Once upon a time, someone asked me why I hate going out to clubs and meat-market-style bars. I answered honestly: I am not a fan of draining my bank account to acquire the overpriced drinks necessary in order to make hanging out with people with whom I have little to nothing in common more tolerable. She laughed at me and asked me why I was “stupid” enough to pay for my own drinks when men would buy them for me. Again, I was frank: Men I don’t know don’t tend to buy me drinks at bars because I’m not the type of person they see as desirable in that setting. She proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for not knowing how to “work it” and for not having “confidence.”
How “confidence” and “working it” would have stopped the many men over the course of my dating experience from saying some variation of “I like you a lot but just not…. physically. Do you have any smaller friends?” (and those were the ones who were being kind), to give just one example, I don’t know. Continue reading “Self-Esteem Is Not Weight-Stigma-Ending Magic”→
Content Notice for Ableist Insult, Body Image and Discussion of Weight
After getting my body fat hydrostatically measured, I made the decision to stop obsessing over every little weight fluctuation and no longer use a scale. It’s been quite a boon to my sense of well-being to not start almost every day in tears over a few ounces gained or in fearful, tentative victory over a few ounces lost.
Of course, what would talking about a self-care victory be without a well-meaning person telling me that I’m not fat and shouldn’t care about it?
I am a “good fatty” in the sense that I haven’t engaged in long-term unrestricted eating in many years and I make an attempt at an exercise regimen. I am a “bad fatty” in that I occasionally take breaks from my restricted eating plans, don’t engage in physical activity on a consistent basis, and am unapologetic about the fact that health can be attained even by those dubbed overweight or obese based on the BMI.
I can put on a short skirt, a deeply-plunging neckline, appealingly “natural” make-up, high heels, and a sweet smile; wander in alone to a bar filled with allegedly-prowling men; and be left alone. I’d call it my superpower were it not for the fact that, the one time I’ve stayed until closing time, a man who had previously insulted me to my face and laughed about it with his buddies that night told me that I was going home with him (I didn’t).
Since I am not a fan of the bar and club scene, especially not for meeting people, it’s not a huge deal for me. In fact, it wouldn’t bother me at all… if it weren’t for other people. More normative-type people can’t understand why I would call a night out “expensive” because “you’re a girl!” MRAs declare free drinks to be “female privilege.” Even articles that debunk the notion of “female privilege” assume that free drinks are a universal female experience.
I constantly hear about all the free stuff women automatically get just for being women — free stuff I’ve never gotten. Pointing this fact out leads to people engaging in some rather ridiculous mental gymnastics in order to avoid acknowledging that lookism and fatphobia exist.
A lot of people had Thoughts and Feelings about the “So Did the Fat Lady” episode of Louie. Here’s the part that made me fist-pump the air and exclaim “yes!”.
You know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? “You’re not fat.” I mean, come on, buddy. It just sucks. It really really sucks. You have no idea. And the worst part is, I’m not even supposed to do this. Tell anyone how bad it sucks, because it’s too much for people. I mean, you, you can talk into the microphone and say you can’t get a date, you’re overweight. It’s adorable. But if I say it, they call the suicide hotline on me. I mean, can I just say it? I’m fat. It sucks to be a fat girl. Can people just let me say it? It sucks. It really sucks. And I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s your fault.
Look, I really like you, you’re truly a good guy, I think. I’m so sorry. I’m picking you. On behalf of all the fat girls, I’m making you represent all the guys. Why do you hate us so much? What is is about the basics of human happiness, feeling attractive, feeling loved, having guys chase after us, that’s just not in the cards for us? Nope. Not for us. How is that fair? And why am I supposed to just accept it?