Dear “Sarah Lynn,”
I put your name in quotations because you’re not a real person. I know this because this weekend after I read your comment on a Facebook photo of me (Damn!! You are a big O’ girl), on my fan page, no less, I clicked on your profile. (It’s always puzzled me why people friend others or like their fan pages so that they can criticize them. I genuinely cannot imagine taking the time to do this, but different strokes for different folks.) After seeing your one profile picture, your 30 friends, and 2 likes, I quickly realized that this page was a front so that you could say something to me on the Internet that you weren’t comfortable putting your real identity behind. But it doesn’t matter that you aren’t real, “Sarah Lynn,” because there are a million men and women just like you in the world and I’ve officially encountered too many of them to keep my mouth shut about it any longer.
While this is nowhere near the most hateful thing that has been said to me on the Internet, or otherwise, I thought it was a good representation of so much ignorance fat people (and more specifically, fat women) deal with on a daily basis, and since I’m an optimist and you might just really be uninformed and not a hateful asshole, I’d like to address your points. (Note to the readers: the spelling, grammar, and capitalization that follow are “Sarah Lynn’s,” not my own.)
1. “Hey nobody wants to see fat rolls!!!!”
Actually, some people do. Some people don’t. Some people want to see blonde hair. Some people don’t. Some people want to see long legs. Some people don’t. Some people want to see big lips. Some people don’t. I would go on, but I reckon this point is pretty elementary and has probably been sufficiently illustrated. Different people like to see different things and as human beings functioning in society, sometimes our eyes pass over things we don’t find particularly aesthetically pleasing, but we just move on. Because it’s easy.
2. “I would not want my daughter to see this and think its ok to be over weight.”
Unless you plan on keeping your daughter captive in a house full of average or underweight people, devoid of magazines, television, Internet, and other forms of media, she will inevitably see overweight people. She’ll also see black people, Korean people, physically disabled people, sick people, old people, mentally challenged people, tall people, freckled people…and it’s certainly “ok” to be all of these people. People are what they are and they can’t inherently be “wrong.” If you wish that your daughter not be overweight, I can assure you that similar to black skin, Korean eyes, freckled skin, and aged bodies, being overweight is not contagious. Exposure to my fat body won’t cause hers to morph into something it isn’t already.
3. “Nobody should be proud to be fat…”
This might shock you, “Sarah Lynn,” but I’m not particularly proud to be fat. I do happen to enjoy parts of my body – I think I have beautifully shaped teardrop breasts, full eyelashes, and big nail beds. I like my belly button. I think I have a killer smile. These are all parts of my body, but they’re not me. I am fat. And I am proud of myself. But I’m not proud of being fat any more than I’m proud of being brunette or proud of being 5’2″. These things just are. Am I comfortable being photographed in lingerie? Yes. But I wonder if you would look at a short-legged woman in lingerie and say, “Nobody should be proud to have short legs” or look at a woman who had size A-Cup breasts and say, “Nobody should be proud to have small tits.” For some reason, all other women in their various non-fat bodies are just existing; just wearing bathing suits in the summer; tank tops around the house; or lingerie for a boudoir shoot and no one shames them for that; no one accuses them of having so much pride in their body that they aren’t afraid to show it. I’m proud of myself as entire person. My body is fat. I deserve to wear the clothes I want and live the way I see fit just like every other non-fat person. End of story.
4. “…they should (you) try to get skinny and show our youth how to loose weight.”
One of my pet peeves, “Sarah Lynn,” is when people assume. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage about that. I’m almost 30, and I was not overweight until I was 19, so I’ve actually lived the majority of my little life here on Earth as a “thin” woman, a “normal” woman, an “average” woman, whatever. I’ve also tried to “get skinny.” After being diagnosed with PCOS (save both you and me time and just Google it), I was never able to “get skinny,” but I did lose 94 pounds in 8 months with the help of a wonderful personal trainer named William Powell and a shit-ton of dedication and hard work. Those are all just tid-bits, because really, it’s no concern of yours what I should do with my body. I also understand that I’m a radio personality in little ol’ Greensboro, NC, but I’m not sure this gives me the responsibility of showing “our youth” how to do anything. Although I do try to just be myself, which I hope shows people how to be happy and confident, but that’s neither here nor there.
5. “America is one of the most overweight countries in the world and I hate that because fat = lazy”
I will agree with you there; America is one of the most overweight countries in the world. I’ve lived on two other continents, so I have firsthand experience with this observation. I’m also sure there are lots of determining factors in this that I find interesting and worth delving into, but that has little to with me. Finally, I must whole-heartedly disagree with your statement that “fat = lazy.” Some fat people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some thin people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some black people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some Korean people are lazy. Some aren’t. Some freckled people are lazy. Some aren’t. Things come full circle, don’t they? Again, it’s not any concern of yours if I’m lazy or not, but…I’m actually not. And plenty of fat people aren’t. I’ll never forget the time this 250-lb woman busted her ass at the gym, outperforming all of the thin people in there, ran 4 miles and walked out to her car, dripping with sweat to be greeted with “Hey, fat-ass!” from a passing car. That 250-lb woman was me. Pretty wild how a 250-lb woman can have those arms, right? Laziness builds some pretty awesome muscle definition.
“Sarah Lynn,” I’m not mad at you and I’m not hurt by you. I just think you need to hear a different perspective, and any time you want it, just come right on over here and I’ll give it to you. ♥
- Prologue May 4, 2014
- I’m 30! April 14, 2014
- GMALive – Dancing with Whitney April 4, 2014
- Whitney on The Morning Show – Channel 7 Australia April 4, 2014
- Whitney Breaks it Down with Steve Harvey March 12, 2014
- Mary on I’m Not “Curvy”; I’m Fat: How I Got Over My Fear of the F-word
- Nilda on I’m Not “Curvy”; I’m Fat: How I Got Over My Fear of the F-word
- Diane on I’m Not “Curvy”; I’m Fat: How I Got Over My Fear of the F-word
- Tilly on An Open Letter to “Sarah Lynn”
- Lindsey on My Story: Part 3 – Living as a Fat White Woman in Korea