Fat Hate Fatigue

One of the reasons I will never become a true ride or die fat bloggers is the fatigue.

After reading the seventh or eighth infuriating article in a row reminding me that the whole entire world hates our bodies, I hit the wall.

My mind simply won’t process the idea I could possibly be that offensive to that many people just by sheer act of existing in the shape I do, so I just walk away. I’m not sure whether that’s cowardly or smart.

It’s so challenging to maintain a healthy balance between realizing there is a problem; that size-discrimination is real, accepted and increasingly government sanctioned (I love Mrs O, but the institutionalized War on Fat Kids is not a trend I’d like to see continued), while also remembering to keep a sense of proportion.

Not everyone is a sizist jerk, just like not all men are rapists or all Republicans are women-hating whackadoos. It’s just that reading 47 articles in a row one night when you’ve fallen down the Jezebel/HuffPo/Social Justice Blog rabbit-hole might skew your world view a teensy bit.

This isn’t a knock against those who report the grim news from the front lines every day.  It’s just that I believe in being mindful about everything that goes in and on my body, including information.

also, there’s this

Someday I’ll write something thoughtful and poignant about how exposing ourselves indiscriminately to media that treats us like garbage in the name of mindless entertainment –and most of it is mindless– or deriving enjoyment out of shows that are basically hour long soft-core torture porn with a bonus side of sexual assault (or what my friend Mardie calls “Law and Order: Baby Rape”) is pretty screwed up.

Unfortunately, I’m currently living with only intermittent electricity (still) and as of last night –when I tried to excavate my original face under the layers of makeup required for dancing several hours under bright lights– no running water.

Frankly, it’s hard to be serious when failure to remove last night’s maquillage now means I look like Alice Cooper playing the Bette Davis role in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

That’s probably why Audre Lorde never wore liquid liner.

What about you? Do you get fat-hate fatigue? How does what you read in the media compare to your own experiences? Put it in the comments.

 

17 Responses to “Fat Hate Fatigue”

  1. Gryph October 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I think I get social justice fatigue. As a woman – especially as a fat woman, I get exhausted because there are SO MANY things to be angry about. And no matter what – even if I was my “ideal” weight, my body would still be public property. I’d still be too heavy, too skinny, too trampy, too prudish, too pregnant, not pregnant enough on and on and on. It doesn’t matter.

  2. Britta October 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Ugh, yes. I steer clear of those type of articles when I can because they’re a trigger for me (and honestly, are usually not very well-written).

    By the same token, I try to keep up on the size acceptance blogs/twitter accounts…I truly need constant reminders that there is life beyond the scale…but some of them just get so damn hostile! It perpetuates the us vs. them mentality that feeds fat hate in the first place.

  3. Lisa from SoCal October 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    There are times for speaking out, shaking one’s fist, and voting with one’s feet and dollars and (in the case of the web) clicks, and then there are times for reading a fun book in a garden watching the butterflies with a nice cold cocktail. it strikes me that wisdom and self-knowledge resides in recognizing these times when you need to.

  4. ChloeMireille October 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I get tired of it. So freaking tired. This is the closest thing I read to an FA blog anymore, because I’m. Just. Tired.

    I get tired of being reminded that I’m going to keel over from the fat any minute. I’m tired of being reminded that being a woman makes me a second-class citizen. I’m tired of remembering that being black is going to be an obstacle to so many things. I hate knowing that any of those things could be a reason for hatred or discrimination.

    I can’t even read a book or watch TV to escape it. I have to pick apart and analyze every bit of media put in front of me. I can’t shut that off anymore. I can’t enjoy something for what it is, because there will always be some offensive thing that I’ll notice, and it’ll ruin the show for me.

  5. marvel October 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Oh goodness, we haven’t owned a TV in over a decade. So much of popular entertainment is pure trash, why subject yourself to any of it? It’s not just fat-hate. It’s snark. It’s sarcasm. It’s an ugly view of the world, constantly dividing the in-crowds from the out-crowds, with an increasingly smaller definition of what’s “tolerable.” It’s the worst of high school cliques on steroids. Why anyone exposes themselves to our current media for anything but small snippets is beyond me.

    I probably pick up on different kinds of “hate” than you do, but there’s a lot of hate out there for a lot of different sub-groups, and not just for the PC ones.

    Much better to live to in the real world, with your real friends, and your real family, and to walk in the real wide open world under the sky, than to spend time in front of a screen worried about what some twit sitcom writer in LA thinks.

  6. Deborah Wolfe October 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    I get ‘gay bashing’ fatigue. Actually, I suffer from stupid-people-make-me-ill syndrome, wherein my eyes roll back in my head and I drool ever so slightly when stupid people…..exist.

  7. catrandom October 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Fatigued to the nth degree. After years in FA forums, I prefer in my middle age to go about my life, forgetting to the greatest degree possible how much people hate and are disgusted by people like me, and how much they are eagerly encouraged to feel that way by media and government and each other. And also to not keep being reminded how much fat people cooperate in all this — most fat people will chime right in with the fat hate.

    And I have no patience, none at all, with Mrs. Obama and her relentless spreading of misinformation and cruel fat-shaming. “Hey, fat kid! Your body is ugly and you can’t possibly be healthy, and you could be thin if you’d only get off your butt and stop being such a lazy pig, and also, you’re a symbol of everything that’s wrong with kids today.

    But hey, thin kids, don’t be bullies!”

    To. Hell. With. That.

  8. KESW October 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I am tired of it all in a general sense, especially in this political season. Seriously, I think all compassion for our fellow humans and respect for our differences has not only flown out the window but landed in a pile of dung and been run over a few times by large trucks. I’m so frustrated by those who are “on my side” of whatever debate I’m interested in yelling, screaming, shaming, or generally making fools of themselves and giving our opposition one more reason to hate us back rather than looking for ways to work together.

    I hate that food can’t be talked about without the ever-present onus of whether or not it will cause weight loss or weight gain, and the standards have gotten SO SO ridiculous. My daughter is underweight, and her pediatrician recommended she remain on whole milk, though she did not give a failure to thrive diagnosis. The people down at the WIC office tell me that since she’s over 2, she’s GOT to be on skim or 1% lest she (gasp!) GET FAT. From all the FAT in whole milk. When I mentioned the doctor’s recommendation, they told me that they couldn’t even put her on 2% unless she was absolutely sickly underweight. And the little pamphlets that I have to read and then make a statement on how I will change my diet or my child’s diet now that I know XYZ baloney about nutrition… ugh I have no patience for our First Lady’s war on fat.

  9. Liz October 17, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Oh gawd yes. I’m getting pretty sick of the Fatosphere in general, in fact. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s pretty far left, politically speaking. That’s the perfect way to alienate half the population, and it does my head in sometimes, but whatever.

    It’s the self pity, and the conviction that everyone hates them, and They Iz Victims, and they’re apparently being revolutionary by doing things like exercising while fat…Sometimes I get the feeling that their problems stem more from their personalities than their body types.

  10. Alison October 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    I vary from size 6-10, so I’m not quite a big girl, but I read this blog because love Miss Plumcake’s witty writing and sartorial style. Perhaps my size makes me approach the First Lady’s campaign from a different perspective, but I think it’s fantastic that she is encouraging people to eat real foods like vegetables, engage in creative moment through dance and play (rather than, say, a more narrow focus wherein the only reason to move around is to lose weight), and that she, as a powerful black mother and professional, is using her position to take on some of the most powerful corporate interests in the US. I do a lot of my research abroad, and every time that I come home I am shocked to be reminded that I can buy processed cheese in a can ($1.39), or snacks that can withstand the apocalypse ($.45), for less money than a bunch of spinach ($1.69) or a pound of carrots ($.83).

  11. aa October 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Nothing to do whatsoever, but I thought this might cheer you up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_IKFczAOHA

  12. Peaches October 18, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    I stay away from it as much as possible. Thats easier in written word than commercials and tv. But we are reminded in every day. I have to think about whether or not at size 22 I will fit in a chair. Whether at the opera or the dentists waiting room, its a problem.

    Then there are the jerks we are faced with in person. While leading a protest against the war several years ago the chief of police harrassed me as a crazy fat lady. He also said we had no right to protest. The media picked up the fat lady story and it was front page for days. Sadly the real story was the fact that our police chief was against our civil rights.

  13. catrandom October 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    @Alison: The First Lady’s project is designed to address “childhood obesity.” She could do all the things you talk about without addressing weight at all, but instead it is the centerpiece of the campaign.

    From Mrs. Obama’s own “Let’s Move” website: “Let’s Move! is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that every child born today — grows up healthy.”

    That is a shocking statement, with so many awful implications it just takes my breath away. It promotes the delusion that society can, through some magic combination of factors, prevent any more fat people. (Fatness is mostly genetic; perhaps we shouldn’t be allowed to breed?) And again, this tells fat kids — and all their friends and classmates — that they are sick, they are defective. How can it be right to tell anybody, much less little kids, that their very existence is a problem, and that it is in the best interest of society to make sure there are never any more people like them?

    Michelle Obama is an impressive and effective public figure. She has the power to do a great deal of good. That this campaign has instead been built around spreading the most pernicious, hateful stereotypes about fat people is intensely disappointing and frustrating.

  14. Constance October 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    It’s good to be reminded of the importance of monitoring what we watch / read. I’ve spent several weeks mired in the dark underbelly of mansphere mysognists’ blogs (and a lot of fat-hating goes with that). I like to know what the Enemy is up to, but at a certain point it just becomes an exercise in masochism and it’s time to turn one’s mind to what gives one joy, hope, pleasure and laughter,

  15. Tovah October 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I think I live in a world of my own. I really don’t think about the fact that I’m fat until I get myself into situations where I think I’m just taking up too much space — like on an airplane. I almost feel the need to apologize to the person stuck next to me.

    Other than that, I think I’m fine. Very overweight, but fine. Everybody’s dealing with something.

    The most discrimination I get is from doctors. I can almost see their negativity when they walk in the door. Add antidepressants to my history list and they can barely disguise their thinking ‘Hypochondriac”.

    The strides made are not enough. We’re all not just sitting on our couch eating bon-bons.

    I’ve always said almost all skinny people are just one step away from being fat. Step off a curb in the wrong way and break your ankle. Suddenly, you can’t exercise. Get a disease where you’re prescribed certain prescriptions that just practically make you blow up overnight.

    I guess, now that you mention it, what I hate is the smugness of my thinner counterparts. They feel they already have an edge on me.

  16. Harold Katkov October 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more. It’s time to … STOP THE THIN-SANITY!

    As a gay guy with plus-size girlfriends, I was getting sick of the twisted thinking that says anything above a size 4 is unacceptable. That’s crazy talk, so I finally did something about it: With a friend, I wrote a book called THE JOY OF PLUMP, a satire that pokes fun at the diet craze and our ill-spirited, weird obsession with tiny sizes. It got an awesome review on Kirkus Reviews, who said:

    Katkov and Sobkowski’s refreshing satire exposes the preposterous of diet crazes.

    You can buy it for $.99 on Amazon, right here, then read on your Kindle:

    http://www.amazon.com/THE-JOY-OF-PLUMP-ebook/dp/B009PVDXGS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350361284&sr=8-1&keywords=the+joy+of+plump

    It’s designed to be funny, of course, but there’s a strong message, too: That beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Hope you enjoy it!

  17. dcsurfergirl October 23, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I have fat hate fatigue. I’m so fatigued I can’t even talk about it.