Monday, July 03, 2006

Random Monday Thought on Being Fat

I played a couple of hours of football yesterday. I was knackered when I finished but I defy anyone not to be. On Friday evening I played several games of badminton; I'm not brilliant but I have excellent reflexes and am improving. I work up a sweat, I get up a good heart rate and I am very limber. I'm not unfit. I am, however, quite fat. I likes my chocolate! (Actually, joking aside, I have a compulsive eating disorder and have suffered with bulimia.) I don't want to be thinner; I love who I am. I have muscles and they are becoming more defined. I jiggle a bit when I run and I have stretch marks that prove my mettle. I am brave and strong and large and fat. I am absolutely gorgeous!

So, while I was nipping into my local shop yesterday to get a post-match cold drink, a young male passer-by shouted at me to "get on a diet". Here's my answer: "No. Now fuck off before I chase you down and kick your arse." And I can.


Anonymous said...

I agree you're brave and strong. I respect you for being proud of yourself and keeping fit. But please, please, you are not gorgeous. It's not possible to be both fat and gorgeous. I know that, you do too. Look, we don't have to be gorgeous. Gorgeous people are genetically blessed people who make up a very small percentage of the population. Just like smart people. I don't call myself a genius when I know DAMN WELL that I scored an average on that IQ test i took on and I still have trouble understanding why glycine is chiral. Similarly, I don't call myself gorgeous because I know DAMN WELL I'm almost 200 pounds at this point.
Not being gorgeous is nothing to be ashamed of. Being gorgeous is nothing to be proud of, either. It's all about what's inside. To me, that's what counts. Since April I've noticed I'm not bordering on the verge of 200 pounds. I know I should work out a bit but I'm comfortable with my size. I eat reasonably healthy food and I'm not ashamed of my size. I however refuse to try to convince myself that I'm gorgeous. I'm not. And being worried about that is another sign of how well the patriarchy has brainwashed me into thinking that gorgeous is good. That somehow, not being gorgeous makes me less of a person.

spotted elephant said...

Anon, It's high time that the standards for gorgeous were redefined. The current standards are not based in biology because beauty standards change with time.

One's appearance *is* irrelevant. That said, living in this fat-hating culture, I wish I could feel gorgeous as it's the opposite of accepting what people say about you and feeling disgusting. Pippa, I think it's fantastic that you're so active and fit. That is gorgeous. I also love the idea of being able to chase down some sexist jerk and kick his ass. Priceless. :)

Pippa said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comment. Gorgeous is defined as "richly coloured, magnificent, sumptous and splendid" as well as "strikingly beautiful" I'm not really wanting to debate semantics but given that definition Oh it is sooooo possible to be both fat and gorgeous! Challenge your own definition of gorgeous. Is it possible to have radical mastectomy and be gorgeous? What about acne? What about race? Blonde or brown hair? Tall or short? I agree that it's okay to be "ungorgeous" if you are content to accept thinking that way. You are certainly entitled to have your own feelings about what constitutes attractive/gorgeous/ugly; it is quite possible that you might look at me and think "YUK", at 240lbs and five feet seven I'm quite big! Other people find me quite lovely and personally I find larger women VERY attractive. I think it's okay to want to define yourself as something other than gorgeous, but it isn't okay to assume that fatness equals unnatractiveness. I choose to be really in love with how I look; I also strive to be healthier and kill my food demons. Defining myself as gorgeous is both acceptable and accurate. I'm not letting you take the word from me and I wish you could know how great it feels!
Spotted Elephant: Wink! I'll teach you how it's done! x

witchy-woo said...

"Oh it is sooooo possible to be both fat and gorgeous!

Yep. Just think; Dawn French (for one!)...

But the negative press given to women who aren't stick thin is very pervasive.

On Sunday, I stumbled upon a conversation about a woman who was apparently "big" and who'd been seen wearing pink hot pants (I thought 'hmmmm...shorts') and a pink strappy top. Apparently it was all "really in your face" and "so unattractive" she should've "covered up a bit".

It was in the 90's here on Sunday - really, a swelteringly hot day. Everyone else was minimally dressed in order to handle the heat but it was apparently considered not ok for this woman to do the same because she was big.

Coming in at the tail end of the slating of this woman, when she'd already passed out of sight, I was asked (by the not-small-herself toilet attendant) what I thought and "would you dress like that if you were that big?" After all, "it's not nice, is it?"

Should she stay indoors then? Or should she over-dress and risk heat exhaustion in order to preserve the judgemental sensibilities of anyone who might 'mind' seeing her, big and comfy, in whatever it was she chose to wear to keep cool?

I mean, ffs, talk about body facism. I'm afraid my comments to the toilet attendant might have seemed quite cutting but, honestly, it angers me that there is a percieved idea of a publicly acceptable size for women.

(Incidentally, no-one made any comment about all the big and wobbly men who were walking about wearing even less than the woman in pink.)

"I am brave and strong and large and fat. I am absolutely gorgeous!" is a brilliant kick in the arse for all body facists - including impudent young male passers-by who think it's any of their business. Excellent!

alyx said...

"No. Now fuck off before I chase you down and kick your arse."

Awesome, Pippa. Did you actually say that? I hope so.

Rock on, gorgeous sheila. :)

Pippa said...

Thanks folks! ha ha yes i really said it! Quite shriekily as he disappeared up the street. Witchy Oh i am so sick of people being critical of fat women and their clothes. Or any women and their clothes! It never ends. Too thin for this, too fat for that, legs too old, boobs too small etc. My mother is gifted at spotting a "fashion Faux-pas" and pointing it out. I loathe it. I will wear what i want thanks! If its comfy and fair trade! Cheers! ps Alyx, you are the only person I have ever come across who likes "The Female Man" apart from me!

Yawning Lion said...

Hi Pippa,
Go, you! Awesome response to this idiot.

And I agree with all who support you in your gorgeousness! I can't vouch for it personally, but I have no doubt you are the epitome of gorgeous.

Yawning Lion

witchy-woo said...

The Female Man by Joanna Russ? That Female Man? You've come across two people who like this book then because I do too :)

alyx said...


Whileaway's my kinda place. No adolescent male jerks! :P

witchy-woo said...

Hah! Well....that's three now.


witchy-woo said...


It was that Alyx.

Still two then :(

Mary said...

"I'm not letting you take the word from me and I wish you could know how great it feels!"

Shit yeah. This is the quote of the week.