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I am ranty and upset and I really miss home.

I have always hated shopping.  Shopping is difficult for me.  Being a big girl, I’ve resigned myself to years of living in shapeless clothes.  Lots of black, no colors, no shape at all.  I have a shape, and it’s round, and should be something that is hidden under as much clothing as possible.  There was a brief time when I didn’t give a shit, and would wear sleeveless shirts with lots of cleavage.  But I have learned to be absolutely ashamed of my body, and should hide it as much as possible.

I wish that I had it in me to wear pink tights and skirts and sleeveless shirts, just because.  But I can’t.  So I find stuff that sorta fits, and have stopped caring what I wear, as long as the flab isn’t showing.  It doesn’t help that I now live in a country that’s even LESS accepting of people like me.  And even if I wanted to buy new clothes, I couldn’t find any that even “sorta” fit.  Not unless I want to spend a fortune.

So WalMart stuff is cheaply made and mostly crap, but I know I could walk into any WalMart in America and find trousers that fit me.  I could find sweaters and tshirts and workout gear that fit me.  Sure, it’s crap.  But at least it’s available.

What the high street here tells me is that “You are not allowed to feel good about yourself if you are overweight.”  I went into a store trying to find a bra my size.  The store has an entire floor full of bras, but poorly organised, and I found 30 minutes trying to hunt down the color combination for my size.  I found -3-.  3.  And they’re not the prettiest in the world.  There was a grand total of 1 sports bra in my size.  And it’s like origami to try to put it on my body.  So, you want me to work out and lose my fat? Ok, great, where do I start?

And shoes.  The whole shoe department had maybe 3 pairs of shoes that were wide fitting.  And we’re talking about 30 racks of shoes.  I don’t care how much weight I lose, I’m still going to have wide feet that are a half size that no one carries.  And I’m always going to have these calves that no normal size boots will fit.  Unless I have some sort of calf liposuction to reduce the mass of muscles there, they’re never going away.

There was one store here in town that was a “fat girl” store.  3 floors of awesomeness staffed with these amazing women that always looked stunning. It closed a few months after I got here and moved into a tiny corner of a department store where no one even looks twice at you or tries to help.  The clothes look so sad and pathetic, as if they were just kind of thrown in there, in the back of the store, to hide the fat women from the rest of their customers.

I’m pissed. I’m SO sick of being told that I need to hide.  I just wanted to find some sweaters and a few pairs of khakis for our trip to Scotland.  But no luck.  I ended up crying in the store’s cafe while my husband tried to calm me down.  I’m sick of being told how worthless I am for being my size, and that I can’t possibly be happy with my body until I’m this unreachable ideal.

I hate having to apologise for living.  I feel like I have to make an excuse for everything I put in my mouth.  I hate having to make an excuse for being alive.

I’m sick of having no voice.  I’m sick of being told that I am a worthless human being.

So I’ll go on my trip with shapeless clothes that are 2 years old and falling apart because I can’t find anything in this entire country that fits me and makes me feel beautiful.

You think I should lose weight for my health? For my Happiness?  And if I agree to do it, does that mean I have to hate myself and be depressed the entire time? What about the body I have RIGHT NOW?  It’s not ok to love it because it’s disgusting right?  I shouldn’t show my arms or my legs or any part of me, cover it and wear black until I am thin or I die from being such a fat fat fatterson. Because obviously all I do is sit on my couch and eat junk food all day, because that’s what we do, isn’t it?  People like that shouldn’t be allowed to live or have feelings right? No, I don’t have feelings, I’m too insulated to feel them, right?

I am sick of living my life waiting to be happy because I don’t think I deserve it.  And if I keep listening to what everyone tells me, I don’t.

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I remember vividly the first time I ever told my mother about my husband.  I was in the blissful throes of “omg he likes me so much” and I wanted to tell her all about it.  And she said “You know what I love?  Is that you found someone to love you despite your body type.  You know, he loves you as you are”.  I know in my brain that these words were not meant maliciously, because I know my mom loves me.  As I am.  Whatever that means.  But tell my heart that? The words were like weapons and I took them to heart.  As if I was this unlovable person that couldn’t possibly be loved at my weight.  As there was something absolutely wrong with me that someone would have to completely overlook or “get over” before they could decide to love me.But isn’t that what society tells you? If you’re fat, you’re going to die alone and no one will ever love you unless you fit some mold?

A few years ago when I was living in Alabama, one of my coworkers asked why I wasn’t married, since I was about to turn 30.  Ignoring the rudeness of that, I just told her that I hadn’t found the right person yet.  And this woman, who I’d just met a few weeks earlier said to me “Well, you’re just too picky, then.  I know lots of guys who would go out with someone like you“. 

So what can I ascertain from that phrase “someone like you”?  Intelligent? Geeky? Funny? White? Short? Curly haired? Of course not.  And in case it wasn’t clear the first time, she made sure to spell it out for me.  “There are lots of guys who like women with extra meat on their bones”.  Well…good for them, then.  And thanks for thinking that I am not capable of finding someone to love someone like me and that I am being TOO PICKY with something as important as the person with whom I will spend the rest of my life. 

My husband observed that people are so worried about being “PC” that making fun of fat people is the only thing that’s allowed these days.  And in his way, he’s absolutely right.  Being fat is regarded as something that makes you a second class citizen.  And it’s perfectly acceptable for people to tell you how fat and disgusting you are.  As if you had “no idea”! And that it’s “for your own good”.  It’s ok to be prejudiced against someone who’s fat because we’re conditioned to believe that weight = unhealthiness.  So if someone’s unhealthy, they don’t deserve to live.  Or they don’t deserve to live as comfortably as everyone else.  So why shouldn’t you be able to discriminate against them? Because it’s really all their fault, isn’t it?  And if they really wanted to change and be better, they would be.

Guess what? You can’t tell a damn thing about what kind of person I am by looking at what’s on the outside of my body.  You can’t instantly tell me what my cholesterol levels are, or my blood sugar, or the status of my organs, or my fitness level.  You could guess, but you’d be wrong.  And do ANY of these things make me a person of worth?  And furthermore, are any of these things any of your business?

The realization I’m slowly coming to is that I’ve spent most of my life letting these judgements define me.  I see myself reflected back in the eyes of strangers and I have learned to hate what I see staring back at me.  And it’s hard to break that habit.  It’s hard to be allowed to love someone like me when I am told by everyone else that I don’t deserve that love because of what I am.

Someone like me is someone who is a person of worth who is loved BECAUSE of who I am. And I have to keep telling myself that I am a person of worth until I can shut out the voices that keep telling me that I’m not.