Is it me? Am I thought of as a “good fatty” because I exercise and am active? Am I seen as someone who is good “despite my flaws”? Or is it them, these people who seem to be mean for absolutely no other reason but to be mean? Is it these people who would rather see fat people ashamed and silenced from speaking about our issues? Aren’t these people just a minority who think their opinion is what everyone needs to hear and who need a rather abrupt and rude reality check?

Even if everyone around me thinks wild and crazy things, it doesn’t hurt me when they keep their mouths shut about it. For the most part, you can’t tell who is a bigot until they open their mouths. If we check their bigoted words enough, they will start to learn to keep their opinions to themselves. If we call out the other, non-verbal things, then they will learn to keep neutral.

If we take a page from the pagan (and LGBTQ) community, we can “reclaim” fat and make it human again. We are human; we have jobs and families and hopes and dreams. We have personalities and quirks, pet peeves and hobbies. The more people who know us (and we don’t let them get away with stereotyping), the better it will be in the long run.

Kitsune Yokai

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2013 12:01 am

    hoping you give yourself time to truly heal. how wonderful that you actually asked if your brother felt shamed! that is the best way to shut up the voices that judge us and we too often listen to.

  2. violetyoshi permalink
    April 19, 2013 2:43 am

    I find that people who I discuss fat acceptance with, tend to find the idea of reclaiming the word fat to be ridiculous. It’s as if they can’t comprehend that fat people could ever have any pride in themselves, I don’t even.

  3. Elizabeth permalink
    April 19, 2013 9:14 am

    The comment made to you sounds just like someone talking about a woman who is sexually free, which is really weird. There are many societies in which the family’s honor is everything, and women in particular are responsible for upholding that honor. Perhaps this comment was made by someone who thinks in this way, doesn’t know you well enough to shame you for your sexuality, but can shame you for your body size.

    And you know what is true of all people who want to shame others? They themselves are SHAMELESS, which means they are filled with shame, which they usually want to displace upon other people. I know many people would say just to dismiss such comments as the boorish, ugly comments they are, but I am always interested in what motivates people and find understanding them and their behavior totally wipes out any power their attitudes might possess to affect me.

  4. April 19, 2013 10:44 am

    I can’t believe the crust some people have. This is really awful that someone would have the temerity to say that sort of thing to another person. Truly shocking.

  5. April 19, 2013 1:47 pm

    I find that people who say those kinds of things to me are always astonished when I reply pungently. It’s as if they expect me to meekly take it, or even say thank you, for pointing out what they consider obvious. I am proud to disrupt their little constructed bubble by telling them to fuck themselves – they just cannot process a fat chick who (1) has a healthy heart, at least for now *knock wood* and (2) is pretty decently confident.

    • Elizabeth permalink
      April 20, 2013 12:10 pm

      CC, exactly!!!!! You’re exactly right that people think you’re just going to start crying or something. It’s amazing, the personal power one experiences when one tells bullies of any sort to go screw themselves, and the surprised look on the bullies’ faces is priceless.

  6. The Smokin' Deist permalink
    April 19, 2013 3:47 pm

    I injured my elbow in Karate class and I missed out on doing my belt test because of it. I feel for you on missing out on what you enjoy doing. As for that commentator, there are always going to be insufferable douchebags posting hurtful comments. Your friends and family supporting you count far more than one anonymous piece of —-.

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