All Women Are Real

There was a letter to the editor in The Press yesterday.

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I felt compelled to write my own letter in response.

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We’re all in this together, people.

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If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

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That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

No Really, No One is Taking This Obesity Problem Seriously

Having written about our apparent ignorance of the “obesity epidemic” on Friday, another little gem popped up on stuff.co.nz earlier today.  Written by Dara-Lynn Weiss, she explains why she decided her daughter needed to go on a diet, and how she policed that diet.

She’d decided that 42kgs (about 96.2 pounds) was to heavy for her eight-year-old daughter, and, apparently, so did her daughter’s doctor.  Queue calorie counting over every single item of food that was to enter the child’s mouth.  Including while at a birthday party.  This method of dieting always means certain foods become forbidden, unless you don’t want to eat anything else for the rest of the day/week.  And, as often happens, once something becomes forbidden, it becomes relatively high on the ‘must have’ list.  Inevitably, this leads to arguments between mother and daughter, in public, which Dara-Lynn even admits were embarrassing.

Over the course of this diet, the daughter weighs in at 35kgs (about 77 pounds).  Dara-Lynn sees this as mission accomplished, that weight was their goal after all.  Nothing is mentioned with regards to how quickly this weight was lost.

Let’s take a look at how the daughter feels at the end of this:

When our appointment ended, Bea got dressed and we stepped outside of the office. I looked at her, beaming expectantly as we walked down the street. But she said nothing.

“How do you feel about all the weight you lost?” I asked her when we got home.

“Good,” she said, blandly.

“Do you like the way you look now?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, definitively.

“Do you feel different?”

“No. That’s still me,” she said. “I’m not a different person just because I lost seven kilograms.”

She went on. “I’m not comfortable with saying, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve changed everything and everything’s going to be perfect for the rest of humanity,’ ” she said. “I’ve changed half of the way, but not fixed my entire life. Because that isn’t true. Who can fix their entire life when they’re eight?”

“Well, no, of course you haven’t changed your whole life. But you’re not overweight anymore. You did fix that. That part of you is in the past.”

Her body tensed in my arms. She began to tear up. “Just because it’s in the past doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” she said.

After sharing this revelation from her daughter, Dara-Lynn goes on to say:

I had believed that I could set Bea on a different track, that I could “cure” her of being overweight by changing her eating habits before her self-image dimmed so much that she came to think of herself as a fat person. But I was too late. Or maybe it was never possible. She had indeed changed her body and her lifestyle, but the metamorphosis was bittersweet, because it had cost her some of the innocence of her childhood.

(Emphasis mine.)  Because thinking of yourself as a fat person is obviously the most terrible thing that can ever happen to you.  This kind of thinking on her part is confirmed by an earlier statement:

…  Was admitting to being overweight any more humiliating (or obvious) than just being overweight? Wasn’t it less embarrassing to acknowledge it and let people know you were aware of the problem and doing something about it?

As a fat person myself, I just don’t understand how I can continue to live with myself each day.

Dara-Lynn also divulges that she also had/has issues with her own weight and self-image:

My MO has always been two-pronged: cover up my flaws as best I can, then lay them out on the table for discussion to expose my insecurity pre-emptively. Throughout all the years that I’ve battled with my weight, even as I sought to hide my body under layers of obfuscating clothing, I fessed up about my feelings to others. I was the girl you could overhear groaning, “Ugh, I am so fat,” as I patted my distended belly. If I had an obvious pimple on my face, I would attack it with concealer, then find a way to work it into conversation, just so everyone knew that I knew that they noticed it, and they shouldn’t feel awkward about it.

Let’s have a look at some of the numbers here:

  • The mean average height of an eight year old girl is 125cm (about 4’2). Source.
  • Starting weight of 96.2 pounds.  This equals a BMI of 21.7.  Normal weight is 18.5 to 24.9. Source.
  • End weight of 77 pounds.  This is a BMI of 26.  The overweight range is from 25 to 29.9. Source as above.
  • As much as I hate using BMI to measure anything, the range for being obese doesn’t start until you are at least 30.  This doesn’t stop Dara-Lynn from throwing the word obese around willy-nilly when describe her daughter’s weight.

Great work, Dara-Lynn!  You have successfully pushed your own weight and body image issues onto your impressionable eight year old daughter and taken away some of her innocence.

H/T @ColeyTangerina

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If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

Creative Commons License
That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

I’m Fat!? I Never Noticed!!

How could I have been so completely blind? Living in my own fantasy world!?

Thanks to Stuff.co.nz, people now have the tools to tell us fatties what we obviously did not already know.

To quote Tallulah from over at The Lady Garden:

Because there’s no such thing as a stigma against fat people, some days, it slips my mind that I am overweight. You see, I don’t ever get random abuse shouted at me on the street. The fact that I can only shop in about 5% of the clothes shops in my city in no way makes me feel like I’ve been corralled off into some paddock where the un-sexy fatties go to pig out and wear unflattering clothes. Buying clothes on the internet, and the extra cost involved, and hit-and-miss nature of it, passes me by. Going on that traditionally “girly” expedition, Shopping, with friends of “normal” sizes, in NO WAY feels like torture. I don’t ever end up buying, like, a $100 scarf, just to feel like “one of the girls”. And I certainly don’t own masses of shoes and scarfs and jewellery, because they’re the Fat Girl’s Consolation.

Read the rest of her post here.

Apparently “most adults do not see a problem in themselves but will see it in somebody else”, but ‘experts’ also say, “you should tell overweight friends or family that they need to slim down.” Do they not see the slight conflict of interest here? Or is it just me?

Ah, concern trolling. Who has not experienced some form of this? They mean no harm of course, they’re ‘just concerned about you.’ Some even go as far to say that you must be suffering from some kind of body dysmorphia, seeing beauty where, you know, it just isn’t there. How dare you be happy with the way you look, or even consider getting upset when you are told that you shouldn’t be.

People have no right to their own ideals on others. This counts for religion, political beliefs (not always separate), preferred hair colouring, music tastes, body type… the list goes on and on.

Why must we always feel the duty to pass judgment on each other?

H/T Tallulah


Acceptance of the Self

I do not agree with the premise of Valentine’s Day. You should not need a specific day to remind you to show your love to others. Random acts of love are much more meaningful. However, think of this as my Valentine’s Day post: love from others, and how that can effect the love of oneself.

It’s funny which things can have a triggering effect in a positive way.

Yesterday I was thinking about when it was that I started accepting my own self. It happened in a way that many would think bizarre.

Lying in bed one night, after J had drunk a considerable amount of alcohol, he told me, “I love my fat slut.” I believe this is in reference to my body size (obviously), and our polyamorous (open) relationship.

I admit, I was a little shocked initially, but once that soon faded, I realized that I was proud to be his fat slut. Here was the man I loved more than anything in the world, professing his love for me, using terms that many would consider offensive, and using those terms in the most endearing way. It was at that moment that I was proud of who I was, I could see in myself what he was seeing, where I had previously been blind.

He was embarrassed when I told him what he had said the next day. I don’t blame him. He was probably thinking that I was going to be upset, not knowing that what he said had had completely the opposite effect.  It actually filled me with a warm glow-y feeling.  I had never felt so loved and accepted.

I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing that I only found self-acceptance though someone else accepting me, but at least I got there.