I do not see myself as a fat woman, just a woman with certain weight issues. When will other people stop bothering about it?
By Tanzila Anis
I am my weight. Before you ask what it means, just savour this sentence, say it about 5 times and try to absorb it. It applies to all of us here. Each and every one of us. Because in this world our weight makes or breaks the person we appear to someone.
I can carry off any clothes better than girls half my size. I can also cook, sing, write and look better than them. But, it is the sum total of my weight which defines me. It’s a painful fact. It is something I have struggled with. I have tried to make myself into a person whose sheer personality will make people not notice the weight. But you know what, they still do.
I want people to not notice that I am fat. Because my being fat doesn’t take away from the kind of person I am. I am educated and have a career. But when people meet me, all they see is the weight. They see a fat person walking towards them and they decide that she must be slow, lazy, eat like a maniac, will smell horrible, would be unambitious and would be single. I am not kidding with any of this. Oh, and also that this fat woman must be desperate. She would be an easy lay. So with such glowing first impressions, it is hard to get the other person to even see what I have behind the fat. It’s like until I can peel the layers of fat from my own body, my fat will maketh me.
I want people to not notice that I am fat. Because my being fat doesn’t take away from the kind of person I am.
I realized a long time ago, in class 11th to be precise, that I will never be typically slim and pretty. The only thing I have is my personality. That’s what I can mould and make into whatever I want to be. And so I made an outward shell of a confident, I don’t give two hoots, loud and sometimes referred to as an obnoxious personality. It got me through college. It got me friends and it got me love too. Lovers even.
I have spent years agonizing inwardly about why I could never be slim and pretty. And believe me I have tried. I have been on crazy fad diets which have left my system so out of sync that as I grow older, I can feel the effects of meals missed and unnecessary punishment in the gym. It’s not a happy thought that the bout of gymming where the instructor thought that making me pound the treadmill would make me lose weight ended up damaging my knees and someday in the future I will have to get a surgery.
Every time I would fall in love with who I am, someone would point out how I am fat and hence not good enough. My threshold level for rejection is saturated because of the rejection I face due to my weight every single day. And it’s possibly because of this that I cannot deal with rejection well. My experience with my weight is not unique. This is the way most ‘fat’ people are. They are constantly trying to prove something, constantly trying to act as if they don’t care. And at the end of the day a lot of them go and submerge themselves into comfort food. Because they realize, no one else cares.
I know that most fat people and I have probably spent our lives compensating for our weight. Apologizing to the world in a way that ‘I am sorry I weigh so much and you can’t bear to look at me, let me crack a joke. Maybe then you will like me’. I know I do this everyday. I have been told how it would be a subject of ridicule that the man I love is slim and fit and that I would look older than him because of my weight. I have been asked to lose weight in the garb of ‘it’s for your health’ but I know it’s never been about my health. It’s about what my weight makes me appear. It makes me appear as a blob of fat. That’s it. Hence the discussions around me will be about only weight and losing weight and gaining weight and more weight till I yell ‘WAIT! There is more to me than my weight.’
Every time I would fall in love with who I am, someone would point out how I am fat and hence not good enough.
Because there is more to me. I can only hope for a place in life where to everybody around me, my weight stops mattering and I start mattering more. Of course if I look closely at my life, I have a man who loves me for who I am, friends who think I am amazing and a sister who thinks the world of me. So maybe there really are unicorns at the end of the rainbow and all us fat people can sit on them and ride into the colours and have shiny, happy and not dark and secret relationships with ourselves.