I recognize that the word ‘obese’ can be a trigger for many people; so if you need to exit because of that, I completely understand.
As for the rest of you who decide to stay, have a seat, get comfortable; class is in session.
For a long portion of my life, I was resistant to words that labeled me by my size. I’ve always been overweight whether slightly or morbidly. I went through life having everything about me be prefaced with words like fat, overweight, obese, big, chunky, chubby, heavy-weight, plump etc.
For the life of me I couldn’t understand why people felt the need to “compliment” me with “you’re beautiful for a big girl” as if my beauty was somehow adjacent to or synonymous with my weight. I admit it took me well into my late twenties before I was completely unbothered by the adjectives used to describe my size in every facet of my life.
The reality is, no matter how wonderful my friends and family think I am, how dope I am with a pen and poetry, how eloquently I speak, how flawed I am; there is a large population of society who do not believe that I am ever worth having a conversation with unless my weight is addressed.
Let that sink in.
Absolute strangers on the internet, or in person feel like it is their absolute right to ask invasive questions about my health, my weight and my self esteem. They want to know the justified reasons I am fat so they can categorize me as a good or bad fatty. Well meaning women imply that I’m confident simply for coming out of the house in clothes that I feel absolutely comfortable in; and because of my size that act is somehow a triumphant one.
Til this day, I can walk into public and still be pointed at and laughed at by somebody’s raggedy kids or even an adult.
There are men on this planet who literally believe bodies like mine exist only to be treated as sexual exploration, dehumanized for pleasure, and treated as a receptacle for their unwanted advances, micro-agressions and mommy issues.
With all the strides fashion industries are making, I still cannot walk into my favorite stores and try on the clothes I like simply because they do not carry my size in store. Plus size models that are supposed to endear me to spend my coins never look representative of body types like mine. And for some odd reasons public spaces refuse to make seats comfy enough for my spread.
And the list could go on and on and on.
Despite these unsavory facts of navigating life in my body; I am still out here living…happily at that. The nerve of me right?
At the end of the day, I have been most fortunate to be surrounded by people who truly love me, people who would never reduce me down to a number on the scale. I’ve also been fortunate enough to encounter people who’s opinions I’ve changed by simple conversation and education.
I could walk through this world feeling sorry for myself and even angry about the way people view me. I would be within my right… but I won’t.
I’m too busy being glorious and fly in this obese body.
P.s A very special thank you to Mel of It’s Mel Photography who shot me on one of my worst days and still managed to make me feel amazingly beautiful. Your art is appreciated.