No, not Fuck. Not Feminist, either.
I am what is known as an “in-betweenie.” I am, as this lovely post describes, neither a size 8 nor plus size. I am “in between.”
“Wait a second! If you’re NOT plus sized, why are you even writing about this?”
Couple of reasons that don’t just have to do with the importance of society as a whole learning how to treat fat people as, you know, PEOPLE.
One, now that I’m vaccinated (House Pfizer), I’m about to get a physical for the first time in three years. Normally, I go every *other* year, because I’m not managing any chronic conditions, so there’s usually not much change from year to year. Well, I was due to go in March 2020, so that didn’t happen, hence three years.
In the interim, the practice I go to has moved locations and basically the entire staff of doctors has turned over. As I mentioned, I’m an “in-betweenie” but according to the BMI chart, I am just a hair shy of “obese.” The primary care physician I used to go to and I understood each other on this front, though. After my first few visits with her, where every single time, she’d look me over, look my chart over, and ask: “Did they record your weight correctly?” she finally asked: “Do you think you might be unusually dense?” I don’t think she was trying to politely call me stupid, and yes, among other things, I’m negatively buoyant. That is, I’m denser than the amount of water I displace, unlike most people, who can float. I exercise a lot, my numbers are good, so I never got The Talk about how I’d Be So Much Healthier If Only I Would Lose 25 Or Better 30 Pounds.
Well, now I’ll be seeing a new doctor. And I have to admit, I’m anxious that she’s going to hassle me about my weight. And I am not looking forward to that.
The utter contempt with which the medical establishment treats fat people is well documented – and obscene. The fact that anyone, anywhere would be worried that their doctor is going to be too busy judging them to provide competent care is unacceptable. And yet that’s the reality that FAR FAR too many people face. And you know what it doesn’t help anyone do? Be healthier.
On a more positive note, there’s been some great Fat Acceptance stuff happening in pop culture lately. I can highly recommend two shows: Dietland (if you like your humor EXTREMELY dark) and Shrill (if you want a little sweetness with your incisive social commentary).
Both are based on eponymous books, by Sarai Walker and Lindy West respectively.
Dietland follows Plum (Joy Nash) as she learns to stop apologizing for her existence as a fat woman in concert with the rise of the Jennifer movement, which seeks to visit consequences on criminal men the official justice system has allowed to avoid them.
Shrill follows Annie (Aidy Bryant) through the normal ups-and-downs of being in your 20s: feckless boyfriends, fighting for career opportunities, supporting your friends even when you don’t agree with their choices, parental illness, etc. But Annie is also fat, which impacts all those things, as she works through growing up and coming into her own as a woman and a professional writer. And Annie *never* apologizes for her existence as a fat woman, even if some of the people around her can’t always deal with that.
And that’s what I wish for all of us – thin, fat, in-betweenie – radical self-acceptance and NEVER apologizing for who we are.
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