I freaking love Nicole Hollander. Not only is she consistantly funny, I think she was channelling our own Plumcake for this morning’s Sylvia strip:
Still, underneath the awesome is a very real problem we big girls deal with everyday: people who love us…but would love us more if there happened to be less of us. Mothers, fathers, lovers, siblings, co-workers, bosses, offspring can all indulge in this dispiriting form of love.
It’s not even necessarily that they don’t really love us. They’re concerned for our health. They’re worried about how others who don’t know us will perceive us. Many of them really, honestly think they’re being helpful. Mostly, they’re just trying.
But what do you do when the concern troll in your life is your life partner?
You can start by recommending some good reading material. Tell him you’ll be happy to discuss the matter once he’s read a few articles at Shapely Prose, The F-Word, The Rotund, or some of the other fine blogs on the Fatosphere feed. After all, chances are he’s not even aware there is another possible point of view. Pretty much every mainstream source demonizes fat and, by extension, fat people. It can be an amazing revelation to realize there really is another way of seeing things.
You can set boundaries. Tell her when she says something negative about your weight (or her own) that you aren’t going to enter into the conversation. This is particularly important if you’re in recovery from an eating disorder. Later sit her down and inform her calmly that the criticism implied in negative body talk is triggering or hurtful to you, as the case may be.
You can tell your partner that you have enough negative voices in your own head and need some damn support, already.
If worst comes to absolute worst, you can leave…or throw your partner out.
A good partner is supportive. A good partner is willing to listen. A good partner will stand up for you. A good partner doesn’t just parrot what you say, but darn well treats your opinions and emotional needs with respect. A good partner doesn’t need your weight to change for his or her benefit…and is willing to accept that it might not be to your benefit, either.
And honey, every single one of us deserves a good partner. Why? Because we are intelligent, elegant, sexy, sassy, talented, tart and entirely composed of awesome and glitter.
Anyone who can’t see that for a little tummy jiggle just ain’t worth the trouble.