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Feeding Tubes: There not just for anorexics anymore!*

16 Apr

Looking to loose weight before the big day? A feeding tube – of course!

Brides Tube Feeding to lose weight

Just tell ole’ doc you want the K-E diet trick, and in the tube goes, and off come the pounds.

I’ve said since day one that our society is creating eating disorders, I am not sure there is another such blatant example of proof.  The fact that a woman would even dream this up is totally pathetic, and so ignorant it pains me. The lack of empathy and understanding for what a “real” ED is unreal. Further, the press is so coy in their reporting of such tragedies tangling up the headlines stating woman are “resorting” to this treatment – when in actuality if there weren’t such nutcase doctors collaborating on the ideas there would be no story to report on. And yes, by my writing about it, more women are going to do it.

In this case, its some dude named Dr. Di Pietro is proud to placing his name on the procedure. Here’s what the genius has to say according to the New York Times (who dubbed this story “The Hunger Games”);

“At first I decided not to do it for people who just want to lose a few pounds,” Dr. Di Pietro said. “But then I thought, why should I say 5 or 10 pounds are not enough? People want to be perfect.”

What exactly IS perfect Dr. P? Do you determine this or does your patient? Have you ever met a woman who actually reached her imaginary perfection? How about a woman who dropped over on you because you gave her such an unnecessary, vain, treatment? It’s only a matter of time as far as I am concerned.

Here’s Dr. P’s very strict requirements to be eligible for tube feeding pre-wedding:

1) Cough up $1,500 cash for the 10 day treatment. For this he does includes a screening and the equipment (I wonder what the screening is? Fog a mirror and have a detectable heartbeat?)

2) Feel confident enough to wear the tube in public.

“People think I’m sick, I’m dying,” said Ms. Schnaider, a watch wholesaler in Miami. She refrained from going into her daughters’ school. “The children, they would be scared,” she said.

 

How intuitive of you Ms Schnaider. I am sure your daughter will have no ill effects seeing her mother prance around with a feeding tube while jumping on the scale each morning in delight as another pound falls off your already trim frame (this poor, innocent, child is basically scarred for life, can you even imagine a child seeing their parent in this “chosen” condition).

See Ms. Schnaider in this video and you’ll see the size and shape of her body that just had to be 10 pounds lighter for her wedding day.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The fact that we make a complete and total joke out of eating disorders is unacceptable, and in this case, what about individuals that have true health conditions that require them to be feed by tube? What are we saying to them — “Wow, that looks fun! Great way to loose weight huh!” Haven’t these people suffered enough?

We are a sick, sick country. And personally, I am so damn sick of it.

mV

XO

*The term “anorexic” is one utilized by the general public therefore I have used it in the headline for it to be understood. The correct terminology is “anorectic”

Bacardi "Get An Ugly Girlfriend" Campaign

19 Jun

Want to look hotter? Find a fat, ugly friend to stand next to, and bring on the Bacardi Breezers!

Jezebel found this doozie of a campaign created by some lumps from McCann Digital in Israel.

The site suggests that like Bacardi Breezers, ugly friends come in
several different varieties, and women should go ahead and use them to appear more
attractive in social situations.

The copy reads as follows;

"Lucy's rubbing thighs, magically combined with a sticking out jaw and drooping breasts will turn any trip to the mall into an unforgettable experience. Shop like never before with your own freckled pile of cellulite."

On to Sally who gives you the attractive edge because shes "97 kilograms of femininity, strength and double chins. No tire can disguise the lumpy rolls decorating that body. Look your best without every visiting the gym!"

Since when does a marketing campaign targeted to women use fat hatred and our body image wars to sell products? Seems an odd strategy to me, I mean, what kind of woman would think this crap is funny?

-mV

Who is MeMe Roth?

4 Jun

A. Kate Harding's Arch-Enemy
B. Nut-job with nice hair
C. Anti-Obesity Advocate
D. All of the above

If you answered D, you are correct!

Roth is the President of National Action Against Obesity  (NAAO), a group dedicated to;

-Reversing the obesity crisis by eliminating disease and
obesity-accelerators from the food supply.

-Barring junk food from
child care centers, preschools, and schools.

-Eradicating
Secondhand Obesity™ (obesity handed down from one generation to the
next, as well as from citizen to citizen).

-Encouraging exercise
across all ages.

NAAO believes success relies upon wholly re-imagining what the U.S.
population considers “normal” food consumption and “normal” exercise.
They believe that when the majority is overweight, America cannot be normal.

So far, so good in my opinion….but from here she goes off the deep end.

-She is a woman who admits to "not eating until she has exercised."(so be it if she doesn't get to the gym until 4 o'clock in the afternoon).

-She is a mother of two girls who is surely screwing with their precious little heads, which will undoubtedly result in a life time of deprogramming.

-She describes obesity as "abuse of our children and ourselves." This seems to be over the top language to attract attention to her cause. Can't blame her…America loves this crap…say something outrageous and you are sure to be booked on O'Reilly the next day.

-She is a total poser which only serves to reduce her credibility.

Here's my take on the topic after much research and a mother of two happy, healthy children;

-Obesity is part hereditary, some of us are born with the tendency to weigh on the heavy side – I don't believe this is a choice nor is it a sin. Roth comes from an obese family, as does her husband – but based on her lifestyle is she really "living life" with the obsessive exercise and calorie restriction it takes her to remain thin?

-Obesity can be an eating disorder, psychological in nature, and not a deliberate act on the part of the overweight individual. To call it "abuse" is just plain ignorant and cruel.

  -Obesity is  a result of capitalism and marketing. The almighty dollar rules, so we are fed products pumped with every chemical known to man in an effort to make us salivate for more. More education is the key here.

BUT – at the end of the day, we all make choices. There is no one shoving junk food down our throats. As adults and parents we have a responsibility to:

-Educate ourselves on which foods are healthy, natural and good for our physical and mental well being.

-Teach our children about the basic food pyramid, make regular home cooked meals in order to practice what we preach, while also allowing treats to be a normal, regular part of our daily diet.

-Live a balanced life, joining our children in activities and sports,  encouraging mental and physical well being.

Bottom line,  MeMe is all about MeMe. Her message is irresponsible and self serving. She needs to come to the solid midwestern community I live in, to see a whole different world of responsible parents, nutrition based school programs, and active healthy kids that don't need to be protected from the big, bad food industry as Ms. Roth would lead us to believe.

Where do you stand on the issue?

-mV

UPDATE 6/5/09
More on MeMe thanks to Rachael

This eye opening post thanks to Sweet Machine "It's Hard To Be MeMe"

Weigh in….at the bus stop?

20 May

Now you don't have to stop your obsessive scale checking when you leave the house…just hop on the giant, public scale at the bus stop!

Brought to you by the geniuses at  Fitness First, dedicated to fitness by humiliation.

-mV

Why we are so demented?

13 May

Maybe it's because we can't even walk through Target without being bombarded with ridiculous fat fear and skinny love as seen on this hilarious garden plaque….

What kind of person places this in her garden for all to see?
What kind of friend purchases this for her ole' pals so they can yuck it up together?
Why do we perpetuate this total and complete nonsense?
Why do we cover up pain with humor?
Why in the hell is this acceptable??

Plus, it's not like some Granny is widdling these things out for the local craft fair…this is Target for god's sake, the manufacturer of this product had to be damn sure they would sell a couple million of these in order to afford mass production. Think about that- our society has become this accustomed to making fun of FAT. This accustomed to female competition on body size, that it has become a complete and  total joke.

And finally, how exactly am I to explain this statement to my 9 year old daughter without telling the damn truth?

"What does this mean mama?"

"Well honey, you must accept that our society is totally obsessed with being thin, so much so, that we pray about being a different person."

"What does that mean for me?"

"You are a loser if you are not thin, understood?"

"Can we buy a scale mama?"

Pathetic,
mV

Healthy At Any Size

30 Apr

You don't know Kate Harding? Wake up!

She is THE queen of fat acceptance. And in case you don't know what "fat acceptance means," here is my basic definition;

-To be healthy at any size
-To be comfortable in your own skin whether size 6 or 16
-To be blind to an individuals body shape and instead focus on their face and expression (wow! what a world that would be!!)

Harding lays it out way better than I on her blog "Shapely Prose", and that's why she has been officially deemed the Queen of the Fat-O-Sphere (maybe she can work on Oprah's attitude).

Harding is living it, and she sure as hell is not quiet about it; in today's Chicago Tribune she rants on wild as ever;

"MY GOD! COULD IT BE???" responding to a BBC article suggested that obesity is largely genetic. "Hang on – I need to call my fat sisters, fat brothers, fat aunts and fat cousins and ask if they have ever heard of such a thing!

Harding questions some of the science behind the "obesity is unhealthy" argument, and states "even if you buy the health arguments, what are fat people supposed to do?

So, as a skinny chick with fat friends, I hope you will browse around on Hardings site….I think many of you struggling with anorexia will find similar struggles on the other side. And the rest of us will learn a thing or two about compassion and understanding.

Two other things to check out;

The B.S in BMI – check out this slideshow, you will likely see yourself in it.

 New Harding book with a title that says it all;
Lessons From The Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare A Truce With Your Body

mV

Frito-Lay has got your number ladies

3 Mar

Thanks for Hannah for directing me to this totally enraging ad campaign from chip maker Frito-Lay.



Objective
:
Con women into eating salty snacks without feeling guilty and fat.


Process:

Create an interactive web site (must have cost them a mint) centered around four, fab, funny, fearless females (gag).

My personal fave is Cheryl who describes her "secret shame" as "I lost five pounds, but somehow they found me again."

LOL! Talk about FritoLame!!

On to "secret shame"… how many marketing geniuses did it take to come up with that little diddy? I don't know about you, but I usually hide in the back of my closet, in the fetal position, clutching my salty snacks, and praying for forgiveness.
 
Throughout the annoyingly cheesy "webisodes" there are several references to skinny jeans, fat, not eating, losing weight, and so much more fun and frivolity that I am running out to Walmart tonight to smash a few bags of Doritos..


Summary
Beyond the secret shame discovery, Frito-Lay's intense "guilt" study revealed we are soothed by mellow colors, so they reworked the packaging to create the illusion that their snacks are super healthy.

The irony here is – I liked Baked Lays! I liked Sun Chips, and I love Nacho Cheese Doritos – hell if I am going to spend a penny on them now.

Who do they think they are kidding?
-mV

It's Slim-Fast for lunch kids!

26 Feb

True story…You are a teacher at a grade school, and it is lunchtime.

You see a 5th grade student pull a can of Slim-Fast out of her lunch box.

What do you do?
What do you think?
What can you say?
What should you say?

This is what is happening in our grade schools today; parents with such severe lack of judgment that their answer to a perceived or perhaps real weight problem is to have her choke down a diet shake (in this particular case there is no weight problem what-so-ever).

Think about how other children are impacted by this?
What diet habits have you seen in young children and do you remain silent or speak up?

Personally, I'd raise hell.

-mV

In The Zone

6 Jan

"She said she wasn't going to eat her dessert because she was going to the doctor in the afternoon and she would be weighed."

These are words uttered by my 8 year old daughter yesterday. The comment was made by a classmate of hers at GRADE SCHOOL.

My heart sank. This is it, this is where it all starts. No turning back.

But at 8 years old?? If you can't recall back, 8 years old is 3rd grade. Yes. All the stats show this is when body image issues start, and dieting comes into play, and girls self esteem across the land slide directly down the tubes with the rest of us…but somehow I wasn't expecting it. My girl was just born – wasn't she?

What do we expect when every New Year everybody and their brother is pitching the latest diet, Oprah herself is beating herself bloody over weight gain, TV is plastered with YOU ARE A FAT ASS ads, and Amazon carries over 14,000 diet books. Lord help me.

But then…

"We are too young for this. It's ridiculous."

Words uttered again – not by me – by my daughter.

I asked "Why?" as a smile spread across my face.

"We just are. We are kids. We aren't supposed to be thinking about that stuff. Because we are kids."

"That's right babe. That's right." I said knowing its best to hold back my over the top emotions on this subject.

As I looked at my angel face girl, I was so proud, and so scared, butterflies fluttering in my stomach. But then, this unexpected confidence came over me. We will be ok, we will work through these ugly years together, just like my mom and I did,

At least, that's my hope.

-mamaV

Oprah Part 2: Who am I kidding?

15 Dec

 

I've been pondering the discussion about Oprah outing herself on her weight gain. My intial reaction, was similar to the rest of you;

Why does Oprah feel she needs to beat herself up in front of the world?

Does she really look so bad at 200lbs?

Or as Tracey Z put it "When one of the most powerful women in America can't feel good about herself at a weight that is still considered fairly average by today's standards, how are the rest of us supposed to feel?"

If I am honest with myself, and with you, I would be freaking out if I weighed 200lbs. I would not be happy with my body, I would be working the weight of, and I, like Oprah would be apologizing for myself.

I have never been overweight.

I likely never will be overweight due to my height and metabolism.

I will never, ever know what it is like to be fat in a society of fat haters.

I would not feel like a "fat cow" standing between Cher and Tina Turner, as Oprah admitedly did.

The fact of the matter is this; I can talk all I want about fat acceptance. I can be compassionate towards obese individuals and try to influence all of you to think twice about your feelings about fat…but deep down I am glad I am not fat. And if I was, I would do everything I could to get rid of it.

Am I a total hypocrite or what?

-mamaV

Fat Bitch

12 Dec

“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

———

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

What's up with Oprah?

11 Dec

What do you think about Oprah outing herself on gaining 40 pounds?

My immediate reaction was- why is she announcing this to the world?

I understand that this is a major issue for her, and weight gain impacts her self esteem a great deal, but I guess that is what bugged me. She gained 40 pounds and she is totally beating herself up about it, like it is a massive, personal failure.

First of all, she was diagnosed with a thyroid condition which causes weight gain, and secondly she is in her 50's which I believe impacts your metabolism overall making it harder to keep weight off.

Oprah goes on to say she felt like a "fat cow" standing in between Cher and Tina Turner.

Fat cow. This powerful, dynamic, inspiring, amazing women is shrunk down to being a fat cow. Here I ask if this was in her own mind, or could she feel the judgment of others eyes scanning her "thinking she's fat again." I would guess both.

Is 200 pounds really that fat?

Put the number aside for a moment, and look at Oprah's image above. The thinner version of Oprah does not look to me to be her natural body state, meaning she had to work her ass off to get down to that weight, and I don't believe her body is built to maintain that weight, so if she attempts to achieve it again she will inevitably gain it back (her head looks too big for her body for one, and secondly she looks like a marathon runner so you can just tell that she was working out hours a day to maintain that bod).

The "fat cow" image on the right doesn't look very overweight to me. I actually think she looks pretty good. What do you think?

I think societal brainwashing is at work here, and sadly one of our strongest female icons has fallen victim to the scam that thin is the ticket to freedom.

-mamaV

Too Fat To Bartend

9 Dec

Virginia was a bartender for a popular nightspot Foxtail in LA, but says her employer asked her to lose five pounds she had gained and reassigned her to the kitchen.

So she sued the bastards and won.

“My management sat me down, and they said, ‘People in the corporate office have noticed that the person that they hired isn’t the person that they see today.’ They asked me how I feel that I have changed.

I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘You’re bigger,’” Virginia recalls during a taped segment on Dr. Phil today.

“I was absolutely humiliated and devastated. I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ I said, ‘Let me get this straight. This has nothing to do with my job performance?’ And they said, ‘No, you are a phenomenal employee.’ One of my managers asked me how long it would take me to lose the weight. I said I didn’t know. I was going to school in the mornings, and I had a very full schedule. He said, ‘Well, I’m going to have to put you in the back.’”

Virginia says she was reassigned to a service bar in the kitchen. There were boxes everywhere. I was confined to a 2-foot by 2-foot area. It was right in front of the oven," she says. "I was clearly out of sight. It was complete mayhem."

We are talking 5 pounds, that's f-i-v-e. How do you even notice a five pound weight gain?

Does something not add up here?

-mamaV 

 

 

Truth Hurts

8 Dec

Watching Caroline Rothstein got me rattled. Time for a mind dump;

Women have hated their bodies since the beginning of time. Fat is fear. Fat is grotesque. Most would choose death over fat.

 

Hate the fat people, they are contagious.

We chatter obsessively about food, shaming ourselves, rewarding our cravings, oblivious to the finely tuned in ears of our daughters, who see themselves our distorted mirrors.

Women suck at supporting one another.

We are fake in our sympathy because we can not escape ourselves. The green eyed monster clings on to our bloated stomachs and cellulite thighs, halting real relationships with a thinner friend. This I know, for I am a skinny bitch.

We all have a story

Diagnosis is individual, and sometimes flawed. Control, shame, and abuse rank high on the list of reasons for our destruction. Genes plague many, but for the growing group of others its pure and simple vanity, like it or not.

Anorexics… just eat already.

Bulimics don't purge…they vomit. Alone. In places and ways unimaginable.

Athletes…they are just following the rules. It's dedication.

EDNOS sufferers flounder somewhere in between hoping to qualify.

     

We are Weight-Watcher Lifers, Pro Ana Wannabes, Morbidly Obese Shut Ins, and True-Blue Anorexics. We have more in common than we care to admit. 

Parents are a saving grace or the nail in our coffin.

Mothers who would give their life for their child, wrongly blaming themselves for our condition. Others who have knowingly brainwashed since birth. 

Insurance companies fight to blame us, getting back to their paperwork as we die in silence. Mental disease doesn't count in this country you weak, pathetic soul. Just keep it hidden, hold it down, don't bother us with your nonsense. Bring back the good ole' sanitariums. Lock 'em up.

Only you can stop self hate chatter.

It is you who must seek the help you so desperately need. Only you can turn off the racket. But it is us who must unite.

I have escaped, but I still want to ride along with you. 

Absorbed in your misery to force different thoughts. Momentarily causing a pause. Hoping ideas will bring you the soul you have never known.

-mamaV

I am not fat.

4 Dec

Thanks to Jen for sending this my way, please watch Caroline Rothstein deliver her poem "I am not fat."

Her poem describes her personal journey with bulimia, a topic I have not written about much in the past, because I don't have personal experience with it. But as prettyshinythings told me…it's time to stretch my limits.

Take a deep breath, and have a listen; 

Ever heard of "sugar?"

30 Nov

Tab_soda Sugar substitutes were the cover story of the Chicago Tribune today, a topic I've been interested in since the days of Tab, and when the little cute pink packets of Sweet 'n Low somehow became a mainstay at every restaurant in the U.S.

Just another fake job. Don't you see it? What is wrong with good, old fashion, real sugar?

For the record, I use real sugar- always. And I sure as hell don't let my kids eat any fake sugar. Seeing a little kid walking around with a Diet Coke makes me cringe.

But, I also don't pound soda or sugar filled coffee all day.Ever heard of water? You'd be amazed at how great you feel providing your body with exactly what it needs instead of some concoction chemists conger-ed up to fulfill a sweet tooth.

This is just another way to make us believe that eating some chemical, instead of the real, pure thing, is going to be the answer to our diet misery. Fake fat didn't make us all skinny, so guess what? Fake sugar isn't going to do the trick either.

My personal quest to dump these chemical compounds out of my life and body started maybe 15 years ago when I read a story about Nutrasweet stating "scientists do not know how it leaves the body."

That statement scared the heck out of me. We don't pee it out, sweat it out, or cry it out…where does it go? Can you say cancer waiting to happen?

Under Federal Law, a company can determine for itself the safety of their product. They can ask the FDA to review their scientific explaination for why they deem it to be safe, but they don't have to and they can take their sweet time doing it. (Think = Cigarettes and the Surgeon General's Warning)

Call me paranoid, but here are the latest facts;

SACCHARIN:

Discovered in 1879 by a chemist, marketed as Sweet 'n Low in 1957. Twenty years after ingesting this stuff, the FDA tries to ban it in 1977 and places warnings that it causes cancer in rats.

ASPARTAME:

1965 another chemist hits the jackpot, discovering this little beauty while researching   amino acids.

1981 Nutrasweet tickles the fancy of every diet junkie in the land, little did they know that studies would link it to ailments, including cancer, mood swings, and joint pain. The FDA says it is safe except for those with a genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria (Yeah, right. I'll be sticking with Coke thank you).

SUCRALOSE:

Discovered in 1976, approved by the FDA in 1998. Splenda is added to soft drinks, cereal, and a host of other processed foods. But they were sued by Merisant, the makers of Equal for claiming their product was more natural..the companies settled for undisclosed terms. Still a newbie, lets give it another few years before we find out this one is linked to a host of cancers.

STEVIA:

The world awaits the launch of the very first "natural" sugar substitute. For decades Japanese companies have produced products made with this South American plant.

July 2008 food giant Cargill releases a tabletop sweetener called Truvia. American Companies await FDA approval before stuffing it into their products and marketing it to all the diet hounds waiting in the wings (but toxicologist at UCLA working on behalf of consumers, have already found DNA mutations in lab animals…a precursor to the big C)

I'd like to hear from all the Weight Watcher diet plan users out there- do they promote utilizing these products?

Diabetes sufferers- I am sure need to weigh the risks, and perhaps utilize these products to control their condition, but is an all or nothing diet change required?

But the rest of us have no excuse. Ask yourself why are you using these products? My vote is its because of the ole' FAT FEAR. Are you truly going for wellness, and balance in your life – or are you just on a skinny mission?

Hope you think about what you are putting into your body the next time you grab for one of the chemical laced treats.

-mamaV

She had purple skin

17 Nov

My last post Fran The Fat Lady, has generated quite a bit of discussion, so we are going to keep rolling on this topic;

Obesity. Morbid Obesity. Fat. Overweight. Whateveryouwanttocallit.

While writing about Franny on Saturday afternoon, my husband walked in the room as asked what I was up to.

"I am writing about Fran." I said. We both smiled.

My daughter Grace was sitting beside me absorbed in her book, until she heard us talking.

"I remember her!" Grace said.

"You do?" I replied, a bit surprised because Grace was like 5-6 when she did her ballerina routine for Fran a few years back at the hospice.

"What do you remember babe?"

"She had purple skin."

She had purple skin.

Grace didn't see a 400+ pound woman stuffed in her death bed, her tired lungs struggling with each breath. She didn't think about how Fran looked different than most people she knew. She just saw Fran.

Fran, the nice lady that was always happy, smiling, bringing over little, fun gifts an oxygen tank trailing behind her.

Fran, the one our neighbor helped out of her Black Chevy pickup, so she could deliver to us a box of Krispie Cremes (one missing).

Fran, the lady mama always sat by at holiday parties, and spent time engrossed in conversation or laughing her ass off at some crazy joke that was told.

——-

This reminded me of a related experience we had at the grocery store when Grace was only a toddler, and my son Sid was just an infant, cozy in his little carrier hooked on top of our steel cart. I had bought this huge load of stuff.

"Is there a bagger that can help me out to the car?" I said to the elderly cashier.

"Sure," she said flipping on her lighted, blinking sign to signal the bagger he had a customer.

Suddenly, she switched the light off, and looked to me with a serious face.

"Actually, the only bagger we have today has a birthmark on his face…it might scare your kids," she whispered, nervously glancing back over her shoulder to see if he, monster boy, was coming.

"We're good" I said with out hesitating.

Out came a nice young man, obviously self conscience as hell, covered with a large purple birthmark on his face and neck.

I didn't even blink. I slid over and let him push the cart. My little Siddy kicked his feet, happy as a clam in his baby seat facing the monster boy. I reached for Gracie's hand and started walking beside him, trying not to glare back at every person in the store who was at the poor kid.

We chit-chatted our way to the car, monster boy unloaded, and I got the kids tucked in their car seats.

"He had a different face," said my girl.

"Yep, everyone is different, that's what is cool about the world."

A different face.

Purple skin.

What a testament to the fact that we teach our children acceptance. We somewhere, somehow learned from someone to be discriminating and intolerant. Then we learned to like it.

I vote that we reprogram our prejudice, mean spirited, self righteous minds back to childhood.

-mamaV

Fran The Fat Lady

15 Nov

My buddy Fran will always remembered as “The Fat Lady.”

Not as the nice lady.

Not as the kind, generous, smart woman.

Not even the hilariously, funny one.

Just the big ole’ fat lady.

Franny was morbidly obese. If I had to guess, I would say she weighed 400-500 pounds. She got around just fine though, tooling around in her black Chevy pickup, nothing stopped her. But it was fat that killed her in her early fifties, and she knew full well it would be the death of her.

Laying in a hospice, on Mothers Day a few years back, she watched my 6 year old daughter Grace twirl around in her pink sparkly princess dress, while Fran clapped her hands with a huge smile beneath her oxygen mask. Her hands, arms and face were a scary blue-purple, something I had never seen on a person before. My daughter took note of it for a brief second, before she went on entertaining the hospice crowd.

Even as Fran was struggling to take her next breath, she enjoyed life. She enjoyed people, and those of us that bothered to get to know her, found a dear, dear friend. What a gem she was.

I think everyone should be required to befriend a fat person. I am sick of all the discrimination and just plain meanness. I mean, where the hell has our compassion gone?

Do fat people bring out our fears?

Are we afraid we will be one of them some day?

Do we just not like looking at them?

Do we think we are somehow better because we are simply lighter?

—————-

Fran died just a few hours after we visited her that day. I realized today as I write this how much I miss her.

We were an odd pair the two of us. The ex-model and The Fat Lady.

We always had this unspoken understanding that we were the same inside. I have no doubt we both knew this with our heart and soul.

-mamaV


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