Fat Bitch

“Our all-or-nothing nation is built on foundations of fantasy. Our imagination is harnessed to America’s adolescent fantasy – how much prettier, thinner, richer, and more successful we will be one day,” states Courtney Martin in Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters (page 209).

Martin focuses in on her best friend Gareth. a Brooklyn based beauty. She is an activist and an actor – mentoring a little girl with AIDS, marching in Pro Choice rallies, writing and performing monologues in off Broadway productions.

All of her accomplishments are buried and invisible because she is fat. Obesity strips away everything.

Gareth is on the subway headed into the city, knitting as she rides. As she stuffs her yarn into her purse and stands to get off, a man sitting nearby yells “Yeah, that’s right, get off the train you fat bitch!”

Gareth stands there, staring straight ahead, humiliated and silent, unsurprised. She has suffered a lifetime of these cruel remarks, yet later she will relive this moment over and over in her head. It is a loneliness so deep, she must turn it into anger to survive.

“Sizeism remains the only truly socially acceptable form of discrimination on the planet,” Martin notes. “Today fat is the death penalty of the twenty-first century.”

When asking a group of 14 year old Manhattanites how their life would be if they were fat. They were struck silent. After a few moments, one responded “I would be dead.”

Dead.

Death over Fat

Cancer over Fat

Even Oprah is willing to humiliate herself in front of the whole damn world due to the fact that she gained 40 pounds. Shit. If Oprah can’t even get her head around the purpose of life, how are all the women that look up to her going to do it?

The story of Gareth weaves through her daily life, and ends in a tattoo parlor in St. Marks,  the punker hang out of NYC. Gareth is on the table, scared and pale, suffering for the purpose of inking forever more the message that she wants to yell to the world;

A zipper, at least two feet long, is etched into her pale skin. The top appears to be open a few inches, as if Gareth is aching to crawl out of her own skin.

-mamaV

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Fat Acceptance Blogs:

Big Fat Deal: http://www.bfdblog.com/

FatFu: http://fatfu.wordpress.com/

Big Fat Blog: http://bigfatblog.com

Adios Barbie: http://adiosbarbie.com

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3 Responses to Fat Bitch

  1. sannanina says:

    “Sizeism remains the only truly socially acceptable form of discrimination on the planet,” Martin notes.
    Thank you for linking to fat acceptance blogs. I just wanted to say something about above quote: Sizeism is not the only form of acceptable prejudice – in many circles racism and homophobia continue to exist quite openly, not to talk about that the majority of people who state (and even believe) that they are not racist or homophobic still hold subconscious prejudices that can influence behavior without them even noticing. Just because things have gotten better for some groups it doesn’t mean the problem of facing prejudice has disappeared. And I haven’t even talked about prejudices against people with disabilities, old people, or people of relatively low socio-economic background.
    I don’t think the problem of prejudice will ever fully go away, and I think it is important to recognize this. It is unfortunately quite natural for us to think in terms of ingroups and outgroups and to attach value judgments to different groups. It is also natural (and to some degree necessary) for us to oversimplify and to assume all people in a group are the same. Just because it is natural, however, does not mean we shouldn’t fight against it. If we truly want a more just society we will actually have to fight for it in our own heads, and I believe history shows that there is possibility of improvement – we will just never fully reach the ideal of a totally prejudice free society.

  2. anonymous says:

    Sticks and stones only break bones, but words will hurt forever.
    The way we treat “fat” people here in America is BS; humans are human, sharing all of the pain and problems and sorrows you and I have. Being fat doesn’t decrease your value as a human, nor does it reduce the respect that you should be given. As Aristotle once said, “Be kind to everyone you meet, for they are all fighting a hard battle.”
    Even though that’s how I view things, I have to admit I don’t tend to be attracted to overweight people. I would far rather be anorexic then overweight. I know that’s pretty standard for the way most American ladies view things, but I’m not a female; I’m a straight guy.

  3. Sarah says:

    Anonymous, that’s really sad.
    You’d rather suffer from an eating disorder than be a few pounds overweight? You don’t care that individuals with “overweight” BMI ratings have the HIGHEST life expectancy while people with “underweight” BMI ratings are dropping dead? Seriously, get your priorities straight.

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