Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm shrinking Gilbert...

Okay.  So the 'blog for another day' in a nutshell.  I'm used to being a fat person.  I wrote a very wordy thesis full of fat-bodied, frisky theory about fat-bodied, frisky performers and the complexities and contradictions that arise between living and performing in fat bodies in a fat-loathing world.   Being fat, presenting as an unruly, fat, frisky, fashion-lovin' girl and giving ye olde finger to the fat-hating world has been a big part of my identity for a significant chunk of my life. 

Thing is, I'm not so fat anymore.  I'm not thin and I'm not fat.  (Fat-ish??)  And to be clear from the outset, I am not (not, not, not) seeking or desiring of congratulations for this fact.  The congratulations make me feel weird.  And uncomfortable.   I've lost 30 pounds in just under four months.  For all kinds of good and all kinds of bad reasons (Yes. Bad reasons. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss doesn't necessarily equal goodness.  Wild, right?)  And if I knew someone who lost a big whack of weight in a short amount of time, my first response would be something along the lines of:  Are you okay?  What's going on? 

I'm putting this out there for a few reasons.  The first is this - out of habit- I keep referring to myself as 'fat'.  And though lots of fat-phobes would still label me enormous, at my current size, I can access all kinds of things many fat-bodied folks cannot (like reasonably priced clothes and reasonably comfortable plane rides and not have to worry about fitting into seats in movie theatres and restaurants or losing out on jobs solely based on my body size.)  I am less likely to have abuse hurled at me on the street because of my size.  My doctor's likely still gonna hassle me (and right in the middle of the old pap test, just to make me feel extra comfy and bee-ooo-teee-fullll), but the fact remains that I have at my fingertips some of the business of thin-privilege.  Uncharted waters for me.  Very.   But given that in my thesis, I gave someone a scolding for getting much thinner and still referring to herself as 'fat', I guess I'd better walk the walk. (Cause fat is a little bit contextual, and also a lotta bit about lived experiences of very visible otherness, often which lead to discrimination).  So - whether or not my brain comprehends it or not, at the moment, this old body of mine isn't exactly 'fat'.  (I'm sure it probably will be again - but for now - and again for a whole host of reasons, that would be both boring and extraneous to discuss, it's not). 

And the other reason is: holy cow, are people ever talking about my body all of the sudden.  All over the place.  It is seriously weirding me out.  I can't remember the last time I felt so on display.  It's one thing to talk about this stuff with family and close friends, but even people I don't know are offering their two cents.  Like a grandma of someone from Boy-o's class, who announced across the crowded room full of other parents: "You've lost SO MUCH weight!  I've been watching you."   Ack!  And then my neighbour (good old drunk Joanie) passes by walking her dog, and whilst gardening with my ass unceremoniously  in the air, similarly announces something about my smaller body size and how good it looks now.  Sweet Jesus and Holy Crap that shit is some creepy.   Why are you watching my body?  Why?  Why are you telling me you're watching my body?  It's weird and creepy and all kinds of creepy-weird.

Now I'm not saying I'm against a little bit of gratifying objectification in the right context.  (And um, preferably from my peers).  You think I have a great ass?  Fabulous.  Tell me.  Probably make my day.  But in the context of a weight loss discussion, the body admiration just leaves me cold, cold, cold.  (You'll get no love from me.)  Partiularly because such bodily admirations in the aforementioned context do the backhanded compliment-y thing that I hate, hate, hate with a blood-curdling passion.  There's an implicit (maybe even explicit) insinuation that I looked like shite before.  I was hot before, goddamit.  Fat-saucy-me-kinda hot.   Moreover, the more weight comments I get, the more worried about my body I get, and the less hot I feel. 

So.  I guess what I'm trying to say is this - I'm shrinking.  I know I'm shrinking.  If you do happen to be watching my body, for whatever reason (with the noted exceptions above, naturally ;) - please don't stop me on the street to tell me about it. 

Because it makes me feel like grade A Alberta beef. 

And because no matter what my body looks like at a given time,  I'm still gonna be flipping the birdy at, and being real mouthy about the ridiculousness of our fat-hating, body obsessed world.


  1. Excellently written. And don't worry, I won't congratulate you :)

  2. I loved you then & I love you now; growing & shrinking.
    oh and ..."and right in the middle of the old pap test, just to make me feel extra comfy and bee-ooo-teee-fullll" = A HA HA HA! Yeah.

  3. Thanks CLM :)

    And love you too, Danes...