So far, I’ve talked a little about my being fat. I’ve discussed what plus sized fashion did for me, and I’ve discussed why embracing the word ‘fat’ means. I’ve mentioned many times how severe my self hatred was and how the hatred for my body was like kerosene on an all consuming fire. I’ve talked a little about me.
There was not an exact time that I came to terms with being fat. Some people have been known to ‘come out’ as fat, or as being okay with their fatness publicly. I didn’t do that. Instead I just gradually mentioned my fatness in conversation, not as a joke or as form of self deprecation, just as a fact. Most people go with it. It’s a pretty chill thing, after all. It’s not a big deal. I mean, I am big but the ‘deal’ of being big isn’t big.
Every now and again, the internet gives me a jewel. Sometimes when we look hard enough, we find the things we so desperately need more than the things we want.
SparkleFat: Poems That Intend to be Seen by Melissa May is one of those things. I found it looking around on Amazon for books about fat studies. Lo and behold came a body positive book of poems. It was written back in 2014, so reviewing it is kind of like showing up late to a party, but May’s poems have affected me profoundly. So here we go.
(This was initially posted on my Medium account but I also put it here because I do what I want.)
Hey, I see you. I hear you. You care. You care about us and our health, and our lives which you have never before and never again will come in contact with. You see us: all fat, cellulite, rolls and projected insecurity and you ask yourself, “How can I help this total stranger?” Because you care so much. You care so much that you’ve decided to reach out and give them some life-saving information. Gosh. You deserve a medal! On it, I will engrave your new title: Best Self Appointed Health Expert Ever. It’s a tad long, I know, but it’s a BIG medal. You’ll have earned it.
You know they might not take it too well. I mean, it’s not like theyunderstand why you’re approaching them, a total stranger, about their health. Us fat people are stupid, you know? Poor things, all of us.
Well, because I know you care I’m going to give you some helpful hints. Some little tidbits of information that can help you save a fatty close to you, or HEY a fatty you’ve never actually met before. I’m helping you because I, like you, care.
So here’s the deal: I’ve always been fat. I have always been fat and I have always had trouble finding clothing that fits AND makes me feel good.
As a result, I hated shopping for clothes. I loathed the whole process. I loathed schlepping through the store, I hated digging through the clothes to find my size (which, as I got fatter, the store didn’t even carry), and every turn in the fitting room was a source of dread and exhaustion.
I updated a week later! Again! This one is short and kind of a cheat but, hey, thems the breaks.
For a while now I have been trying to write about my experiences as a fat person. I made a post about a book that I thought would serve as a starting point. I hoped it would be a foot in the door, and I have been trying to write about my experiences and thoughts as a fat person ever since. I want to talk about fatphobia and sizeism. I know there are people on the internet who laugh and swear those systems of power don’t exist. I want to convey to you how it has influenced my life. I want to tell you what it feels like to see a coworker post “ANYONE OVER 250 POUNDS SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO WEAR YOGA PANTS” twice in one week. I want to tell you about the structures that keep fat people in a never-ending cycle of self hatred and punishment. I want to tell you how I grew up wishing I could cut the flesh from my body so I could be thin.
I want to tell you that I’ve spent my entire life walking through the world, ready to apologize for the space I take up.