Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby Got Back

So I'm home sick today (still out with may-juh chest pain last night and this morning, although I am feeling a bit better this afternoon) and watching the Law & Order Marathon on whatever-cable-channel. The episode is titled "Fat" and centers around the bullying and beating up of a group of siblings...because they're - you guessed it! - fat.

Two thoughts on this: first, even though I've put on a lot (a lot!) of weight in the last two years, I have not once experienced active discrimination/taunting/commentary on my weight gain or - for people who didn't know me before - current size. This might seem impossible to some, and I'm sure there have been the occasional sales clerk or two who turned the other way, figuring I wouldn't fit into their offerings, but I currently work part time in a clothing store where only a handful of items would fit me. And guess what? I sell women's (and men's) clothes like nobody's business.

So nobody's holding my size against me. Why is this? I'm reminded of how brutal people can be when thinking back on the first time I heard of Saartjie Baartman, aka the "Venus Hottentot," a Khoikhoi woman turned European sideshow "freak" at the turn of the 18th Century. She - like many Khoi women - exhibited steatopygia, resulting in abnormally large large buttocks. As such, she was exhibited naked in public and openly mocked for her unique physique, especially in France.

Now THAT is size discrimination.
I guess somewhere between Saartjie and I lies the wide continuum of fat jokes, sideways tsk-ing glances, and the realization that the euphemistically named "Women's Deparment" might be the better place to shop. Perhaps the lacking of any real emotional or mental negativity surrounding my weight gain has prevented me from finding the right motivation to really kick-start my weight loss and workout regime.

Does this mean I need a series of insults to send me on my way? Not at all. But I am surely grateful for all of my friends and family who have recognized the change and realized that negativity and belittling do nothing to support a person trying to improve herself. And for that, I say merci.


marlie1971 on July 14, 2009 at 5:08 PM said...

I would say "tant pis" but I don't know if it works here or not ! (:-)

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