Here’s the thing about being fat: strangers tell you that you’re fat all the time.
I know that, for decent human beings who would never dream of approaching a random person about their appearance, it sounds hard to believe. But it happens all the damn time.
I generally can’t get through a single week without having something yelled at me from a passing car. Or having someone ‘thoughtfully’ tell me I would be really pretty if I lost weight. Or having a taxi driver tell me about weight-loss surgery. Or having an old lady at the bus stop tell me I’m wasting my youth.
Or having a drunk guy on the bus laugh in my face. Or having someone in the supermarket patronisingly wink and say “Good on you” when I put fruit in my trolley. Etc etc etc blah bah DON’T YOU KNOW THAT YOU’RE FAT?
I haven’t been overweight for very long and the bizarre behaviour of strangers towards me and my body is one of the things I’ve found most difficult to adjust to. You may get used to it happening but it never stops hurting. It never stops being humiliating and devastating. You just get better at pushing it down and continuing on with your day.
It becomes a part of your life. It becomes too exhausting to get angry about every single time. And that is freaking sad.
Which is why I nearly fell out of chair with fist-pumping joy when I read this story.
A woman in the US was on a train when she saw a hipster-looking man get up and whisper something in the ear of a female passenger. He got off at the next stop and the passenger immediately burst into tears. Concerned, the woman watching the whole thing asked the crying passenger what the man had whispered to her. She replied, “He said, ‘Have some respect for yourself and lose some weight.'”
The woman, clearly shocked and appalled by the man’s behaviour towards a lady who did nothing to deserve it except EXIST, penned an open letter to him on Craiglist’s ‘Missed Connections’ section. It says everything, that after constant humiliation and weekly abuse, most fat people are too defeated to say to the complete shit weeds that confront them on a regular basis.
It’s addressed to ‘The shitstain who made a woman cry on the train’. It’s f*cking brilliant, and it’s here in full:
You got up right before the Stony Brook stop and said something in a low voice to the woman next to you. You exited the train and she burst into tears. I asked her what you said—and in between sobs she goes, “he said, ‘Have some respect for yourself and lose some weight.’”
Oh sh*t, you said that to a complete f*cking stranger, an innocent person trying to read a book on her ride home!!! Yeah dog, you sure did, and then you turned heel and walked off like the miserable coward you are.
You publicly humiliated another human and made her cry. How truly f*cking horrifying of you. She was totally stunned, and devastated… is that what you wanted to see happen? Are you that much of a nightmare that you are PLEASED by making people cry? Total strangers even? I don’t think I can fully express to you what an absolute skidmark you are, but here goes:
You: blond, slicked hair, hipsterish. You manage to be both tasteless and sanctimonious, and something tells me you brag about loving Bukowski even though you only made it 80 pages deep into Women. You definitely think you’re smarter than everyone, and you love reflective surfaces.
You work in design/tech/oh wait, who cares, you don’t f*cking matter. You treat women like garbage, but don’t worry — we hate you. You have a stank on you, and a lot of us can smell it…truly a dookiestain-made flesh. You don’t have an original thought under that stupid haircut. You are a straight up f*cking bully, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Bullies are the absolute worst.
The thing is, part of you knows this, and you’re upset that no one treats you like the special snowflake you believe yourself to be. So you say horrible things to strangers in public to make yourself feel better. Stop being such a f*cking bully and sh*tting on other humans just because your wounded-ego feels like taking a dump. No really, just f*cking stop.
Any of my fellow feminist vigilantes who might be reading this: keep an eye out for a white dude, around age 30, who looks like a wacker version of Macklemore, if that’s possible. Make sure you remind him of his insignificance.
And to the woman to whom this human diarrhea pile directed his steaming ego turd: keep your head up girl, it’s not even about you. I hope it didn’t ruin your day.