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Fat Talk Rant | Manolo for the Big Girl

Fat Talk Rant

Oh. My. God. Y’all.

ENOUGH WITH THE FAT TALK. The next time I hear someone Fat Talk themselves I swear I’m going to put on my best shoulder-padded black and cream bias-cut chiffon wrap dress and matching hat and slap their whinging tedious self straight into the nearest lily pond.

“Blah blah blah I’m so fat blah blah I’ve lost weight but still look like a cow blah blah blah.”

ENOUGH! Because aside from all the other reasons not to Fat Talk –like it sets a bad example for other women, it’s self-destructive, plays into misogynistic stereotypes etc– it’s REALLY FREAKING BORING. I don’t know about you, but Mama’s got Things To Do and I really don’t have the time to sit around listening to you complaining about your thighs. Do you know whose thighs I care about? Andre’s…and occasionally Colonel Sanders’. That’s it. Are you Andre or Colonel Sanders? No? Then stop ruining my dinner party!

The way I figure it is you’ve got three reasons to be Fat Talker:

Option A:

You really do have low self-esteem and you WANT to air your self-loathing and manipulate innocent bystanders WHO BY THE WAY ARE TOTALLY NOT INTERESTED AND JUST WANT TO FINISH THEIR MANHATTAN AND GO HOME into telling you how pretty/not fat/wonderful you are. In which case you need to do what My People do and bottle that stuff up deeeeep inside until you can get to a therapist and sort yourself out or develop a respectable drinking problem.

Option B:

You’re one of those girls who has lost weight and are pleased but can’t say anything nice about yourself without qualifying it because GOD FORBID a woman sounds confident, so instead of saying “I look FANTASTIC so you all can just CHOKE ON MY MAGNIFICENCE.” which is what you really want to say (and you totally should) you have to say “Well I’m still a cow, and these pants look stupid, and my makeup looks like hell, but at least my clothes are looser.” Because that’s MUCH more entertaining than being told to choke on someone’s magnificence.


Option C:

You are Alana Edelstein,  we are in 7th grade gym class and you’re taking great joy in “complaining” how you can’t wrap your hands around your upper thigh anymore because you’re a Mean Girl even though everyone just likes you because you have a rabbit fur jacket and your dad is the second best plastic surgeon in town. In which case, just go for it because you’re two years away from a high school career punctuated by an ironically botched nose job and an impressive series of life choices resulting in knowing the free clinic staff by first name (proving once again my theory about rabbit fur jackets) and there’s no schadenfreude like junior high Mean Girl schadenfreude.


Fat Talk is self-destructive, misogynistic, manipulative and really REALLY boring so quit it before someone winds up choking on a lily pad. THE END.

30 Responses to “Fat Talk Rant”

  1. Madame Suggia January 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Well, actually, I AM fat. But that just means that there is even more of my magnificence upon which to choke. And I’m so damn busy being magnificent that I just don’t have the time to whine about how fat I am. Madame S xxx

  2. graciela January 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    It’s a tough balance to achieve. On the one hand you don’t want to sound self-loathing and on the other you can’t sound conceited. But when a man does it, it’s quirky to be self-deprecating and if they think they rock, they’re just confident.

  3. Plumcake January 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    That’s what I’m talking about Suggia!

    Graciela, and what happens if someone thinks you’re conceited? Someone will snicker and that will invalidate your entire being (that’s a line I stole from my pal Mardie, because she’s pithier than I am).

  4. Twistie January 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    You know what, Graciela? Every movement begins with someone willing to stand up and refuse to back down when someone tells them they’re being ‘uppity’ or ‘conceited’ or ‘unfeminine’ or ‘less than a man.’

    The real question is: are you willing to be the one to do it anyway?

    Me? I’m ready.

    I am fat. I am fabulous. And anyone who disagrees can damn well choke on my magnificence.

    I cannot stop others from following social norms, but I can darn well stand as a beacon to a girl – or woman – who wants to own her magnificence, but is afraid to try.

    Join me?

  5. SusanC January 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Yeah! Don’t forget option D- those with mental disorders. Isn’t the “OMG I’m sooo fat” line is a standard of anorexics everywhere?

    Plumcake, clearly you are already writing the script (and choreography) for your upcoming musical discussed a few days earlier. Keep up the progress!

  6. Mrs. Hendricks January 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    How about banning diet talk, too? For sheer boredom, it’s in a dead heat with fat talk. “Oh, I shouldn’t eat this.” THEN DON’T.

    I never watched “Dynasty,” but boy, those girls are fighting for worse acting ever. Yikes. And dude was just as bad. Thanks for the giggle.

  7. graciela January 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Twistie and Plumcake, you’re right. Totally. But unfortunately, women have this thing about being catty to each other no matter what the issue might be. I’m sure we’ve all dealt with it at one point or another and it’s sad. A woman who is confident about herself seems to get gossipy haters going. It’s their own insecurity, no doubt, or sometimes a misunderstanding. But it does make female friendships harder to come by.

  8. Plumcake January 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    But do you want to be friends with those people anyway? I have high standards of excellence for my friends and because I refuse to accept anything less, I rarely get it. Let the gossipy haters gossip and hate. It’s Not Your Problem.

  9. hickchick January 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    I’m not really sure this is germane to the discussion, but I found this link interesting.


    I guess we could all try a little harder to see each other as people.

  10. annie January 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Your post about disableddaughter has generated lots of traffic over there! I got so caught up in his story that I went back to the first blog and read it up to date. Extraordinary.

  11. Plumcake January 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    That was Francesca’s post. You might notice we’ve got SLIGHTLY different voices.

  12. kathi January 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    i have, in fact, lost weight recently (a bit more than 10 kilos, which i have no idea what that is in your old-timey measurement). but the only people who knew i was trying to lose weight were my mum (and dad, cos he’s not blind) and my two best friends (both women). i didn’t publicise it PRECISELY cos i didn’t want the congratulatory talk, as if by losing weight i was so admirable or was making myself a better person. in the end, people noticed, but i was still careful to answer their queries with a flippant answer, because i don’t want weight to be the most important thing about me.

    i have struggled with moralising about weight since i was very small (essentially as long as i can remember i have felt that i was a bad person cos i was chubby), and am trying very hard to believe that weight is not a moral or ethical issue, but, in fact, merely a practical thing.

    so, what i’m trying to say is- i’m with you 100% on the shut the hell up about your fatness idea.

  13. Twistie January 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    @graciela: You know, people keep telling me about how women can’t really be friends because they’re so into each others’ failures, but I can’t say it’s been my experience. I did have a couple of friends turn catty, but guess what? That’s when I discovered THEY WEREN’T REALLY MY FRIENDS TO BEGIN WITH.

    Don’t make time for haters in your life. And don’t expect that everyone you meet with a vagina is a shallow, vain, vicious back-biter.

    Real friends – male or female – have your back. And they aren’t just looking for the best spot to stick the knife.

  14. Evie January 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    You forgot one reason: because everyone else is doing it, and obsession with dieting/fatness/whatever is so normal that it’s (unfortunately) considered a relatively reliable shared interest among women. I work in an office full of brilliant, educated, interesting women, and the top three topics of conversation are shoes, our respective athletic activities, and how everyone wants to lose a few pounds before the weekend. I mean, the first two are great, but that last one has to go.

    The last time a co-worker joked that she needed to go on the “lose 10 pounds in a week diet,” I said I believe that’s called a bad stomach flu. Oy.

  15. Debs January 14, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    Okay. I am an idiot. I do this. So do many of my (female) associates. Women are conditioned to find ourselves our most attractive at our smallest, our most diminished. But we must put down our appearances, so others will buoy us up. I’ll try to do better. I do have other things to talk about.

  16. that redhead January 14, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Today a lovely little size 4 at work told me: I LOVE your style. And that blouse is fabulous. Is that Jones? Would you be offended if I bought the same blouse?

    I said thanks. Love this blouse. Yes, it’s Jones NY…got it at Macy’s. It’s gotta be on clearance. You should definitely buy it!

    How can you feel bad about inspiring someone else?

    (I’m a size 20)

  17. All Women Stalker January 14, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    I absolutely abhor fat talk. I ditched a friend (for what I hope isn’t forever) because she kept fat talking about herself and she wasn’t doing anything about it. It was boring, annoying, and it was contaminating the small amount of sanity I was building. Fat talk doesn’t do anyone any good.

  18. Abby January 14, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    I work hard at not engaging in fat talk. It is much less of a struggle than it used to be! With close friends it is a group effort – no body snark.

  19. zuzu January 14, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    I sent this to a friend who’s got more Issues than National Geographic and does the fat talk. I hadn’t really realized how little I hear fat talk since I stopped engaging in it until I started hanging around with him.

    He replied, “Fair enough.”

    I hope, for his sake, it sinks in. We’ve got other things to talk about.

    Now, even though I’ve gotten to the “no fat talk” point (the only weight I care to *talk* about is the kind that comes in 10-, 25-, 35-, and 45-pound increments and goes on the end of a barbell), I’m still working on the “choke on my magnificence” bit.

  20. Style Spy January 14, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    ::hangs head:: Guilty as charged. S-ingTFU now.

  21. dcsurfergirl January 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    When no one was looking, I lost 15 pounds and want to lose more. I am cutting my sodium intake, keeping chips (my weakness) and other junk foods to a minimum. I also drink water instead of soda. So far, so good. I took a while to tell anyone because well-meaning folks tend to “hover” over me (trying to support me) but stress me out instead and I pig out.

    The only truly interesting diet conversation I have had happened recently. I met a young woman that had just lost 75 pounds on a vegan diet. She said it took some getting used to but it did work for her.She was concerned that her sleeveless dress was too revealing. She asked me if she should wear its matching bolero jacket. I told her to wear the jacket if she felt self-conscious but the dress looked fine on its own. She did not engage in fat talk once. Personally, I felt she had every right to show off her weight loss all she wanted, especially with her can-do attitude.

    Can we all talk about something else? This makes friendships with women so much harder!

  22. Peaches January 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Hey Mom- – Plummie is talking about YOU.

  23. Lisa January 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    I’m pretty sure nobody ever watched Dynasty for the acting.

    I’d rather talk about shoes, cocktails, perfume, and cake any day. Today I am wearing these supercute Poetic license black flats with side bows, a bright orange blazar, and Narciso Rodrigquez for men.

    No cake, unfortunately, but a nice side of wild rice for lunch and I think I spotted mini canoli somewhere.

    I am a size 30, btw. No, it’s not horrible to me. You should be so lucky.

  24. Margo January 14, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I am a reformed Fat Talker, and I’m here to tell you, it’s possible to lead yourselves from the darkness into the light. Like quitting reading Lady Mags & tabloids, it’s given my self-esteem a bit of a boost.

  25. Melissa January 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I’m fat. There you go, that is the length of all my fat talk. Want to know what else I am? I’m the girl who will bake you a pie when your granny passes away, I’ll send you flowers on your birthday, I’ll listen if you need to cry, scream, laugh or bitch. Hell, I’ll do all four with you given the chance. And then we’ll go shopping so you can tell me how amazing my big legs look topping off those super fantastic Elli Tahari peep-toe sling back platforms. (Because, baby, big legs will make a blind man see!) And I’ll tell you that if you don’t buy those Keen sneaks I’m gonna. (Because we can be fashionable AND earth friendly – but usually not on the same day.) And then we’ll kill a bottle of something bubbly and I’ll have to call it a night. Why? Because tomorrow I’ll need to wake up bright eyed so I can go write those books that tell all those super hot Marines how to repair Marine One and keep my president safe.

    We can do it all – we should be taking credit for it.

  26. Jezebella January 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Go, Plumcake!! I learned Fat Talk at my momma’s knee. She is a fat talker extraordinaire. I’ve given it up, because it was costing me my sanity and my self-esteem, but it’s taken a long hard brutal campaign to get her to stop doing it around me. I told her my head would explode if I ever heard, even one more time, “You look nice, have you lost weight?” Because I NEVER – I mean NEVER – heard “You look nice[period].” What I’m saying, those of you who have children, is this: your fat talk is fucking up both you and your kids. Please do not model fat talk and self-loathing for your children.

  27. Leah January 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Two words, Plummie. Huz. Zah. :-)

  28. theDiva January 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Excellent post, Miss Plummy. Your number one fan, Gracie, hipped me to it (I was sick last week and missed it.)

  29. Opticians May 18, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Wonderful to read!