A friend once told me “You do not walk like a fat person at all!”. I had no idea what to say to that. I had no idea you could walk like a fat person. (I figured I bumped into stuff because distracted not unaware of own girth!)
I am fat. Currently, I am very, very fat. Yes, it bothers me. Just not exactly all the time. Only when I can’t fit into something I feel like wearing. Or when I have to pack for Worldcon so I am forced to actually think about clothes and therefore contemplate appearance.
Another friend published a photo of me from highschool the other day. Seeing it, it occurred to me why it is I do not walk around like a fat person:
THIS is what I look like in my own head.
(And yes I also get a shock when I accidentally catch a glimpse of the old and really, really fat person this girl uses as a disguise to walk around living my life!)
Of course, it is not only that. If you expect me to say I love myself just the way I am… erm, not really. I generally just forget the way I am. It slips my mind.
I would probably be able to say it if I had any conceivable sense of style but what I think looks good on me – fat or thin, come to think of it – generally depends more on the state of my mind than on any reality.
My mood swings so yesterday’s awesomely pretty becomes tomorrow’s downright ugly. This is also, I suspect, the reasoning behind the famous ‘I have nothing to wear’ line. I always have nothing to wear!
Seriously, it takes time and effort to figure those things out and man, when your weight and clothes size go up and down while you are busy living the next big stage of your life, it is a lot of time and effort! And I just can’t be bothered. Too many lovely books to read, words to write, TV shows to watch and squee about. A kid to raise, a dog to walk, a husband to bicker with.
In addition to this, even when I do make myself care, there are obstacles:
- I am so single minded that I generally forget to check in the mirror whether what feels good also looks good. (And that is how I forget I am fat. And why I keep the hair short.)
- Full length mirrors keep breaking in my house. Honestly. And, not broken by me. By random other people doing ordinary stuff and pum! there it goes. Who am to argue with bad luck? No, thank you.
- My best friend for the better part of my first 20 years on this planet would have probably been hospitalized for anorexia were we teenagers today. I did not think she was too thin. She ate like 6 times a day. Spending a summer with her felt like we were doing nothing but looking for or preparing the next meal. I like to cook but that became old real fast. It cut into my beach time!
- When thin, guys swarm you trying to get into your pants. Truly annoying. When fat, they just want to be friends. I know our culture claims that this is far from awesome – cue every teenage or romantic movie ever – but from my firsthand experience? No, it is awesome. Being talked to for who you are rather than being defensive every single waking second… Yeah, awesome. It’s like fat woman=human being, thin women=sexual object. Don’t believe me? Let me put it another way: I can flirt like a man and get clean away with it. 🙂
(And boy did I not learn that one the hard way!)
One final thing, the comments below the picture reminded me – people seem to think I had gorgeous legs. To be honest, they seem stick insect thin to me in this pic but I know they are pure muscle there, 6 miles of bike rides a day saw to that. I think I still have gorgeous legs today, 65 kilos later. That is because these kilos I have accumulated have decided to live mostly on my upper body. My belly. So while my friends dreamed of having legs like mine I still dream sometimes of having a flat stomach, a discernible waist and very small breasts. (Whoever mentions that the flat stomach is doable, they are buying me lunch because two and half years worth of situps daily to get one – did I mention singleminded? – says no, it’s a potbelly and I am tall and big and no, on me, there is simply nothing adorable about it.)
I like who I am. Fat included. (Most days. Some days I hate it. But some days I hate everything. Fat included.)