by Dawn Ellerbe
“You’re not fat, you’re beautiful!”
Well, how about that!
This is probably my all-time favorite meme:
Here we go again, I feel like I am right back at 7 years old jumping in that bounce house at the church picnic, see my previous post. I was so excited to be working with Fat Girl Reviews, I posted it all over my social media channels and most of the feedback I received was really positive, but some was NOT.
“Dawn, why would you call yourself fat?” Mmmm…because I am. And I do not care. Because every doctors’ journal says I am. Every social media troll that claims to be pro-body positive, but concerned about promoting obesity while touting their MD and Ph.D., Health Science and Nutrition degrees they earned on google dot com…says I am.
“Dawn, you’re tall, you’re beautiful, you’re strong, but I wouldn’t say fat.” Mmmm, well I am all of those things and the word fat doesn’t really negate me being tall, strong, or beautiful.
Oh and I love this one, “Dawn, maybe you can get the website to consider changing their name, I don’t think people would read a fat girl review.”
Well if you live outside the size norms and you need to know where you can sit down and eat without getting up with bruised hips, or which airline you can fly and not arrive with the outline of the snack tray embedded in your knees, then yes boo, you’d read Fat Girl Reviews.
If I hear “You’re so pretty for a big girl” one more time, I am going to need everyone reading this to contribute to a GoFundMe account in order to get me out of custody for the hardest backhand (a big fat strong one) that person has ever felt. Now I do not condone violence. It is only a thought, not an action. Bear with me as I am a work in progress.
Or how about this one: “Dawn, you are so cute and cuddly!” WTH. I am a forty (something) year old woman with adult woman parts and curves and hips and dips…and I stand over 6ft tall. How the hell is that still cute????? I do like to cuddle though (smiles.)
I love this one… “You’re not fat, you’re just big.” Like what the@#$& does that mean?
And from men, “Wow, you’re really pretty. You’re just too big for me.” Like dude, do you think you even had a chance, keep your insecure self over there! I AM way too big for you, but not in the way you think.
Anyway, you’re the one missing out because this “cute and cuddly” could change your life.
I am intelligent, called fat
I am beautiful, called fat.
I am strong, called fat.
I am a leader, called fat
I am tall, called fat.
I am sexy, called fat.
I am all of these things at the same time and if you call me fat, it does not take away from the fact that I am intelligent, beautiful, strong, and influential.
If I lost 100 lbs, to meet the “health standards” that everyone tries to reference on IG when trolling a fat person about “the risks of their extra pounds and its effect on their health”…guess what? I’d still be fat, my BMI (who made that up anyway?) would be 27. I’d still wear over a size 14, like over 67% of women in America. I know this because I’ve been almost 100 pounds lighter. My knees still hurt back then, my back still got stiff, AND I had trained about 5-6 hours a day at that size (weight). People STILL CALLED ME FAT! Bump those people!
It seems like people will allow you to call them anything…but please don’t call them fat. People use fat as a measure of what and who they are like the word negates anything good in their life. Who decided that was the case?
Witch, whore, jackass, dumb $%@&…but call someone fat and they will correct you in a minute. “I am NOT fat!”
By every medical journal, I am healthy. According to the indicators our doctors check during our annual physicals: blood pressure 120/72, cholesterol in a healthy range, diabetes indicators not within range, kidney and liver function within a healthy range and you guessed it….I’m still called FAT.
The funny thing is, my real doctors (like medical school doctors) always praise my healthy blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, and other measures of health but have never told me to lose weight.
My spin instructor encourages me through every class and always gives me a high-five at the end, even when I can hardly get off my bike.
I once took a body comp test at the gym and the results showed my bones, muscles, and organs weighed 183 pounds alone. According to the BMI for adults, at 194 I would be considered overweight…buh bye curves and hips and thighs. But the consultant’s response was simply “Our goal is to work on what is functional and strong for you.”
I am thankful for these positive experiences in my life.
The only suggestion of weight loss I’d received was from my orthopedic doctor. He usually just said that for every pound you lose, it takes 4-5 pounds of pressure off your knees. That it would help with my aches and pains a bit. He positioned it as a helpful suggestion. He never used the words fat or obese, nor had he pulled out any charts. Thanks, Doc!
I do have an occasion stiff knee, but I am sure that comes from 12 years of spinning in a hammer circle and attempting to squat every plate in the gym, not only from my “cute cuddly” waistline.
Also, don’t get me started on the “Courage” it takes to live your authentic life. If you are fat and you wear what you want, go where you want, speak your mind and, heaven forbid, date whom you want, you are considered COURAGEOUS. Isn’t that life?! Yep, I am courageous because I like nice clothes, I like to travel, I eat good food, and I date good-looking men? Imagine if I really did something special like earn an advanced degree, make an Olympic team, or win a few national titles. Very courageous, but still FAT.
I still don’t get why people think it’s okay to say things like this:
“Dawn, YOU look good in white pants, I’m afraid to wear them and I’m a SIZE 6!” Listen here sister, don’t go imposing your fear of white pants on me. I wear what I want. White pants, hell any pants, don’t stop at “your fear of growing out of a size 6.”
“Wait YOU’RE going to a pool party? Are you going to wear a bathing suit?” Nope, I am going to pull out my best wool overcoat and frolic around the pool in that. Witch please (because you don’t mind being called a witch, just not a fat witch) I am going to wear this bathing suit, as a matter of fact, I am going to put on a WHITE BATHING SUIT, under my WHITE JEAN SHORTS, lay out and soak up this sun right where everyone can see me. If you don’t like it, don’t look! I’m done hiding.
Let’s now discuss the looks I get when I ask where the “Plus Size Section” is in any department store. Before the associate actually figures out what I am asking and points me to the far right corner of the basement of the store, I get that pitiful look, or even better, their response of “Sorry (sad face) we don’t carry plus sizes, but our Kalamazoo store that is over the mountains and through the woods, on the other side of town does.” Listen here missy, you’re beautiful and so am I so keep those nasty self-righteous looks to yourself. Do you know how hard someone has to try to look down their nose at me? I am 6’2″. Save it, sister.
And please don’t get me started on policing what I eat…the nerve! Have you ever been out with so-called friends or even strangers and they have something to say about what you order to eat? It’s happened to me a number of times. I will take some responsibility for the sensitivity here… I’ve been on and off some kind of diet since I was 12 years old. It’s never really been a secret so I guess being open about that struggle makes people feel like they can comment on what I decide to put in my mouth.
“Mmmm don’t you think a vinaigrette would be better than ranch dressing?”
“What about a salad instead of fries?”
“You really want a double cheeseburger?”
“Do you know how much milk and butter and are in mash potatoes?”
“Didn’t you just finish eating a little while ago?”
“Let’s get a small pizza, so we don’t overdo it!”
“Let me help you with those wings…” Touch my last hot wing if you want to!
As I write this piece I feel a bit hypocritical. Not because I don’t believe all of the words I am writing, but because I have often spoken this way to myself. And for that I owe myself, and every other person I share this with, an apology.
I am joining the sisterhood (or brotherhood or humanhood) of wonderful people that don’t think fat is a bad word. And I refuse to let anyone else negate how amazing we are or negate our accomplishments, intelligence, confidence, power or beauty because we’ve decided to live out loud our absolute best lives, in this humanhood #whilefat.
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