Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fat Talking Man

I received some feedback about a presentation I did a little while back where I was accused of fat-shaming myself. I read that comment over and over again. I am not ashamed of who I am. I am publicly out as a fat person. I decry the behaviour of those who act out of a 'right to cruelty' sense of thin superiority. All of these things jumped about in my head when I read this. I thought back to the presentation and can remember making only two comments about my weight, neither of them suggesting that there was anything wrong or disgusting with me or my body.

I'm not sure who made the comment or what it was that they heard. But I had to think about what they said. I came to the decision that I'm not going back into the closet about my weight or about my existence as a fat man in a hostile world. It's part of my personal narrative and it's well within my rights to talk about it. Mentioning the fact that I am fat is not 'fat shaming'. Talking about my experiences as a fat person is not 'fat shaming.' Joking about my weight is not 'fat shaming' if those jokes are about people's response to me being fat or my experience of being fat, I avoid joking about any experience where fat is attached to a moral value.

It is not uncommon for people to tell me, in comments after a lecture, that I shouldn't mention my weight. It's like just the fact that I say out loud who I am, conjures up all the bad things they think about fat people so therefore I should be silent. 

I won't.

I'm fat.

I live a fat life.

And fuck it, I'm going to talk about it.

Silence, so often, is translated directly into shame.

Not in this boy.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

You are Dave. Everything about you makes up the unique and wonderful person that you are. I agree that the 'fat shaming' comment reveals much more about the commenter than it does about you.
clairesmum

Liz Miller said...

Amen.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

The human body isn't perfect. Some of us shouldn't have to work as hard as we do just to keep from getting larger - that's not our job.

And the medical profession has been completely useless, in my 67 years, at determining what the problem is and correcting the body system problem.

I know - from your comments - how you and Joe make a point of eating in a very healthy manner, and that's all you can do.

Society has created the problem, and then demonized those who fall outside of their 'guidelines,' and it is all ridiculous. They just need someone to look down on/consider inferior to themselves. That is their failing, not ours.

You might as well not say you're a man, when it is rather obvious that you are; or not say you're white, ditto. I'm 1/4 to 1/2 Mexican (depending on how you count), but most people don't see that when they look at me because I take after my Hungarian father. I hear the most appalling things about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans said in my presence. I speak up.

Haters are everywhere.

Rachel S said...

Sure, you're fat. I've seen pictures and video. Being willing to say that out loud doesn't mean you're shaming yourself, unless simply saying, "Look, I'm fat," is automatically shameful because other people think it is. Fuck them. The situation is what it is, and is occasionally humorous, as well as mentionable.

If you couldn't find humor in it, Dave, I'd be much more worried about you. Some of the worst (and funniest) jokes I've heard from variously disabled people are about their particular disability.