I stood behind her in the line at the Krispy Kreme. She was big, and dressed like it, wearing an outfit that contained a large percentage of manmade fibers, and the pieces clung to her body in a way that was less than flattering. She stood hunched over, in an apparent attempt to be smaller. Or just disappear altogether. She spoke nervously.
These arent all for me. Im taking them to some friends who moved to the country. They dont have Krispy Kreme out there.
The woman behind the counter ignored her words and waited; box open, tongs at the ready, for her to order.
I just didnt want you to think I was eating all these myself. Theyre for friends.
The doughnut wrangler nodded, less out of interest in what the woman was saying, and more in the interest of getting her to mosey along. The woman finally began pointing to the glazed beauties quickly and succinctly, until she had filled four boxes. She explained herself again, half to the tong-wielder, half to the line that had formed behind her, of which I was the head. She looked at me.
I sure hope these are the kind my friends like.
I smiled, politely, my facial expression betraying the rage that was building inside of me. She got her four dozen doughnuts and paid for them as I gave my order. As I turned to leave, clutching my box of warm, chewy mouthgasms, I noticed that she had taken a seat at a table in the dining area and opened one of the boxes.
It was clear to me that this woman was suffering from Fat Girl Syndrome: The condition overweight women sometimes develop which includes an obsessive need to apologize for ourselves in even the most normal of situations. No one in that line cared if she was getting four boxes of doughnuts or forty. If she was getting them for friends, for enemies, or to fashion into a dress to wear to the Grammys. No one cared about her country-ass pals or their vitamin KK deficiency. In her attempt to not be noticed, she achieved the exact opposite. In her effort to avoid being The Fat Lady, she became the whole damn sideshow.
I hate that she felt like she had to atone for some imagined sin, setting the expectation that others of us will do the same. Hell no. I was right behind her in line. Im a fatty, and I wanted some fucking doughnuts. Sometimes, I want a chicken. Sometimes I want to go to the mall and feel free to enter a store without the word plus somewhere on the sign. Sometimes I want to wear a tube top. This woman was saying sorry I exist with her remorseful tone, her regretful body language, her sorry eyes. And I was left feeling like I had to counteract that, screaming I EXIST! with my strong, sarcastic tone; my confident posture; my defiant eyes.
Fat acceptance is a hot topic on the internet these days, and has been swirling around in my peripheral vision for a while. Ive read strong opinions from both sides and seen facts and insults lobbed into enemy foxholes like grenades, but I dont get exactly what the movement is about. Trying to convince people to accept our being overweight feels like ANOTHER WAY of admitting we are wrong. Of apologizing. Why ask for approval? He didnt ask me to accept the fact that he secretly thinks Ed Hardy clothing is bomb. She didnt ask me to accept the fact that shell sometimes polish off a whole bottle of red wine by herself while watching a Law Order marathon. You didnt ask me to accept the fact that you are a die hard Fanilow and fantasize about Barry while making love to your husband but in that fantasy Barry Manilow also has female breasts so youre scared you might be a tiny bit gay, too. You know why? Because whether or not I deem them acceptable, those things are part of you. And her. And him. And my fat is a part of me. You dont accept? TURN THE FUCK AROUND. Im big, but a 180 degree turn ought to take care of whatever kind of problem you have with how I look.
Women, please stop apologizing. Stop begging for acceptance, because that takes power away from us and puts the ball in the worlds court. And if they dont accept? What then? Does it change you in some way? Or do the things they are saying just echo the voices in your head?
The only way to stop needing approval is to approve of ourselves. Know that there is perfection in all of us. Dont you just love the fact that you have pretty, dainty feet? Isnt the way your right eyebrow arches so Marlene Dietrich? What about your face that is unlined because chub fills wrinkles or breasts that are a size that people in L.A. pay a lot of money for? Cant you find enough awesome things about yourself to acknowledge that there might be a tiny bit of absolute flawlessness in you that in no way needs someone elses approval to exist?
My thin friends are often reminded of what theyve been blessed with. Told they are lucky for how theyre built. Well, you know what? They are. And so am I. Im lucky Im built like a fucking goddess and have been blessed with a fully-functioning, highly sexual, temple of a body that I wouldnt trade for the world. Oh, and Ill be in the sideshow, too. Ill be the one eating fire and juggling knives while tap dancing. In a revealing costume. Ill be damned if Fat Girl Syndrome is going to get me. Whether they accept it or not.