“Did you lose weight?”
I work in an office with roughly two hundred employees on site. On the second floor, in the farm where my cubicle is located the women outnumber the men two to one. I believe it’s because of this that I hear someone asked if they’ve lost weight at least twice a day.
There’s just something about the patriarchy that makes it some folks feel they have a right to your body.To comment on it, to question it, and to judge it.
There’s just something about the patriarchy that makes women preen when their weight loss is acknowledged and appreciated. That causes them to blush and demure while someone tells them how great they look.
There’s just something about the patriarchy that ties a woman’s worth to her thinness and fuckability. Even in her own mind.
I’m not a scholar by any means when it comes to fat positivity and acceptance. All I know on the subject I learned from following activists on Twitter. This piece won’t be long enough to count as an essay or a think piece.
Not even an open letter.
But it’s something I needed to write. A cut I needed to make to drain poison from my wounds. Because even I have been fooled by the system that tells us weight loss is good. That fuckability matters. That we are only allotted 120 lbs in this world and every ounce over it is a sin against the natural order.
Because fuck all of that noise. I have value. I have worth. Other women have value and worth. And sure, some of them are walking shit stains, but that has little to do with their physical appearance. It’s not obvious because of their body or in spite of their face. It just is.
The sky is blue. Picard is the greatest captain of The Enterprise. Some people are fucking awful. Fuckability is subjective and has no bearing on a person’s worth.
These are all true statements.
(Although while making sure I spelled Picard right I saw he’s open to coming back for Tarrintino’s movie so that fact is on thin fucking ice right now. I will give your trophy to Chris Pine, don’t think I won’t…)
And so we must enter a period of reeducation. One where we break free from the outdated thinking that fat is unhealthy, unlovable, unworthy. One where we believe that being female (be it trans, cis, a femme-presenting enby, etc…) and existing makes you public use. That anyone is entitled to your time or your attention. That you’re entitled to theirs.
That any one person’s self-worth is pending someone else’s approval.
I need to start accepting that not just out loud, but in my thoughts and in my heart. To stop looking in the mirror and seeing my stomach as a flaw. To be disheartened by my reflection.
That my knee-jerk reaction isn’t to compare an annoying female coworker to a minion because of her appearance, even though I know it’s wrong. (No matter how fucking annoying she may be.)
I need to train this instinct out of myself not just for my own well-being but also for my daughter. The one already asking if she’s “prettier than…”
Because while she thinks I’m the prettiest now, that will change someday if we don’t change it. If we don’t end it and end it now.
So did I lose weight? No. Actually, I’ve put on weight. But I’m beginning to come to terms with my body so I’m wearing it better.
And I hope you do too.