trolling the internet for things to get riled up about poking around ChicagoNow when I came across this post titled "When Will Obese People Not Infringe On My Seat?". That headline totally caught my eye. Well done on the clickability factor.
I included the link to the post above so that people could read it and form their own opinions, because I'm just going to quote small pieces that I think sum up the "take away" (get it- fat people!) message:
"I paid for my seat and I don't want your big fat ass, and flabby arms in my seat. Your girth is your problem, don't make it mine."
"If you are obese and you spill into my seat, be rest assured that I will make a scene and you will be embarrassed."
As someone who's been in that obese category as long as I can remember when being labeled "obese" became a thing, it really made me sad to read this. One thing I've learned is that fat people do not need anyone else to shame them for their weight- they do that completely perfectly to themselves. All the time.
Do you think us obese folks don't know we're fat? That we don't realize people look at us differently, sometimes with pity, sometimes with contempt, sometimes with the hope that we don't sit next to them? That we don't feel the judging when we eat something lardy at a restaurant or pick up a nice shirt off the rack at a non-plus size store (if we even dare to go to such places)?
In fact, we often magnify the haterade or pity party we think is coming from others a million times more than the reality. We start to assume that everything bad or unfortunate that happens to us is because of our weight. Self-confidence in relationships suffers because you feel unworthy of positive attention and even love.
And so, at least in my case, the shame cycle continues. I get depressed and hopeless about my weight and I turn to what has given me comfort all my life, has been a lot easier than expressing emotions, and has gotten me into this situation in the first place- food. I feel more hopeless and I turn to more (and worse for me) food. And on and on and on.
I'm in that cycle must less now than I used to be. I've worked hard to lose weight, take better care of myself, respect myself, and find other ways of expression that isn't at the bottom of a pint of ice cream. But, I'm still obese. I might be for the rest of my life. Who knows. I know the author of the above article said they "don't care how [I] got to be so large" but how can you write me off as someone you don't want to sit next to based on my size?
Maybe we'll strike up a conversation and I'll have connections that will lead to a great opportunity for you. Maybe we know some of the same people. Maybe I'm celebrity (fat people are famous too). Maybe it won't bother me when you have to get up a million times from the middle to use the bathroom or that you snore because I get how I am spilling slightly into your seat. Maybe I'll save your life if you start choking or have a heart attack. Maybe my curvy awesomeness will keep you warm if our plane crashes "Alive" style. Maybe I'll even let you share some of my snacks. Maybe.
I hope some more respect and empathy for other people's stories and journeys comes into your life instead of disregard and prejudice. And please, save the fat shame. I have plenty of it already.
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