Good Fat Bad Fat

Good fat, bad fat, thin privilege, small fat privilege, financial privilege, who you know privilege. This is going to be the topic of this post and a few posts to come on how all these words affect a fat person’s world. This is a blog post for women my size to feel seen and/or for those who have felt affected like that fit in. Why can I write this? I feel like I have always been on the low rung trying to pull up to the rest of the world.  I have experienced a lot of these privileges on top of being white. This is not about race; this is about body size. So, I left that privilege out on purpose. However, I want to validate out of respect for all cultures that I do recognize that I have that privilege.  

Hello, I am your author. I am a 5’10, 650 lbs. chick. I would like to think your first opinion of me would be one of the following: 

Wow, she seems so smart

Wow, she is so nice 

Wow, she is beautiful

Wow, she has a great smile

Wow, she has great skin, hair, nails, lips, etc.

 Wow, she has a glow about her

Wow, she looks like a great person to be friends with

Wow, she’s a stylish dresser

(I will even take-)

Wow, she’s tall

Wow, she carries herself well

But I know these comments will more than likely be replaced with the below thoughts:  

Wow, she is so big (every little kid & old person ever)

Wow, she is going to die early 

Wow, poor thing must never go on dates

Wow, poor thing what is wrong with her legs (my mother every time she sees my lymph legs)

Wow, she looks like she can bench press her guy (this one actually got said in the best man speech at my wedding to my ex. In reference to his first meeting me)

Wow, I wonder how much she eats in one setting

Wow, she must be so lazy

Wow, she smells great for a fat woman (a medical transport man said this to me, to which I replied I smell great for any woman)

And the biggest – most hateful thing Wow, she is pretty for a big girl.

Getting the picture of what women that are deemed fat go through?   From the very beginning, even before “hello”, we are judged even by people we deem as “good people”. What or maybe how is a better word to define a fat person? You cannot say a woman over 200 lbs., because maybe she is extra short and 150 looks larger on her, or someone at 400 lbs. may look more like 300lbs. You can’t say a woman who wears a 28 or over because you can have two very different shapes, heights, and weights. For women that wear the same size and are given the same size garments, the garments will fit both ladies, but very differently. In fact, I recently experienced this with the amazing BLOOMCHIC campaign, through the selected models and creators they chose for the new size launch. It was actually so amazing and rewarding to be a part of. 

I am so used to people judging me outwardly that I was amazed that I was selected. Just for the record, the clothes fit, and it was the first time I was able to wear non-stretch items in a size anything. What most of us found out is Bloom Chic Fashion is very giving with their sizes and it is about time someone does it right. Let me get back to the point. One of my fellow creators who I watch normally also was chosen for this campaign. She is a bit smaller than I am (more the commonly deemed “acceptable shape” big booty, big breast, small legs, and a tummy.)- I think she is normally 26/28 whereas I most of the time wear 32/34.  We both requested the size 6x which in their sizing is a 30.  We both looked lovely. The difference was they were bigger on her and snugger on me. Still beautiful on both bodies. 

This is the sad part if you take the two of us out into public each on our own and watch how people react to us, she would be treated almost as poorly as I am (relating to feeling just as bad as I do about it) send us out together I have experienced any way that the bigger fat gets the bullying while the smaller fat is deemed part of society.  How do I know this is true? I have experienced this from every size. I was the bigger friend, I was the smaller friend, I was bigger alone, I was smaller alone. People treat you differently when you’re the biggest in a group and when you’re big and alone. 

Let’s talk about where privilege manifested 400 lbs., With my 5’10 frame, mostly torso, inseam of 28, and flat belly (due to apron skin removal) – This was when I was being tested in various ways to check my spine, brain, and lungs sometimes 3 times a year for preventive care.  I was constantly using the CT scan machine that had a weight limit of 300 (no problems there). In fact, I used that machine when I had my last concussion and I was 520lbs. I will say that if I had been in a normal situation, they would have never done that. However, I was at the hospital where my husband worked and the head of the ER ordered it. There you go with “privileges”. I might make a note this is a privilege I greatly miss. 

It wasn’t only health-related issues that I had the privilege of, but maybe that is where I had it most. Reasons why: I was extremely fat and had lost over 350 lbs. Me standing still at 400 is not what my heart or spine doctor wanted but they weren’t mad at it. They saw me as an active pursuer of weight loss. My day-to-day up until I fractured my spine was working two jobs, gym Mon-Friday for an hour at least, and a weekend full of activities with family. I was an active, higher educated, full-time, new wife, aunt to 4 than 5 who held my jobs, was active in religious practices, was a volunteer, and had a full “social circle/life”34-year-old. All these things made me “GOOD FAT” in the thin world. 

 I began early on seeing that the medical doctors were treating me differently – more encouraging, and more willing to look at my actual health needs. I didn’t know how the thin world saw me. As my life moved on, I started to see that even people outside of the medical field saw fats in two ways.  While some that knew your story treated you much the same as medical people (which I should say is “normal”) and because you’re a smaller fat person doing things and being seen, you were approved of.  Then there was still the cold reality that Fat is Fat no matter what. At my wedding the best man, a guy who was as much my friend as my ex, read his best man speech and said about meeting us for the first time, “Wow she looks like she can bench press her guy”. I was humiliated at my own wedding, by a close friend.  What really hurt is I knew never ever would think this guy would try to hurt me. I knew he loved me as a friend very much. It was like I was on a roller coaster of experiencing being Fat in today’s world.  I was showing my nephew some funny videos on YouTube and some fat people falling was happening and he was laughing so loud and he said look at those fatties, and I was like we don’t call strangers fatties that isn’t nice. Besides, would you want anyone to call me that? He looks at me with his big black eyes and says but Auntie you’re not fat, you’re just soft. This leads me to truly believe everyone, even the innocent, has their own pre-set notions according to society’s ideals about Good fat/bad fats.  

Soon my life fell apart. I lost a lot of things: my own space, my ability to do for myself (simple things like washing my hair were too hard so it got all cut off), cooking, my husband, and my friends all seemed to disappear. I was out of it most of the time-ordered to bed or reclining position. It was the worst year of my life.  With that, I begin to see the privileges of my old life. Yes, I was fat but things were so much easier for me for all the reasons I listed. For the first time in my life, I had to give in to using a wheelchair for long distances. Doctors begin to see me differently. I soon was up to 500. The only thing that did for me was allowing my husband to see me as more attractive to him. 2 years later I was able to move again with caution. I was able to do most of the things I once did but with extreme caution and I moved a lot slower. That gradually went to not going to places unless I could be dropped at the door, or not going to places I knew didn’t have the right kind of seating. I would walk for exercise, and I had taken back all the Wifely chores, but it took me forever and I had to rest a lot. Mopping will forever be the devil’s chore. My life had returned for the most part and I was semi-dealing. This is the time that I got back online. Wow, everything was so different than when I left online. I soon learned that the fat community had a “good fat/bad fat“divide as well. 

{More about the internet and good and bad fat on the next related blog.}

What do we judge people the way we do?  The thin world’s judgment of us Fats is just getting old. Why does a fat person have to be either or? Meaning you can be on the good side of fat and you can be actively pursuing weight loss and everyone gathers behind you. On the bad fat side, you can be eating what you want, and not pursuing an active life. God forbid a fat woman says to her doctor or best friend, I love my body, my spouse loves my body, and as long as I am healthy, I’ll have no need to diet! I guess I just become numb trying to please the thin world and still being hurt by it. I soon become cynical. 

My life was so complicated I gave up lying. One day, my doctor who had seen me black and blue from needles from trying to prepare my body for a baby, asked me why I was gaining weight and without a filter, without thinking about that good fat privilege I say because my husband needs me to be fatter so he will desire me more. Now looking back, I am sorry I gained my weight back, or at least most of it. What I told my doctor was my way of fishing for ways to make a man happy that wasn’t able to be happy. 

Honestly, now that I am out of the situation and can look back, my weight loss was the best thing that ever happened to me at that time in my life. It opened so many doors I would have never been able to walk through if I had not lost the weight. Yes, I am sad that I gained the weight back. The world is not made for big people and that is sad. I know as I sit here with all my different health issues, there are some of you that have no health issues. For you, this fight to make a change is so much more crucial because this is your life. It took me a long time to realize that just being, just eating, giving in to my pain is not going to work for me no matter how much I wish I could just continue to eat as I like, do as I like to be as I like. In so many ways I am more comfortable in my “bad fat” body than I ever was in my good fat body and for some reason, I’m terrified of making this move to be healthier but I know there is never going to be a change until the good fats and bad fats fight for ourselves and for our fellow fatties.   To be continued. xoxo, Evie

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