One of my most viewed/commented on posts (meaning that like 7 people read it) was where I talked about the book Fat!So? and my own body image issues (I almost typed “weight problems”. Geez, girl). No wonder, really, as women seem to always need to get something off their chests when it comes to this topic. Fat is such an powerful word in this country. Still. Always.

Fat!So? gave me permission to stop feeling bad about my body and what I eat. I needed this permission so badly and all in all, I felt better and less-burdened after reading it. Someone commented on my post that positive body image is an ongoing process. Somedays you won’t feel so good about yourself. Somedays you’ll hate your body.

Today was that day. For a little while.

I was on the train (doesn’t every bad NYC story start with “I was on the train”?) and a man sat down next to me, his legs wide apart, taking up my space. I rolled my eyes, but said nothing. He was clearly looking at my face because he said, too loudly for a quiet train, “DID I DISTURB YOU?” He wanted attention from the train, I could tell. He was looking to the other passengers. I don’t know, maybe he had a bad day and needed to explode at the first person he saw. Anyway, hunties, I’m a NY girl, so I immediately spat back: “Oh, you’re such a big man. We’re all really impressed, jackass.” Yes. I am no angel. I don’t let people mess with me.

The train ride went on, I went back to my book, ignoring him. He couldn’t let it go, because, even though I wasn’t talking to him, he kept looking at me and laughing and sucking his teeth at me.

Finally, after this super awkward subway ride, it was time for my stop and I could just tell that this sad mofo was going to say something to me. I stood up to leave the train, and he’s looking me up and down. I’m waiting for it. Im waiting for this man to say something. I’m one foot off the train and he screams, “You’re weird and FFFFFFAT!”

I gave him the finger. I didn’t have time to retort.

I got out onto the street. My face was red. I felt ugly and gross and terrible. For two blocks. I hate being angry. I’m not good at being angry.

No one’s called me fat before. At least, not to my face.

“You’re weird and FFFFFFAT!”

OK. I am weird. I got comfortable with that word around the age of 8 and haven’t looked back. I am a firm believer that normal is boring.

“FFFFFFAT!”

OK. Fat. Fat. I started chanting it under my breath. I started calling that guy a sad little loser in my head. He did have those stupid reading glasses that darken when you’re in the sun. Transitions lenses? Only sad dorks wear those. Sad jerk. Such a coward he couldn’t even call me fat to my face, because he knew I would verbally eviscerate him. Fat. Fat. Fat. FAT. I am FAT. Sothefuckwhat?

By the time I got home, I was fine. I knew I was going to write and feel better.

And I do. I feel better.

And I need to reread Fat!So?.

And if you haven’t read it, you need to. And if you have, you need to read it again.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

P.S. Be nice. Just in general.

About magpielibrarian

Youth Services Librarian, Mediocre Crafter, Urban Magpie, Glitter Addict, and Worshiper of Ridiculous Outfits, Emerging Leader 2012, Former Rainbow Book List Member, and GLBT RT Director-at-Large! This is what a librarian looks like, kids.

10 responses »

  1. Annika says:

    Ah, I’m so sorry that guy was so stupid. This has happened to me recently, with a man calling me and my bum fat as I was passing by, and instead of realizing that it was the shouter who clearly was the weirdo with the problem, I got all wound up in hating myself for being overweight.

  2. I’m sure there are many women who can relate to this story. It reminds me of this one time a few years ago when a guy on the street yelled out some indecipherable epithet at me. It was either “Fatso!” or “Fuck you,” I couldn’t be sure. In an attempt to make me feel better, my friend tried to convince me that what he actually yelled was “Foxy,” except, to make the syllables fit, she stretched the word out so it was more like “Foxy-o.” It was accompanied by a fussy little karate chop for some reason. Anyway, ever since then “Foxy-o” has become our go to phrase to declare, hey you’re looking good today, stop hating on your body.

    So people are jerks, but sometimes good things come out of jerky behavior.

  3. Karisekhmet says:

    I was climbing out of the pool at the gym and 2 guys started commenting on the size of my bum. They thought they were safe speaking in another language. Except I spoke that language too 🙂 I told them I was sure their mothers would be proud. the expressions were priceless. Tee hee!

  4. Shannon says:

    😦 it makes me sad that some people are so mean and stupid. First of all, I have seen pictures of you…you are nowhere near fat. Second of all, you are not weird, you are awesome. And even if you were weird and fat (which I believe i just covered that you are not) why yell it out? Idiot. I am sending you healing thoughts and sending him very evil thoughts. We all love you just the way you are!

  5. There you go again…making me laugh and cry in the same post with your vivid writing. What a perfect retort to this neanderthal! I wish I thought that fast on my feet. I love you to pieces and you are lovely!

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