Why do overweight people get a free pass? For some reason society has taken such pity on overweight people that we just sit back and take it when they want to bash anybody who doesn’t share “their struggle”. And God forbid anybody criticize a fat person or you will be labeled “cruel”, “unsympathetic”, “mean”, and worst of all “skinny” (ouch, that stings…maybe because I don’t have enough meat on my bones to absorb the hit).
Going through life as a scrawny, breast-challenged female hasn’t been a picnic (especially since picnics involve food and apparently, according to most fat people, skinny people don’t eat)—but I certainly don’t expect special treatment from others because of it. As far as I know, there aren’t any special parking spaces for anorexics, or disability benefits for those who can’t put on weight.
When I used to work with the public, it was almost a daily thing with female customers: “Oh my God, you are so skinny; I bet you don’t even eat!” “If you turn sideways, you’ll disappear.” “Wow, there’s nothing to you, you must be anorexic”. I don’t recall any witnesses who were offended by the slew of insults I was forced to swallow (and then regurgitate because that’s what skinny people do). Nor do I recall any advocate groups rushing to the defense of the badgered, bony banker.
It’s always interesting to me that fat comics (particularly female ones) will do a bit about their weight and they always have the cliché bit about the “skinny bitch” friend who goes to lunch with them and wants to smell their food (because the “skinny bitch” doesn’t actually eat). Not only is the term “skinny bitch” so unoriginal and expected, it’s just not funny. However, everybody in the audience howls with laughter and does the “good for you” fist-raise to express their approval. Well, they attempt to raise their fists in approval but many of them are excessively large and attempting such a motion could cause great rotator-cuff damage and shortness of breath.
There’s this “good for you” trend that’s out there now for overweight people. We have to say “good for you” that you are “happy” the way you are. “Good for you” for wearing a mini dress that makes your thighs look like Godzilla wrapped in an ace bandage. “Good for you” for constantly commenting on how fantastic your physique is and that you’re a “real” woman.
I really hate when women say, “Real women have curves”. So I guess I’m a pretend woman because I don’t have any rolls on my body that can be renamed “curves” to make me feel better. Would it be acceptable if I said, “Only real women have visible rib cages”? Or, “only real women can control their diabetes without medication”. How about saying, “Real women come in all shapes and sizes. Nobody is better than anybody else because of their ability to lose a pair of panties in their ass.”
I am very petite and have basically no fat on my body, but I have areas of my body that “curve”—my waist curves in, the area from my lower back to my butt curves, there’s even a curve to my legs. Can I now run around bragging to everybody that I am curvy and so sexy and wonderful? I think not. How about being humble regardless of your size and not criticizing people who happen to have the opposite weight problem. The thing that gets me the most is that society encourages these women to exclaim how proud they are of their bodies, how happy they are with their curves, how sexy they are for having something to grab onto—and everybody cheers them on no matter how obnoxious they are. But if a thin woman were to exclaim how pleased she is with her body, or that she thinks she looks fabulous, people would criticize her for being a conceited bitch (because she is! Who the heck likes a braggart?)
The celebrity tabloids are interesting because in almost every issue, there’s a picture of Tori Spelling’s spine. The picture caption is always a hurtful, insulting remark about how thin she is, but it’s always followed with a comment implying concern for her health. Really folks? Are you really concerned for her health? Is she having trouble walking? Breathing? Wiping?
Meanwhile, one of the biggest stars (pun intended) to come on to the scene recently is Gabourey Sidibe. Do I think she deserves to be made fun of? No, but I do think if we’re going to purport to be concerned about a celebrity’s health, perhaps she’d be a good candidate. Instead, everybody ignores the elephant in the room (pun not intended…or was it?) and gives her that “good for you” bullshit, and “you look gorgeous tonight, who are you wearing?” I didn’t know that falsely building somebody’s self-esteem could unclog arteries, and reduce your risk of diabetes.
I have some very overweight friends, I have some “average-size” friends, and they have all made insulting remarks about my size. I have never done the same to them (I usually just insult their careers). Here’s the bottom line: I don’t care if you say stuff about skinny people, people have always made fun of me, and continue to make fun of me. But, if weight is not an equal opportunity topic, maybe instead of spitting out your thoughts, you should eat your words (after you dip ‘em in high-fructose corn syrup).