Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Mean

I was dreary yesterday. I'm dreary often enough that I might not have noticed but I've been so happy to be home. I was getting used to that feeling. After awhile I realized that it was the after effects of writing my letter. I felt uncertain. Worried that I hadn't said things well enough. Imagining all manner of eye rolls and worse a passive lack of understanding. What I mean when I say that being fat is a political identity for me has to do with my experience of the polis
A friend of Mom's picked me up at the airport years ago. A few days later Mom told me that her friend had not thought much of me at first glace because of my weight. After talking with me on the way home she decided that I was a very intelligent and kind person. Mom was very happy because the friend had seen past my weight. I was pissed. I asked Mom why it was OK with her that someone (anyone) had made an assessment of me based on appearance, specifically my weight. She stuttered and stammered because she has the same assessment of fat people when she sees them. She's fat. Her mother was fat. Her mother made no apologies and thought dieting was stupid and unhealthy. She was on and off diets all her life and still thinks she's failing because she's fat. Some part of her is angry when people think anything bad about me but she believes that if I were thin it wouldn't happen. I bring it on myself.
I don't really care what people think, especially strangers. I cared more when I was younger. I know that when I was with thinner friends I harbored a thought that people would see me with them and know I wasn't like other fat people. Sigh.
Another friend told me a story about her father. He almost didn't hire the man who ultimately became his business partner and life long friend because he was fat.
Someone once told a friend of mine that she couldn't imagine having anything to talk to me about because I was fat.
In my letter I mentioned a woman on her show who seemed full of fat hatred. I didn't want to go into it too much and still don't because, honestly, I don't have the energy for people like that anymore. Sanctimonious. Full of certainty. Blind to their own bad faith. And most of all, unwilling. You can not talk about the health of fat people and hate them and think you are fair. You are not. You are not concerned with my own good. You're concerned with being right. You're a bully.
I do wish I could talk to Melissa and people like her about it all. She said she has an obsession with The Biggest Loser. Really broke my heart. And realistically, public people like that getting random e-mails. I mean. I just feel like I'm shouting into the void.
Today there is a new statue of Rosa Parks on one end of Washington and a Supreme Court talking about dismantling the voting rights act on the other end. It's all so important. When I talk about my political identity I imagine eyes glazing over.
So I was dreary. And I'm still a little dreary. But. As MHP's father used to write in her birthday cards. The struggle continues.  

1 comment:

Cheryl Czekala said...

Good post, Tish. Don't harbor regrets about your letter. It was important, and who knows, maybe will be taken to heart. Or at least, into consideration.