I have a dirty little secret. It’s not a secret to those who have seen me–far from it! But theoretically I could keep it a secret from my readers forever. Because they can’t see me. Therefore, they don’t know that I’m..<shudder>… fat.
Meghan McCain (yes, that one’s daughter) has been writing for The Daily Beast for a few months now and doing it rather successfully from what I gather. I don’t know the specifics but apparently a woman named Laura Ingraham recently criticized her for being overweight, as if being fat and having a brain were mutually exclusive. Now, McCain is normally a size 8; sometimes she gets really huge and has to wear 10s. OMG! I can’t believe that she would even allow herself to be seen in public!
Meghan eloquently defended herself in this article. She doesn’t need any help from me. What I want to talk about is my own weight. About the way that I am made to feel marginalized because I am a person of “size.” I’m tired of walking around feeling as if everyone who looks my way immediately dismisses me because of my weight. But I can understand it. I’m so influenced by this culture, I do the same thing. I judge fat women all the time and find them wanting. They’re undisciplined, I think. They don’t care what they look like. It’s almost as if I think that their presence is an affront to my aesthetic sense.
But I’m one of them. So whatever I think about other fat woman I think ten-fold about myself. It’s always there, lurking underneath the surface: the conviction that I’m worthless and disgusting because I wear a size 16. And to add insult to injury, I’m also getting old. Soon I won’t be acknowledged at all.
I admit it: I don’t do everything I can do to lose weight. But there are complex reasons why I don’t. And those reasons are rooted deeply in the feelings of unworthiness that I have about myself. I’ve been struggling with my weight all of my life. The skinniest I’ve ever been was a size 8, and that was a long time ago. And I was really skinny. The ironic thing is, I’d give anything to be as “fat” as I judged myself to be when I wore size 12. But it’s frustrating to think that even then I’d be considered overweight by the standards of our society.
This is just insane. And the crazy thing is, most of the people who are doing the judging are, like me, overweight themselves. There are just not that many women who wear size zero. And a lot of them who do think they’re too skinny (unless they’re a celebrity). But when a woman who wears a 12 or 14 is considered “plus-size,” what chance do the rest of us have?
Here is an interesting picture of Pierce Brosnan’s wife before and after they married. I include it as a kind of litmus test. Look at it and see if you can manage to think positively about Ms. Smith (Keely Shaye Smith) now that she’s “let herself go.” And then read some of the comments. One person applauds Brosnan for sticking with her. As if she has committed a heinous crime. Or has the Elephant Man disease.
I know I just wrote a [intlink id=”big-women” type=”post”]post[/intlink] about this issue a few days ago. It’s hard to not be obsessed about the weight issue when you live in this society. And especially when you’re fat yourself. How I wish we didn’t judge people–especially women–by their appearance. But I wish even more that I didn’t judge myself.