“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.”
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.
Fat Acceptance Blogs:
Big Fat Deal: http://www.bfdblog.com/
Big Fat Blog: http://bigfatblog.com
Adios Barbie: http://adiosbarbie.com