Expert fangirling services since 1986.
THIS IS THE FACE OF OBESITY.
I am 5’7” and I weigh 235 pounds. This puts me well into the obese category. I’d need to lose another 40 pounds to be classified as “overweight” by standard BMI calculations.
This picture was taken after I had just spent five hours hiking a rugged 8 miles around Lake Vesuvius in southeastern Ohio.
Look at me. Look at the shame, the self-disgust on my face. Look at how much I hate my life. Look at how unhealthy, how lazy, how sedentary I am. Look at how life is passing me by, trapped in my cocoon of disgusting fatness, never to experience life as “normal” people experience it. Look how unworthy I am of love and friendship and basic human empathy.
I have struggled all my life with my weight. I have taken some drastic measures to get where I am now. I did this for my health and my functionality in the world, not so I could wear sample sizes. I did not do it because I hated who I was, or how I looked. I did it because I love and respect myself, and I wanted better for ME. I do not owe the world a thin body in exchange for the honor of having it consider me worthy of its acknowledgment.
I am still obese, and when I take groups of women on hikes with my hiking club, I leave many of the “normal” sized ones in the dust.
People speak about an obesity epidemic as if it’s an abstract set of circumstances, instead of a population of human beings who struggle with ourselves, the world, and the complicated relationship that all humans (not just us fat ones) have with food. We are the obesity epidemic. We are all different. Some of us need help. Some of us don’t. Some of us WANT help, some of us don’t. Some of us are in poor health. Some of us aren’t. All of us struggle with the gaze of the world that tells us every day that we ought to just be grateful that we’re allowed to co-exist with the normal people. We shouldn’t want love, we shouldn’t need sex, we should be content to be tolerated while we’re made into a symbol of the evils of modern society. And if we dare show ourselves in public, we ought to be properly contrite, cowed, and filled with shame that others should be forced to actually look at us.
Don’t like what you see? Look the fuck away. Or look at me in the picture above, and try to have some empathy for the obvious pain, suffering and self-loathing that most of the world imagines I ought to have, that surely I must have, being as obese as I am.