Monday, June 4, 2012

Who do you see in your mirror?

The other day, a gorgeous mother of two was in the press, talking about her career and family.

Some people posted lovely supportive comments under the article online.

Some other people posted some extremely mean, judgemental, callous and arseholey comments under there, judging her on her mothering skills, her appearance, and mostly her weight. I'm not going to link to the article here. Don't feed the beast.

Chrissie Swan, you didn't deserve any of that judgement. Nobody does.

The wonderful Mrs Woog, and equally fabulicious BigWordsBlog blogged about this appalling turn crap. Then got their own fair share of nasty weight-ist comments as well.

Of course, all these keyboard heroes posted using anonymous handles. And they all said that weight was a health issue, costing us blah blah per year as a community, responsibility to our children to be healthy, blah blah wanky smug blah.

Fuck that shit.

To all the cowardly weight-ist anonymouses...

Before you get too smug about science, science tells us that people who are overweight have higher life expectancy than the under or "healthy" weight people out there.

Fitness impacts life expectancy far more than fatness.

So let's not hide our prejudice behind the great god of science, OK?

Let's get real here.

Being "fat" is an aesthetics issue, hiding like a coward inside a simpering faux-caring costume of health.

Being over size 12/14 is not currently within that narrow, ever-changing FASHION of how we're supposed to look to be attractive - to be ACCEPTABLE.

A couple of hundred years ago, plumpness was the epitome of sexy for women. But, fashion is a fickle mistress and a complete bitch to boot.

People are too scared to admit that they've been conditioned to not like looking at people over a particular size. It disgusts them. But saying "you disgust me" isn't very nice, is it?

So they hide their mean-ness, their shallow conditioned prejudices in talking about what's "good for us".

In the same way we should stop telling women what to wear to be pretty/age appropriate/safe we need to stop telling people what size they should be.

Be who you are.

Diet if you like, or not.

Exercise if you like, nor not.

It's your responsibility, not mine, what you choose to be.

Weight - like age, gender, race and sexuality should never be used to put people down, as a way to make you feel superior when you look at another person.

Frankly, I'd rather look at a nice fat person, than a healthy-weighted judgemental arsehole. And that includes looking in the mirror.

Who do you see when you look in yours?

In the previous edit of this post I had a picture of Nigella Lawson and a picture of Gillian McKeith. Nigella is, as most of us know, a food writer/chef.  Gillian makes her living telling other people what they should eat. I juxtaposed the two photos, stating which person I would rather be. In light of comments made - rightly - about the unintentional inferences this made about appearance, I've removed that piece of this post.

Keyboards breed cowards. But that's a subject for another post.

So come on, all you keyboard cowboys, disagree with this post? Tell me.

I'm an angry, fat, 44 year old woman with a severe cold and the first day of the first period I've had in 10 months.

Bring. That. Shit. On. I dare you.


  1. Some excellent points. Now go and take care of yourself xx

    1. Thanks Woogsy. Coffee, toast and Vitamin C. Child home sick too - THE HORROR!


  2. I heart this post SO MUCH. You've said everything I would've said if I had time to articulate it so well.

    It bugs the shit out of me that my three daughters - all currently "slim" - have to hear this sizeist rubbish at EVERY turn. It bugs me that because used to be slim and even since having the kids I'm only borderline "fattish" (upper end of size 14) and my husband is obese, people are constantly expressing amazement that I could find possibly him attractive, even though, by any other measure you could nominate, he's much more conventionally good-looking than I.

    The fat-shaming, weight-obsessive rhetoric is absolutely not about health (if it was, it'd still be concern trolling, IMO, but it isn't). It's about a particular aesthetic. I'm all for celebrating and boosting the joys of movement, flexibility and being as fit as you can reasonably be - those things actually *do* have a non-subjective impact on wellbeing. But they are not related to weight except tangentially.

    So what do I see when I look in the mirror?

    I see a fattish, fortyish, freckly woman with nice full boobs, a round arse, crinkly hazel eyes, good teeth, and a ready smile. She's not a stunner - she's not even conventionally pretty - but her husband thinks she's gorgeous, and she is happy in her own skin. And that'll do me.

    1. What a lovely reply, thanks Kathy! Tangentially and rhetoric - two fabulous words that I wished I'd thought to use. ;-)

      Thanks for commenting xxx

  3. I totally agree with you that no one should be denigrated for their weight, but you bagging Gillian Keith for her looks is no better. How about we stop bagging peoples looks full stop,
    From another fat 44 year old woman who just spent a fruitless hour at the gym.

    1. Even going slowly is lapping those left on the couch...

      I didn't judge Gillian - I made a choice about which I'd rather be. Gillian has her choice, as do I.

      I didn't comment on her looks at all. You infered that on your own. That was your choice.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    2. In fact thank you doubly - I'm going back in now to address this concern in the piece.

  4. ever spent a Saturday afternoon in A&E watching the number of sporty peeps being admitted? wonder if 'they' have factored in the cost of all those damaged and broken limbs/necks/heads/teeth from playing sport? cost to health system, blah, blah, blah my nicely rounded ARSE! xt

    1. Ha! Hadn't thought of that. Nice one.

      I damage myself quite nicely enough without adding sport to the mix too.

      Built for comfort not speed, me. LOL

  5. Love that you took the time to write this all done - FABULOUS. Now you must snuggle up in bed with a cuppa x

    1. Thanks chick. Child at home sick too so... wish I could! xx

  6. Thank you for this piece, it was a very interesting read. However...

    I really appreciated this piece until you ended with a comparison between which of two women you'd rather look like, and the inference that could be made by readers (even if that was not your intention) of which woman is therefore more "attractive".

    For me, part and parcel of the size-ist world we live in is the sexism inherent in it, and part of the way that we all buy into that is doing exactly that - stating that "this" woman is more attractive than "that" woman.

    It can reinforce the concept that the only function that women (or men, but it more consistently occurs with and to women) have to fulfill is to be deemed attractive. I realise that this was not your intention, as you have stated to other commenters, but it's what stuck with me out of the piece.

    I'm a proud fat female feminist vegan who loves to cook and eat and read. That's what I see in the mirror.

    1. Thanks ZuckerBaby for reading and commenting. And entering into reasonable debate :-)

      I see your point - and I agree - it's not about physical attractiveness, for me the difference in those two women is that one judges others and makes a living from it, and the other seems comfy in herself and happy to not torture herself to be thin.

      I stand by my belief that I'd rather be Nigella than Gillian. Gillian tortures herself to be "healthy". Nigella appears to be more at home with herself.

      I didn't intend, though, to say that we should all aspire to be either Gillian or Nigella. I'm going in now to alter the post (a second time). Not because of criticism, but because you've pointed out that it's saying something I don't mean.

      Thanks for reading and commenting - I appreciate your input.

  7. Great post and quite true! In fact our news in the US today is reporting that in about 10% of individuals exercise can cause severe health problems.

    We spend way too muchtime judging people, an the trolls out there on the internet want to egg everyone on, into a flame war. I am glad you did not post the original article here!

    ((((hugs)))) Go drink some Baileys and kick the ass off of that cold.

  8. I follow a healthy way of life, do my exercises and eating a well-balanced food. It is a kind of habit to count my daily calories. I usually eat 1200-1500 calries per day. I think it is normal for me.

    1. Glad you've found what works for you :-)

  9. "I'd rather look at a nice fat person, than a healthy-weighted judgmental arsehole"


    1. Thanks Cate. I'd rather BE that fat person too LOL


  10. Like the poor, the arseholes are always with us.They are the same people who say to a person who is(temporarily, for medical reasons) forced to use a wheelchair - Oh, I can't handle you being in a wheelchair (even though I have worked with you for five years!) It is THEIR problem, not yours, until you have to try to buy smart clothing that is not made for someone in a higher salary bracket than yours will ever be. Try buying a bra at the age of 70. Try buying a simple thing like a smart t-shirt at size 18-20 and doesn't say something inane in fluffy pink glitter on it. Try buying men's shirts or pyjamas if he has abroad chest ... the list goes on forever. And don't get me started on being ignored in stores or cafes - I could 'write a book'. Well said, our kid.