Saturday, 12 July 2008

Sometimes you just want to take the spectacles off

I keep reading a lot of Fatosphere posts lately about Wall-E and how it's anti-fat, and all the rest of it, and...well, people may be right, but I don't particularly want to go into the movie looking for that.

God knows, I'm alert to all kinds of isms all the time. Seriously, I did Cultural Studies at university, and I loved it, but it does mean that I never, ever don't notice things. Sometimes I can just ignore them, but I never fail to notice them.

I'm not sure I want this to become another thing that I can't stop noticing. I'm not sure I can stop it, but I'm not sure I want it. I suppose it's because I take it more personally than anything else. That is strange, when you consider the amount of sexism I notice. But the difference is that sexism and misogyny just infuriate me, they bring out the fighter in me, and that may not be as fun as laughing, but it's more fun than crying. And laughing at the fat people makes me cry.

Once, I went and saw The Nutty Professor, the horrible Eddie Murphy one, and there's a scene in the middle of the film where he was compulsively eating (M&Ms, I think) and everyone else in the cinema was laughing, and I just sat there and sobbed. Because I knew, you see, what that felt like. To everyone else it was something so extreme that it could be a joke. To me, it was everyday behaviour that hurt.

I don't feel bad about being a woman. I get angry when I see misogyny, because I don't think that I or any other woman deserves the bullshit we get heaped on us because of our gender, even by those who share it.

But even now, I feel bad about being fat. Part of me still thinks I deserve what's said about my body. I feel bad about the way I eat. I feel bad that I am positive that when people look at me they see a giant blob taking over the world. Part of me believes all the propaganda. And you know, I'm just not sure that I want to notice the propaganda as long as I believe it.

Of course, it's a vicious circle - is it even possible to stop believing the propaganda as long as it's being dripped into me subconsciously so that I keep on feeling bad about myself? I'm not sure, but since most of my self-loathing really is self-generated, I'm not sure how it's going to help me to invite in all the other players to generate some more.

I can see sexism and misogyny without feeling bad about myself. I can't see anti-fat stuff without it. So I'm not sure I want to look for it right now.

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