I’m used to the abuse by now. I can actually predict it from time to time. Often, I can brace myself for it, but sometimes it still gets to me. It’s not just the insults—actually those don’t really count so much,where’s the insult in being called fat if you really are fat—it’s the thoughtlessness and stupidity that I have a problem with.
I’ve always been the “fat sister.” Even as a child and even when I was very skinny—yes, there have been occasions, as fleeting and rare as they were; and that’s okay. My sister and I are share many similar features and mannerisms, and even though we are several years apart, I grew tall at a pretty young age so, size was a way to tell us apart.
I’ve never been vain enough to want to be skinny just to look good. I’ve been athletic and competitive enough to want to be strong and drop weight for a sport, but those are from days long past and I’m dealing with the now.
So, yesterday we accompanied my mom to her gown fitting. I don’t know if it’s something about people who work in the rag trade in general or just these same people I often encounter in particular, but there are a few I just really want to smack in the face, verbally and physically.
My sister, who used to work in the business, was being chatted up by the lady doing the adjustments on my mom’s gown, waxing nostalgic about their early days in the business. This woman then takes a look at me and asks my sister if we’re related, we jokingly replied with our standard answer, “no.” We usually follow this up with a longer explanation that’s meant to be funny. But, this time around, we didn’t get a chance. The woman interjects and says something like “Ah, okay, I was going to say, that’s how you’re going to end up.” She said this to my face. Good for her. Without a trace or clue to how stupid and how fucking rude she is. So I told her, that this is my natural state and I didn’t “end up” like this.
In truth, I was having a bad day even before we got there. So, to prevent things from escalating, I held my tongue. This woman was an employee at the establishment owned by a family friend. Who also happened to be gifting my mother this gown. I couldn’t very well start anything with one of his employees.
I felt quite torn; as much as it felt like “stooping” to someone’s level, I desperately wanted to let her know how fucking rude she was and how distorted her thoughts are regarding “ideal” bodies. I pity her. Whatever talent her fingers have for creating beautiful garments, her mind has soiled them.
I’ve always believed in not hiding behind “creative wording” when it comes to the F word. F as in FAT. It’s silly; and people ought to know what they are. Fat is just a word, the same as thin, or tall, or short. For me, it’s better to say fat than “big boned” or curvy—unless you really are, in my head this means a more filled out and voluptuous figure that lends a female deeper curves, therefore, “curvy.” Unfortunately, a lot of women misuse this term, thinking that their multiple, layered, convex-shaped curves, also fit the bill.
Anyway, this isn’t about a lecture on people and their fear of the fat word. I guess I’m trying to communicate that I’m not overly sensitive about it. I’m fat. It’s cool. I’m not okay with it. That’s why I’m trying to live a healthier life.
But being the marker or model for what not to be, that’s not right. Saying it the way she did, I’m just glad there weren’t more people. Had she embarrassed in front of many, class and manners be damned, I’m pretty sure there would have been blood!
So, what’s my takeaway from all this? I can’t change how people are or how they think. If you’re stupid, and you choose to remain so, that’s you’re misfortune. I don’t like being fat but I really, really like myself. So, watch out. I’m not one you can walk all over. You can try, but I assure you, at the very least, you will be limping home.
Moo if you see cow, but prepared to be stomped by a heifer.