Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking it personally.

Embracing what is different, unusual, or goes against the grain is not something a goodly majority of the world has in its skillset. And certainly embracing something like *GASP* fat acceptance is just plain wacko in many, many, many, many people’s eyes. Now, when I come across something that doesn’t quite twirl my skirts or baffles me, my tendency is to either do research to find out more about said thing, ask people who have experience in said thing about said thing, or simply say, “okey-doke” and move on with my bad self to whatever next thing catches my interest. However, there is a certain breed of cat out there that will stomp feet and screech derision until the end of time not only about the O-beeeeeeeeeeesity Epidemic that Ees KEELING US ALL, but also absolutely anything that deviates from that cat’s personal norms.

Recently, I read a Dear Abby column in which a grandmother was given tremendous shit by her daughter-in-law for sending only $5 in a card for her grandson’s eighth grade graduation and then following said shit-blowing with a “thank you” card from the grandson that was, as expected, passive-aggressively awful. I thought it was simultaneously horrific and yet, amusing because I tend to be evilly entertained by awful people that believe being grateful and polite is for the weak. I started a conversation about it on a message board and it soon turned into a discussion about graduations and experiences with graduations. It appears that graduations vary by region – I graduated from eighth grade, while others graduated from sixth grade, and for others, the move from middle school into high school wasn’t marked at all. Which is fine and interesting and whatever, much like how I drink pop while others drink soda. However, one poster got sweaty and hyperbolic about how graduating from anything other than high school or college was ridiculous, clearly a money grab created and sponsored by the big bad corporations, it’s a waste of time and money and if ZIE was invited to anything even resembling such a thing, zie would practically take a dump on their porch for suggesting zie would endorse said practice in any way, shape, or form. It was impossible for hir to comprehend the notion that things are done differently in other parts of the country, things that will continue to go on with or without hir endorsement, and that hir outrage was fuckdiculous.

The Takin’ It Personally people (TIPPs!) are the people who paint fats as being food-shoveling, sweaty, lazy fools who are making the choice to be fat because they don’t want to stop eating Suzie Q’s and Ho-Ho’s while they lay on the couch/floor/bed, and are certain beyond any doubt that the fats are destroying America one stick of beef jerky at a time and should health reform ever come to pass, will bankrupt the system before you can say “but the population as a whole is aging and bringing with it increased medical needs because of age-related afflictions”. “The Obeeeeeeeeeeeeese/the poor/the disadvantaged/’the lazy’ are going to REACH INTO MY POCKET/PURSE/DITTY BAG and TAKE MY HARD-EARNED MONEY to support THEIR UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLES,” they rage before falling onto the nearest fainting couch in an anger-induced swoon. They’re the ones who get all sputtery and concern-trolly and eye-teary when the subject of the Fat comes up because it’s SCIENCE that all fat people are ticking time bombs of diabetic heart faily oozing death and they’re Takin’ It Personally because they want you to be the BEST you can BE and you’re only BEST when you are – ding dong, candygram! – thin. Rejecting the Fantasy of Being Thin and spreading that concept around really gets the TIPP’s drawers in a fiery uproar. I was informed by a TIPPer that Fat Acceptance was as “evil” as McDonald’s* and that people really shouldn’t have as much self-esteem as those in Fat Acceptance believes everyone should. Somehow, having a positive view of oneself means one no longer is interested in striving in improving oneself...? Oh wait, no, okay, I get it now, I get it now – the only really worthwhile improvement one should be making is shaving off those horrific, nasty pounds. Right. How on earth could I forget? Another TIPPster was quite aggrieved that I “refused” to “get healthy” and wouldn’t praise hir endlessly for hir “hard work” when zie embarked on a liquid diet. If I was a TIPPer, I might have raised a ruckus and railed against the futility of it and how I was personally offended and tearfully told hir how in the long run, zie would only be doing more damage to hirself and hir psyche by engaging in such a practice. But that’s not my style. My style is simply to reiterate again and again my personal message of self-appreciation, self-love, and self-worth being the ultimate goal, and a goal that is achievable and available for every single frickin’ person walking the earth, fat or thin; that it isn’t something that is only deserved by those engaging in societally-approved “healthy” behaviors or lifestyles or income brackets; and most importantly, isn’t impossible no matter what society or you tell yourself.

I had a TIPP approach me in the bathroom at my workplace one day – she was getting a gander at the nine stars tattooed on my left forearm as I dried my hands and the disdain was clear as she asked me The Question: “WHY would you do that?” It was quite hard for me not to respond, “WHY would you give a shit WHY I did it”, but I like to be polite to the TIPPs and speak slowly to them as if they were five-year-old children. “Because I’ve always liked tattoos, always wanted tattoos, and I like how they look,” I responded. She shook her head and tisk-tisked and smiled at me like I was a silly billy, saying as she exited the bathroom, “To each his own!” I only wish that the average TIPP actually believed that.


Anonymous said...

But...HOW do you not take it personally when people judge you?

I'm so tired of being judged for the way I look and having to defend myself for being who I am.

Tired...and ANGRY.

I wish I could write on my blog about it but it will just be a more expanded version of my real life, where some people say "oh, who cares how you look, you're healthy" (If I were black I think that would be like calling me articulate...but I'm not sure...)and others tell me I must be deficient in some weird mineral because, "How can you eat so little but still be so big?"

It's called an eating disorder, where you eat enough to get calories but not enough to let your body know it's not starving, kthxbai. That plus genetics, anyway. shouldn't MATTER *why* I'm fat - I shouldn't get a PASS as some rare albino exception because I'm fat and healthy...

Gah. See, I freak out. LOL Totally taking it personally.

Jane said...

Well, taking it personally about being judged for our size is waaaaaay different than the behavior exhibited by TIPPs. Of course it's appropriate and normal to get pissed and take it personally when the message day in, day out is "YOU SUCK". Anger is good. You should be angry - we all should be angry.

MigiziNse-ikwe said...

OMG thank you so much for this. At a thread I run on a large forum I had the perfect example of a TiPP that just would NOT go away today. It got so bad I had to ban her. This made me laugh after some stress and I hope you don't mind that I linked it as several of my thread regulars were upset by today's TiPP and could use a laugh. Thank you!

EpicInbetweenie said...

I think I may be in love with you. Is that going to be a problem?

And I think your gut-response to Tattoo TIPPster was the right one. I used to get that when I had a lip ring. It gets super-old super-fast.

Jennifer said...

"Another TIPPster was quite aggrieved that I “refused” to “get healthy” and wouldn’t praise hir endlessly for hir “hard work” when zie embarked on a liquid diet."

But's a "STRUGGLE"!

I know I know, going to hell and all that.

I wish there was a STFU button I could push when people speak to me like that.