Conscientious Objector In The Weight Wars
By The Reluctant Femme on August 21, 2013
I was actually tossing this topic around in my head for some time, trying to decide if I had anything to say that hadn't already been said. There is almost as many words out there on women's weight and associated issues as there are actual women, and I wasn't sure that my point of view was something that really needed to be added. However, when I put the word out on Twitter and Facebook that I was looking for input, the response was pretty overwhelming - which at the very least convinced me this is something that DOES actually need to be written. I've tried to wrestle as much of it into a post as possible, but it's a huge subject to try and condense down. I described writing this as being like wrestling with a kraken made of feels, and now it's done, I totally stand by that. But really, the core of what I'm trying to say is simply this; how about we women try being kinder to each other about our bodies, and save the vitriol for the institutions that actually contribute to making our lives harder?
There are so many reasons we come up with to resent each other - She does feminism differently to me, she’s thinner than me, she’s fatter than me, she’s physically disabled, she’s not as educated, she’s over educated, she likes things I don’t like, she’s got a penis, she doesn’t earn any money, she earns too much money. Legitimate criticism is one thing - if someone says or does something hurtful to other people, then I firmly believe they should be called out on it. But what I'm talking about is the vitriolic little lies we have buried in our heads, disguised as truth. There are a million ways we find to tear each other apart, and I could write an entire book about it if I tried to cover them all. But what I want to talk about specifically today is the growing gulf between those of us on either end of the weight scale.
Curvy/voluptuous/fat women have long been at odds with thin/slim/petite women. (Just a little note - I'm going to go ahead and just use fat and thin for these categories from now on so this is actually readable. Feel free to insert your preferred term in your head) Historically, those of us on the bigger side of the spectrum didn't have much of a voice - but with the rolling momentum of the fat acceptance movement, that is starting to change. But there is a downside to this. Bigger girls have been silenced for so long that now we are finally speaking up for ourselves, sometimes we can react to anything we see as silencing with anger, lashing out at the smaller women who seem to have it all to our eyes. We are told over and over again that being thin is best, being thin is everything, if we were thin our lives would be perfect, if we were thin we would be happy because all thin people are happy. When we see thin girls complaining about their bodies, this looks to us like billionaires complaining about not being able to afford a third yacht. Even if they don't complain, sometimes we hate them anyway; just for being something we are not, for being a shape society values higher than our shape. This anger and resentment can curdle into lots of hateful little "truths" we tell ourselves. Thin girls get all the nice clothes. Thin girls don’t know what it's like to have people police their food. Thin girls don't eat anything. Thin girls are arrogant. Thin girls hate fat girls. Only assholes and pedos will date thin girls, because Real Men like women who look like Real Women. Thin girls can't be sexy. Thin girls need to 'eat a sandwich'. Thin girls don't know what it's like to REALLY hate their bodies.Thin girls don't have any personality. Thin girls get all the attention. Thin girls can get away with being bitches, because they're thin.
In return, thin girls have also often looked at fat girls with equal disdain. I'm sure part of this negativity is in reaction to the vitriol aimed at them by fat girls. I don't know many people who enjoy being called a "skinny bitch" outside of a very specific kink setting. But I think a larger portion is simply channeled disgust from the rest of society towards fat people, fat women in particular, and it forms itself into hateful little "truths" just as insidious as those that fat girls tell themselves. Fat girls are lazy, because if they weren't lazy they would be thin. Fat girls eat whole pizzas, and entire tubs of ice cream by themselves. Fat girls are always eating. Fat girls 'do everything', because they can’t get laid any other way. Fat girls hate thin girls. Fat girls are all miserable, and hate their bodies. Fat girls' bodies are vulgar. Fat girls are disgusting. Fat girls are loud and obnoxious. Fat girls are just jealous. Fat girls have no one to blame but themselves. Only someone totally desperate/ugly/stupid would date a fat girl. Being fat is unnatural and fat girls are all unhealthy.
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