I Write Letters

[Content Note: Fat hatred.]

Dear Fellow Fat Person:

You and I both know that fat people can be cruel to each other, sometimes even in ways that thin people aren't cruel to us.

We've spent a lifetime internalizing fat hatred, and some of us get so overwhelmed with directing it at ourselves, that we start directing it at each other, as a futile attempt at self-protection.

You know the things we can do to one another: Playing the Good Fatty, saying things like "at least my fat is proportional," drawing lines between acceptable and unacceptable fatness (thresholds usually drawn just to make sure that we're on the side of "acceptable"), telling each other that "all you need is some confidence," using each other as an excuse to eat something we wouldn't otherwise, cajoing and coercing each other to eat things, not so secretly suspecting that other fat people really eat too much and exercise too little, being not so secretly embarrassed when we see another fat person who fits some fat stereotype, pretending that we are Superior Fatties if we manage to have the financial and emotional wherewithal to locate and purchase the "right" clothes.

And on and on and on.

I just want you know I'm never going to do that to you.

I am never going to look at you and judge you for being fat, or think I know the reason, believing that being fat myself gives me some special insight into other fatties' lives.

I am never going to think my fatness is better than (or worse than) yours.

I am never going to think you should be wearing anything other than what you want to be wearing. And if you are not wearing what you would ideally like to be wearing, I would be happy to go shopping with you! And if shopping is hard, and you need to cry, you can cry with me.

In fact, you can cry with me about anything. I will cry with you and laugh with you and listen to you and share my own stories with you. And I will never, ever, think that you are weak. I know how much strength it takes to be fat in a world that hates us.

I will never hesitate to go anywhere with you, because we're both fat. I will belly right up to a buffet with you, and I will go swimming with you, and I will squeeze into a tight seat on public transportation beside you. I will never be ashamed of your fat, or mine, or ours together in the same place.

I will take up space with you.

I will be your ally, because I want you to live. I don't ever want to make you, or anyone else, feel like they have to make themselves smaller, make their voices quieter, make their lives less than, because they are fat. I want you to live a big fat joyful life, and I want to live one, too.

Not at your expense. Alongside you. There is plenty of room for all of us.

And there is enough fat hatred in this world already without my contributing even more of it.

You, my fellow fat traveler, will never be my target.

And I hope I will never be yours.

With abundance in both body and spirit,

[Related Reading: Big Fat Love; A Letter About Food and Judgment.]

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