The Swimming Thread

Because of the great feedback and conversations I've had since I started talking more about swimming, I'm going to keep talking about it and opening up space for other people to talk about it, too — whether it's sharing their own feelings about swimming, grousing about lack of accessibility, asking questions about how to dive in (literally), or anything else. So, here's another swimming thread!

[Content Note: Body shaming.]

So, one of the most difficult parts of being a swimmer for me is fat haters.

Let me be abundantly clear: The difficulty is not my being fat. To the absolute contrary, my fat is not an impediment neither to my doing nor my enjoying swimming. (In fact, my fat makes me incredibly buoyant!) The difficulty is other people having a problem with my being fat.

And even more specifically: Their failure to keep that to themselves.

It has, so far, in the months I've taken up regular swimming, just been nasty looks. But oh Maude how many nasty looks! How many long, lingering, nasty looks.

The kind of looks that even I notice, and I am infamously oblivious to people looking at me, in either a positive or a negative way. Something I suppose I just learned to tune out long ago, because even attention meant to be flattering makes me uncomfortable.

But I notice these looks. Thin women at the gym doing the most to make me feel like I'm ruining their lives with my very existence!

I would be lying if I said I didn't care. It sucks. But, the fact is, I love swimming too much to let it stop me. I love swimming way the fuck more than I hate the withering stares of thin folks who CANNOT with my jiggly thighs.

image of me in the lane of a pool, swimming contentedly
You can't stop me. You can try, but you will fail.

It will never, ever, cease being weird to be a fat person at a gym getting shitty looks. I go from strangers shouting at me to "put down the doughnuts and go to the gym" to strangers staring at me with disgust because I'm at the gym.

Nothing makes more plain that fat hatred is categorically not about "health." It's about just wanting us to disappear from the sight of thin people forever.

Which is why it's pointless to give a shit about any fat hater's opinion.

You can't fucking win, so just jump in the pool with a smile.

* * *

As before, please use this thread for all swimming-related discussion, and I am happy to answer any and all questions around being a fat woman who swims: How I navigate the locker room, what strokes I do, how I deal with shitty looks and comments, what's the best suit cut for what body shape to cover all the bits, anything.

Have at it in comments!

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