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I See You

January 22, 2014


Dear professors, student/peers, people at the gym, people at the grocery store, and everyone I come into contact with daily,

I see the way you look at me. I see the look in your eyes when you look at me. I see when you look me up and down and I see the sneer you give. I see the hatred and/or disgust that is on your face when I enter your view.

I hear the tone of your words and how your voice changes when you talk to me. I hear when you talk to my peers like the adults they are, with the basic respect they deserve, and with the typical speed that is the intonation of your voice. I hear when your voice dips an octave and when your cadence falls and slows to a mockery of everything I am when you speak to me or with me. I hear your opinions of me in your voice. I can also see your signing change when you converse with me too (I’m looking at you, Deaf people). I see your body language visibly change and I see your signs becoming sarcastic. Many times you don’t even try to hide it; a feature of the Deaf community is its bluntness.

I feel the difference in your energy when you see me or when I walk into a room or when I walk past you or when I need something from you. I don’t have to be a “woo woo” believer or empathetic to be able to feel the difference; it’s pretty fucking noticeable. Sometimes even your physical appearance changes, whether you are Deaf or not. I can see that as well. I also feel your eyes on my back when I walk away.

Rights reserved to Haley Morris-Cafiero.

Look at this picture. Look how you look when you are looking at me.

Look how you look when you’re looking at me. 

Look how you look when you look at me.

Every day.

Every single fucking day.

Dammit, I am so fuh-king sick of this. I am so sick of these interactions.

My family and friends wonder why I don’t leave my house anymore. This is why.

So to all of you people who I have mentioned, and everyone else I couldn’t add,

I see you.

Fed-up Fatty.

Kitsune Yokai

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2014 10:52 am


  2. vesta44 permalink
    January 22, 2014 11:43 am

    THIS! We see it , we hear it, and it wears on us. But I refuse to let them have the last word, the last look. I refuse to let them confine me to my home simply because they’re bigoted assholes. Fuck that, and fuck them. I’ve perfected my I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and I will live my life fat and proud and in their fat-phobic faces. If they don’t like it, tough damned shit. The haters can eat shit and bark at the moon because my fat ass is going to be out there, in public, enjoying all that life has to offer – laughing, living, loving. The haters are not going to win this war, not if I have anything to say about it.

    • January 22, 2014 12:19 pm


    • January 22, 2014 1:24 pm

      I typically have the same attitude, but sometimes it just wears me down. It sucks so much, and sometimes I just don’t want to go anywhere because of it. Perhaps I am sensitive, but I surely know when I am being snubbed. Ugh, I just need to get back to that “fuck everyone” attitude!

      • vesta44 permalink
        January 22, 2014 3:35 pm

        There are days that I don’t want to deal with the shit people throw my way – that shit does indeed wear me down at times. Those are the days that I curl up with a good book and tell the world to fuck off, I’m ignoring it for a while. But I know I’m lucky to be able to do that – I don’t have to work for a living, I don’t have to go out if I don’t feel like it, I don’t have to deal with the haters on a daily basis if I don’t feel like it. That allows me time to recharge, to recoup my ability to tell the world their opinion of me doesn’t matter to me at all.
        And still, if I had my way, if I weren’t married to a man who hates being home all the time, I’d gladly be a hermit. I’d do all of my shopping online and never leave the house. But he likes to get out and do things, and he won’t do them alone. So I go out with him and participate in the world. Thankfully, he’s very supportive of me, and says that if people have a problem with me just because of my size or the way I look, that they can just look elsewhere. That support means the world to me and is one of the reasons I still have that I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude.

      • Oxymoronictonic permalink
        February 3, 2014 1:24 pm


  3. Kay permalink
    January 22, 2014 12:59 pm

    Did you ever stop to think that it’s odd for a person to just stop in the middle of a busy area to pose and get a picture taken? Maybe people are just looking to see what’s going on? I am much larger then you and don’t have this experience. Or maybe I just don’t see it. Who knows…

    “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
    ― John Lubbock

    • January 22, 2014 1:15 pm

      I’m copying a comment I made on Facebook to similar comments:

      I think public scrutiny and self-consciousness are two sides of the same sword: first, people absolutely DO give fat people snide looks and snicker at them. I’ve been at stores where my wife was looking in one place while I was looking in another, then as I went to see her I would see young girls or old men looking at her and laughing. I’ve confronted a few in my time and no matter how obvious the open disdain, they deny, deny, deny that they were even looking in her direction. It happens, far more frequently than it should. And, strangely enough, my wife says she doesn’t experience this kind of thing at all.

      And THEN after years of being looked at, talked about, laughed at, you start to feel the eyes everywhere and you are more sensitive to it. Does it mean it doesn’t happen? Nope. But the negative attention makes being out in public a perpetual source of grotesque self-awareness and it can affect very basic interactions with people. I think what Kitsune experienced is absolutely real and is a result of a culture that revels in publicly shaming outsiders.

      As far as the photo series goes, some of the photos don’t seem to capture much at all, but a lot of them most definitely do capture a look directed at her. Does a single snapshot tell everything? No, but this is art and it’s representative of what many fat women experience on a daily basis.


    • January 22, 2014 1:30 pm

      And I’ll copy my comment as well:

      I had to look into the faces of people who hated me for a /decade/. I know when people are looking at me and when people aren’t.

      As for the pictures, they aren’t mine. Go look up Haley Morris-Cafiero and her Wait Watchers photography set. She explains exactly what is happening, how she took the photos, and why.

    • January 22, 2014 1:39 pm

      People may stop and notice a slender model or actress being photographed on the street, but the glance of the “witness” is much more likely to be pleasure and/or admiration than what’s shown in these pictures.

      And IRL, the “up and down” look is damn hard to not notice, if you’re the recipient.

  4. Elizabeth permalink
    January 24, 2014 12:37 pm

    I have no doubt this happens because people tell me it happens, and I’m well aware of the body policing that is endemic in our culture. I will say I do not experience it in my little corner of Maine where if someone wanted to sneer at fat people, he/she would be stuck with a permanent sneer because there are so many of us. What about other readers who live in rural America, particularly poor rural America?

    I have to say I never got any shit when I lived in Manhattan, either, perhaps because I was so formidable.

  5. Oxymoronictonic permalink
    February 3, 2014 1:23 pm

    Preach. I can deal with the stares, the sniggers, even the heckling from passing vehicles. But sometimes I’m fucking tired and I don’t have the resolve to steel myself for the barrage. So I stay at home. And I recharge with posts like this. Thank you. I’m sorry alot of us here have to deal with this shit.

  6. arti permalink
    February 23, 2014 6:42 pm

    Please don’t let them stop you from going outside, living your life, dancing in the street – because if you do – they win. They have successfully made you feel like your body doesn’t deserve to do all the things their bodies do. They are wrong – whatever space you take up is yours – (to paraphrase a political effort i love): OCCUPY IT. Be so comfortable in your wonderful, functioning body that they don’t matter…because they don’t. You do. So get out there and kayak, and line dance and swim.

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