Fat Bottomed Girls

A Fat Positive site, focusing on women who are fat and not ashamed of it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Well, oddly enough, today's cultural diversity training was fairly intense and positive, for the most part. Of course, there was the (patent pending) White Man who felt like he needed to a) defend his entire species against specious accusations of evil-doer-ness and, b) insert the "white male" opinion in any of several (unasked for) situations because, you know, we really don't hear enough of what the "white male" opinion is on any given topic.

The most incredible of these assertions was during an activity called the "caucus breakout." The point of this activity was to divide the group into several subgroups of which people were a member. Some of the groups included Christians, GLBT, non-religious people, people of African heritage, etc. The focus of the activity was to brainstorm as a group a list of things that, were you to be able to represent your group to the world, you would never want to hear again. I joined up with the "overweight" group (ugh, our first brainstorming point was to never hear the word "overweight" again!) and we got together a hefty (arar) list of items that we wished would just go away already, including "If you would only try this diet..." and "You'd be so pretty if you lost some weight" and "You are unhealthy" and "Why don't you try exercising." and, etc. It was a good long list.

Well, up comes Mr. White Man, who...for some strange reason...feels compelled to throw in his 3 cents, even though he's SUPPOSED to be in the Muslim/Islamic group annoying my boss.

Mr. White Man tells us that he's traveled extensively and has lived on the Pacific Islands for some time, and the men there ACTUALLY PREFER fat women! (can you believe it! Some men might find FAT WOMEN desirable! What a coup!) And even though there was very little (read: No) interest expressed in his opinion, he continued to tell us that he once took an informal survey of his class, and the men in the class were divided 50/50 over whether they preferred fat or thin women, but when the men who preferred fat women were asked why, he said they simply said - and then he made hand motions that implied a person digging into someone's flesh in the act of intercourse.

Well, shit, not only was he a fuckwad for polling his students as to their "preference" for what "type" of woman they preferred (and I didn't ask, but I wonder what the women in the class were feeling during this exchange) but now I'm having to think about him thinking about me as a big old juicy wad of flesh to sink his penis into. How nice for me! And I was just thinking I could use a good lay by an pathologically racist/sexist douchebag.

And all of this, as I was fuming about it tonight, led me to a revelation about fat people, and how much sexism plays into sizism (or sizism plays into sexism, depending on how you look at it.) Because, look, what good is a woman unless she's attractive to men? Right? I mean, even in the group as we were brainstorming, most of the concerns the other women had involved being appealing, being sexy, being desirable...and that's great. I mean, it's revolutionary as all fuck to want people to look at your large body and melt with desire...

...but it's also fucked. Because my desire is for people to not necessarily look at me and think about whether or not anyone would want to fuck me. My desire is for people to look at me and think about what I think about things. My desire is to be taken seriously when I discuss issues of wasteful living and anti-consumerism. My desire is for people to see me as a whole, healthy, nurturing, independent, ass-kicking woman. My desire is to be accepted as more than a curvy earth mama goddess figure. My desire is to be considered to be strong and solid, not weak and yielding. My desire is to be seen as beautiful because of who I am and what I believe rather than how I feel about my body and whether I am willing to adorn myself in a sexy manner that belies my size.

Because, really, I've been listening to a lot of conversations about fat people lately, in various forums, and most conversations still revolve around whether or not that fat person is sexually appealing. Most of the fat "role models" out there are always seen dressed in sexy clothing and wearing full make up. It almost seems like a fat no-makeup wearing, no-leg shaving hippy like me simply reinforces the stereotype of the fat, lazy slob. And I don't want to have to wear make up and shave my legs for someone to take me fucking seriously.

I shouldn't have to.

I shouldn't have to be sexy to be listened to.

I shouldn't have to be sexy to be heard.

(also posted at Full Bleed: Confessions of a Zine Girl)