A Fat Rant (Hilarious Video Week Part 2)

Continuing with Hilarious Video Week, we have this gem that I ran into on the Other Magazine Blog. This one falls into the “funny social commentary” category. It’s hilarious, it’s smart, it’s sexy — and it’s saying stuff that I think is important. (Video below the fold.)

Oh, and for the record: Since Joy says here that it’s important to come out and not lie about your weight, and since I think she’s right about that: I weigh about 200 pounds. I’m not sure exactly, since I don’t have a scale and don’t weigh myself regularly; but the last few times I have, I’ve either been a little below 200 pounds or a little above it.

And Joy is right. People talk about a woman weighing 200 pounds as if that were grotesquely, “fat lady in the circus” obese. I’ve even read women go on about how disgusting and blobby they were at 160. It’s totally fucked up. And it’s totally out of touch with reality.

BTW, if you want to read more of my writing on this subject, check out my essay Woman Eats Brownies, Gets Laid on my website. The quote that’s most pertinent to this video (and to the hotness of Joy — yum!) is this:

So here’s the funny thing: I have learned to convince myself of my own sexuality by a peculiar sort of proxy. Since I have terrible trouble believing in my own desirability, but no trouble at all believing in the desirability of other big women, what I wind up doing is seeking sexual affirmation, not by looking in the mirror, but by looking at other women who look like me. When I catch myself drooling over some hot babe with a nice meaty body that I’d really like to get my hands on, I remind myself that other people — especially other women — probably feel the same way about me.

Does that work for anyone else? I’m curious. If it does — or if you have other mental tricks to chase the beauty myth out of your brain and convince yourself of your hotness — I’d love to know about them.

A Fat Rant (Hilarious Video Week Part 2)

5 thoughts on “A Fat Rant (Hilarious Video Week Part 2)

  1. 1

    A great video — I loved it.
    But here’s the issue I’m struggling with. I too weigh roughly 200 lbs. (like you, I rarely bother weighing myself, but when I do that’s usually pretty close to the number I see).
    I know plenty of people in their 20s, 30s, maybe even 40s who are fat and active and healthy. But when I start looking at the fat people I know in their 50s and 60s, the “it’s possible to be fat and healthy” rationale starts to fall apart. The people I know who are 50+ and significantly fat are universally falling prey to musculoskeletal problems, diabetes, breathing problems and heart problems.
    I haven’t yet decided what to do about this — I know as well as anyone how well dieting works (like the character in “Company” who sings “It’s not so hard to be married/I’ve done it three or four times,” I’ve dieted “successfully” on several occasions). And while I still enjoy walking with my dogs or shaking my booty to the drums, “regular vigorous exercise” is not a good fit with either my overfull calendar or my sedentary preferences.
    If I die early, well, c’est la vie. But I’m not interested in spending the next 30 years of my life immobilized and in pain.
    I guess I don’t have any answers here, but I just wanted to talk a bit about what this issue looks like from the other side of the fifth decade.

  2. 2

    Those are some really good questions, Janet. I’m still south of 50, but not by that much (I’m 45), and I’m facing some of these questions — which I know will get harder as I get older.
    The one useful thing I can say, based on my own experience and everything I’ve read, is: Exercise. If it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, make it fit.
    And even if it doesn’t make you lose weight — keep doing it. Exercise may or may not make you lose weight, but all the evidence is that it will make you much healthier at the weight you are, in every physical system you have. It won’t make you quite as healthy as a thin person who exercises, but it’ll bring you close — and it’ll make you much healthier than a thin person who doesn’t exercise. And everything I’ve read is that it’s a huge key to aging well.
    Believe me, I know how hard it can be to fit it into a busy life. When you already don’t have enough time to work and chill out, adding regular vigorous exercise can seem like an impossible time-suck. So here’s a mental switch that works for me.
    When I exercise, I do lose a certain amount of time in my day/week. But the time I have left is SO much better. I’m more relaxed, more focused, less likely to get depressed. I sleep a whole lot better (and as big a time suck as exercise is, insomnia is a MUCH bigger one). My mind is sharper, my concentration is better, I’m less sluggish. So while my work hours may get reduced, the time I have left to work is WAY more productive. And the same is true for my leisure time — I don’t have as much of it, but I enjoy the time I do have a whole lot more. (Speaking of which — one of the big areas exercise improves for me is my libido.)
    And since, after some experimenting, I’ve found forms of exercise that I really like, I’ve begun to think of it, at least sometimes, AS my leisure/fun time — not something that pulls me away from it. That, I think, is key. Experiment until you some kind of exercise you like to do. For me, it’s dancing and weightlifting; for you, it might be long walks or Tai Chi or fencing. Just make sure it’s something you think you’ll enjoy, so you’ll stick with it even when you’re not in the mood.
    I often think that we’d be a lot better off if we emphasized these benefits of exercise instead of weight loss. Weight loss fails so often, and people get discouraged and give up. If we as a society promoted it as, say, a natural anti-depressant, I think more people would stick with it and make it a priority.
    I do get how hard it is. I especially get how hard it is to get started when it’s not already part of your routine. But really, it’d probably make more of a difference to aging well than any other single thing you could do.
    Sorry to be so rah-rah about this. I just hate the way exercise in our culture is pitched as being about weight loss and the beauty myth, instead of about making ourselves happy. It just seems like part of the whole “disconnected from our bodies” thing — we exercise to turn our bodies into beautiful, desirable objects, not to make them better places to live in.

  3. 3

    Greta, I second your statements about exercise. I started running last year after months of sitting on the couch watching TV and getting depressed. In the back of my mind was the thought that I’d lose some weight. (I’m 140 at 5’3″, which I realize is not fat, but which the media tells me every day is not beautiful and the health charts tell me is the upper limit of healthy for someone my height.)
    So here’s the thing: In the year that I’ve been running, I have not lost a single pound. In fact, I may weigh a little more. I don’t know because I haven’t stepped on the scale in months. But I have gained something way better: self-esteem. Running makes me feel powerful and capable and sometimes, dare I say, high. Training for races gives me a goal. I don’t think of it as daily exercise (boring) but as a sport, and I think of myself as an athlete.
    I’m still struggling with body image. The other thing about running in races is that you see a lot of runners who are faster and fitter and yes, thinner. It’s a challenge not to compare myself to them and to remember that I’m only competing against my own best times and no one else’s. I am competitive, and I do sometimes wonder how much faster I’d be if I were lighter.
    That said, the day I completed my first marathon, I felt sexier than I ever have in my life and it had nothing to do with my looks (a sweaty, red-faced, but glowing mess.)

  4. 4

    Like others who have weighed in (so to speak), I find it hard to stay consistent with anything I think of purely as exercise. I love my bicycle because it TAKES me somewhere. I can’t comprehend the person who puts on spandex on the weekend and drives somewhere with their bike in their SUV to go for a ride.
    Instead, I’ve stopped running my weekend errands in my car; last weekend, for example, I rode across town to pick up a prescription, stopping on the way for tax forms.
    If I don’t have bikable errands, I settle for seeing something new. Today I rode into a sketchy-looking park and discovered the cuteness that is goslings, and the scariness of an actual mother goose. Cute overload!

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