We have a national day for everything nowadays. Happy National Lookalike Day. At first, I was not going to use this national day as a topic then suddenly it hit me how to talk about National Lookalike Day when it comes to being a white fat chick growing up.
Growing up as a white fat chick was like being the only one in the world that is fat at your age. This is totally an absurd idea now but then there were no models, actresses, singers, and the internet didn’t exist that represented the white fat chick. If you break down the fat artists of the 90’s early 2000 we had Queen Latifah, Kelly Price, Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Sherri Shepherd, Mo’Nique to name a few off the top of my head. Then America Ferrera came on the scene and was labeled “fat”, which is a laugh. The one white fat female on the scene that I can remember is Darlin Cates as Bonnie Grape whose role was solely based on being so fat that her family would burn her when she passed with their house so as not to be embarrassed. Then this weird world of fat suits arrived on screen as white females. One of the most popular was Courteney Cox who is super thin playing Monica with a past of being a fat girl on Friends. Then the movie Shallow Hal, with another thin actress Gwyneth Paltrow playing a split role in which she wore a fat suit. The movie had a good message but terrible execution. So, as you can see as a white teenager there was no one that looked like me.
I realize this is no great disservice to me or my race like other disservices to different races, abilities, and sexualities. I am just saying a fact. I felt alone. I grew up wondering when I would be thin and when I would fit in. I wondered if I would ever live in a world where being fat was not a joke or death sentence. I wondered if being fat was the worst thing in the world. Most certainly would I ever have a look-alike? It was very much a thing when I was in school for friends to dress alike, sharing the ability to look alike. I was never able to do this. No one wore even a close size to me. I felt alone, weird, ugly even.
Then things begin to change. The internet brought an entirely new world to my fingertips. Soon I was becoming friends with women that did look like me. In the last twenty years, I went from not seeing myself anywhere to seeing myself in many faces and bodies. I no longer was weird, and I learned ugly has nothing to do with being fat.
Today we have a world where we can see faces and bodies just like ours. Tess Holliday changed so many things for all of us fat women. We were shown that being fat did not equal ugly. She allowed the world to see beautiful fat women full of confidence and pride in being herself. Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson are other examples (even if they have lost weight) of amazing actresses and comedians. They gave us the idea that nothing, even being an actress, was out of our reach. Then we have Camryn Manheim, Kelly Clarkson, and Chrissy Metz who are currently killing it as fat actresses. While we still do not have a great number of actresses or celebrities that are just like us at least there are some.
This brings us to the internet. Now I can touch an app on my phone and instantly can see bodies of every shape, size, and color. I follow women that not only look like me but also women of multiple races, ethnicity, languages, etc. It is a beautiful rainbow of women that inspires and lifts me up. In a quite comical twist, it seems like men see us fat women all as one size and shape (whichever shape it is they prefer). It seems like when it comes to being a fat woman the haters and the lovers of fat women just group us together like there is not one single difference. I think this just proves one thing: The grass is always greener on the other side. Being seen as different or being a lookalike.
I personally love when I go online and see women who do look like me. Women wearing the same clothes as I do, shopping in the same place I do. I love having women that know what it is like to live in a fat body. So far, while it may be annoying when someone says to me that I look like so and so, It isn’t so annoying that it is a big deal. I far more like being a part of something than not.
What about you? XOXO, Evie
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