Sunday, 12 April 2015

Yes I'm Fat: Stop Watching Me Eat

Fat shaming is everywhere. whether its framed in health warnings on morning TV, delivered via the "hilarious" meme mocking a fat girl on Facebook or simply being called a fat c**t whilst standing at a bus stop.
 One of the most fertile places for what I call " the sly fat shame" is when a larger person eats in public. 

Yes I'm fat Stop watching me eat

Only a few weeks ago whilst staying  at a hotel I was subjected to rolling eyes and smirks when I walked from the buffet with two plates of fruit and yogurt in my hands. The fact that one was for my daughter didn't matter, to the couple sitting across from us who loudly discussed "over eating" I was the living embodiment of fat Britain. 
I sat quietly eating my banana , sipping on my black tea watching them wolf down full cooked breakfasts with cup after cup of milky coffee, half wanting to go and tell them to piss off and half thinking how much I didn't want to cause a scene in front of my child. 
So I finished my breakfast and left. Slightly angry and also slightly bemused that my eating habits were that interesting. After all a banana and a green tea aren't that disgusting are they? And even if I was sat there wolfing down a five course banquet whose business is it anyway?
Sadly that isn't the point. How much you do or don't eat when you are a fat person isn't the issue .To many the simple action of bringing a fork up to your fat face is an affront to them. A liberty. 
Society's view of fat and the "dangers" it is associated with have made it the modern day bogey men. A fat person eating is to a lot if people the visual equivalent of a loaded gun. It scares and angers them and they feel it can not pass without comment. 
People rarely judge what slimmer people eat.if you are a dress size 12 and below chances are you can happily grab a sandwich on the run and scoff it on the train without fear of ridicule or tuts, you can go out for dinner on a Friday night and have a curry and no one will bat an eyelid. This is a freedom that fat people rarely enjoy and it needs to stop.
So what can we do? save for making scenes in restaurants which I certainly don't consider a workable solution? 
The answer I believe is we keep on questioning the status quo and its attitude to fat bodies.In articles, blogs, conversations and of course on social media.
The need to keep calling out the moral panic about weight (which is fuelled endlessly by a billion pound diet industry) has never been more important. 
Once society moves past this almost irrational fear of fat and  starts a smart, conversation about how bodies have changed over the last 50 years the happier and I believe healthier we will be. 

No F**ks Given

Whilst I wait for this to happen here I am in public eating a big ice cream (vegan of course) with not a solitary f**k given. 


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