[Content Note: Fat hatred; weight loss talk.]

This Facebook message, penned to "the fatty running on the [redacted] track this afternoon," is described by Kayleigh Dray as "seriously inspirational," without a trace of irony:

screen cap of Facebook posting by an anonymized user reading: 'To the fatty running on the [redacted] track this afternoon: You, whose feet barely lift off the ground as you trudge around the track. You, who keeps to the outside lane, footslogging in the wrong direction. You, who stops for water breaks every lap, and who would probably stop twice a lap if if there were bleachers on both sides. You, whose gaze drops to your feet every time we pass. You, whose sweat drenches your body after you leave, completing only a single, 20-minute mile. There's something you should know: You fucking rock. Every shallow step you take, you carry the weight of more than two of me, clinging to your bones, begging to be shaken off. Each lap you run, you're paying off the debt of another midnight snack, another dessert, another beer. It's 20 degrees outside, but you haven't let that stop your regimen. This isn't your first day out here, and it certainly won't be your last. You've started a journey that lasts a lifetime, and you've started at least 12 days before your New Year's resolution kicks in. You run without music, and I can only imagine the mantras running through your mind as you heave your ever-shrinking mass around the next lap. Let's go, feet. Shut up, legs. Fuck off, fat. If you'd only look up from your feet the next time we pass, you'd see my gaze has no condescension in it. I have nothing but respect for you. You've got this.'

Only in a world where rank fat hatred is routinely masked as compassion could this shit be described as "seriously inspirational," and could its author claim without being laughed off the planet that there is "no condescension" in hir gaze.

A gaze that looks at a fat person and presumes to know what made that person fat; what motivates that fat person has for exercising; what that fat person would do if only "there were bleachers on both sides"; what that fat person must be thinking and feeling; a gaze that includes seeing a body with an "ever-shrinking mass" of fat "begging to be shaken off." The gaze of a person who believes that a fat person will definitely give the tiniest infinitesimal shit that zie thinks "you fucking rock."

You know, a lot of fat people are already quite certain that we rock, in whatever we're doing, without a thin person having to give us their stamp of approval.

I wouldn't presume, unlike the author of this "seriously inspirational" piece of shit post, what the fat person running around the track feels about this message. I will, however, say that if this message had been written about me, the only thing it would inspire in me is a cringing aversion to ever running at that publicly identified track again, knowing there is some asshole staring at me and judging me and measuring the amount of sweat on my body and thinking my public exercise regimen was theirs to use in some grotesque broadcast of how super awesome and magnanimous they are to the pathetic inspirational fatty.

Thin people, we are not yours to use as inspiration. And our lived experiences are not yours to appropriate. You are not welcome to pass judgment, negative or positive, on us. You don't know our stories by looking at us.

I don't know a single thing about the fat person running on the track from that Facebook entry. I do, however, know an awful lot about the asshole who wrote it.

[H/T to Marilyn Wann.]


UPDATE: Via Ridley, here is the self-identified runner's response: "To the Man Who Judged Me on the Westview Track."

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