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How I came to accept being fat

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

A FRIEND ASKED: I would really be interested to understand how you've managed to come to a place of self acceptance despite being overweight. So I responded...

Sjoe. That would be very hard to quantify. I will give it a bash.

In my case, firstly....My sister used to parade herself half-naked in front of guys I brought home. Probably not intentionally, she wears really tiny clothes. Of course the guys would drop me like a hot potato! Boing! Eventually I thought to myself, what a brilliant test of the guy - so I brought them home on the first date! My girlfriend passed the test.

Secondly...I also realise that I would have to lead a life of severe deprivation to get and keep a society-envisaged weight. I would have to do mind-vacating exercise almost all day long. I am WAY not going to do that. That would make me unhappy. I am prepared to lose some weight, do some exercise. Become normal like I used to be (what other people call fat), maybe ten or so kgs more. That's normal for me. But I don't kid myself about being thin. Oprah gets up at 5, she does 4 hours of exercise during the day that include 300 situps - she has a personal chef cooking nutritious delicious food for her wherever she goes. She goes to spas and jets around, climbs up and down stairs on planes, trains and automobiles. She has a life she can control. We don't live like that.

Thirdly... Mommy was fat. I loved her. I think that any man should have realised that Mommy was so entertaining and warm and strong and interesting and loyal and caring and emotional and all sorts of things, really unique, the kind of person you should grow old with. She was empirically wonderful. And there were nasty things about her, a few. My sister is thin. She is a pain in the butt. Of course there are wonderful qualities about her.

My own observations were, as I was growing up, that fat was not equal to horrible and lazy; and thin was not equal to warm and sweet. Despite what the media would have us believe.

And later when feminism put a pair of glasses onto my eyes that I will never take off, I started seeing very, very clearly. Before feminism I didn't really see how the media was trying to paint my mother and how it was trying to paint my sister. I needed feminism to put those glasses onto me. And don't think that I wasn't bright - I am very brainy, but I couldn't see it. When I did it was eureka. I see it all around me now. Constantly. It's insane how pervasive it still is. And we buy into it. I bought into it.

[Just so you know, I would fight in the streets for your right to believe anything you want to believe, and your non-feminism or feminism doesn't make me think more or less of you or anyone.]

I am sure there are other things, so many experiences I have had, but these stick out as.... uteral (not-seminal).

Cinnamon Gurl sparked this off. Thanks. Each week the Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition will feature a story that has something to do with being or becoming a woman or feminist. This series will continue until I run out of stories. I love having guest bloggers. If you have a story you want to tell and you want to be a guest blogger here, please email me; or feel free to link to your own story in the comments.


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