Monday, July 21, 2014

Fattist: How Do We See Ourselves and Others?

The Urban Dictionary (I know, an incredibly credible source- I edited this definition but you can click the link to see the original) defines "fattist" as: fattistsomeone opposed to fat people, fat culture, and the fat influence in our culture; fattists believe the overweight [people] should be actively working to be thinner.
I came across this today on Facebook via Voluptuous Vixen, a community that is: "Promoting a positive atmosphere for CONFIDENT women who embrace their curves (and those who adore them) to discuss hot topics and issues." 

Tess Munster, Model
I have tried so hard to be one of those women-when I was at my highest weight (HW), I wanted to be a woman who said, "Eff your beauty standards!"  a movement supported and cultivated by Tess Munster, a plus size model who is stunningly beautiful and has confidence in spades.  It is so easier said than done and despite my weight loss, I find myself wondering all the time what the new perception people have of me is.  
I was talking with a good friend this morning who had WLS many years ago (lap band) and it triggered something for me (again): When will I stop thinking of my self a fat?  When will I stop assigning labels to my body?  We all know that labels do no good when it comes to standing tall-labels hold us back and hurt.  This, after all, is where many of the -isms come from.  Intolerance.   
When will the moment come that I stop hating on myself and just continue to become the person I want to be and not what someone else believes I should be?  
I had an interview this morning for an in-house position at my school.  I had to go to the Brooklyn UFT offices and interview with someone from Teacher Recruitment and from the UFT.  The suit I had planned to wear no longer fits so I paired new, smaller pants with a suit jacket that it a little big but I am not swimming in it like I am in the other one.  It looked fine. I threw on one of the new tops I got at The Gap last week.  I felt fine.  Defiantly conservative, but that was ok.  I used to avoid my reflection at all cost when I was walking on the street.  Today, post interview, I caught my reflection and I didn't recognize that girl.  I still expect to see the HW body.
Does this make me a "fattist" by default?  I was not ok with being fat.  I was never ok with being fat in large part (sorry :-) that it seemed like the world, my world, was never ok with me being fat.  How could I ever embrace my body if I always thought it was "wrong". I was "WRONG". I could assert that any person on a diet is a "fattist".
I don't expect my dysmorphic perception of my own body to dissipate any time soon.  I suspect the reflection in the windows on the street will look like someone else for a long time.  I can only hope to keep challenging my thinking and questioning the "norms" that pushed me here.  

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