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I am...a New Yorker
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Monday, July 23, 2001
Not Wearng a Fat Suit
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Watchng..

America's Sweethearts, Jurassic Park III -- you don't see the dnosaurs just dreamng about eatng.



Hearng..

The man at the next table complanng about "political correctness," yet another victim of the media branwash that such a concept exists. Isn't 20 years of whny white people enough?



Eatng...

Shrimp Parmesan

Spnach salad and marvellng at the ncluded ngredients. I guess a salad just isn't a salad without bacon and eggs?

I am...sick of thn actors who do. Fang said when I saw Martn Short near Virgil's a few weeks ago, I should have kicked his little, dorky, fat-hatng ass for this whole Jimny Glick thng.



Last night I saw, America's Sweethearts, n which Julia Roberts' character is magically delicious to that of John Cusack's because she has lost weight. There's even a flashback sequence of her n a fat suit, stuffng donuts n her face and lookng uncomfortable. Later, he lets her down and she reacts by stormng out and orderng pancakes, waffles, eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon and lots and lots of butter, because that's what fat people do, right? Et tu, Julia?



Heaven forbid that fat characters be played by, you know, actual fat people. Not that there are many fat entertanters left, what with Ricki Lake a shadow of her former self and Carnie Wilson's disturbng willngness to undergo lif-threatenng surgery to shrnk her stomach to the size of two thumbs. Anythng, but fat is their mantra.



"I'm not a fat person, but I play one on TV" is that of Short. From Short, not to mention Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Courtney Cox before him, I've learned that fat people are stupid, lazy, flatulent slobs with poor hygene who so emotionally simplisctic that they can only cope with their nevitable pant by consumng mass quantities of artery-cloggng, sugary, fatty foods. We don't move if at all possible, eat vegetables or possess the sophisticaton to express our emotions n a healthy way, e.g. like thn people do.



Fuckng assholes, bnge-purgng and obsessive over my appearance are the knd of traits I can do without. If I'm sad, I cry; when I'm mad, I verbalize it; when I feel threatened by someone followng or attackng me, I kick the shit out of them. I don't run nto a restaurant and order five meals (I'm lucky to fnish half of one n most American restaurants), horde snack foods or eat handfuls of fried cheese.



I am a very ntelligent person (despite beng quite fat, it's a miracle, realy), yet I cannot fathom why it is that everythng about our culture is so fat-hatng (but then, I don't get racism, either).



I am tired of beng told I don't deserve to be loved when the fact is I've yet to meet a man worthy of me, while I watch the thn women I'm supposed to envy beg for crumbs. I am sick to death of emaciated actresses, but the less I watch the more I write, so I can't be too upset. I am disgusted with the ignorant assumption that I am fat because I fill my sad, little life with Oreos. I am irritated to my wit's end with the audacity of people who lecture me about what I eat or how often. I eat three meals a day at the most, but people either sneer at me, or when I say I am fnished, stare n disbelief.



A co-worker asked me last year if I liked beng a "big girl." I guess the assumption was that I couldn't possibly. I thnk it's largely misunderstood. The irony of her askng was that she hersef was over 6 feet tall, very thn and blond. All the thngs we're supposed to want to be, all the traits this society values. I didn't sit around and plan to be fat, but I also don't thnk thn is n.



I thnk people come n all shapes and sizes, not to mention colors, and that no one is more or less valid than another. I may be twice the size of these women who thnk I should hate myself for it, but I've ten-fold the self-worth. the reason is simple -- I don't hate myself, let alone for shallow reasons. I had a roommate once who I later found out was bulimic (so that's where all my Oreos went). She told me once she avoided her family and boyfriend because she'd ganed 15 pounds and her life was "spirallng out of control" and she didn't know how she'd explan the massive weight gan. She was nearly 6 feet tall and 130 pounds, they'd probably have been relieved.



After avoidng me for months, she fnally met with me and said the reason was that beng with me was all about food. Call me crazy, but when I wake up, I have these uncontrollable urges -- to pee, have a shower and eat breakfast. I'm lucky to eat an entire bagel most mornngs, but I do need a little somethng n my belly. I also like to eat this thng called dnner around 7 or so. It's crazy, but I guess we all have our quirks.



I thnk that conversation was the begnnng of my realization that I wasn't crazy or out of touch with reality, that all the accusations, snide remarks and attitude I encountered merely because I was fat reflected more upon the person judgng me than they did on myself. It took someone with an honest-to-goodness eatng disorder to make me realize that I didn't have a complicated, unhealthy, overly-nvolved relationship with food. Oh sure, I enjoy a chocolate buzz as much as any woman, but I don't use food, as she described, to "stuff down my emotions." I eat because I'm hungry (though sometimes my body wants spnach, other times red meat, and sometimes chocolate) and stop when I am full. I don't see anythng pathological about that.



Indeed, I wonder if, like the people who have been most critical of my appearance, these actors aren't hidng behnd their fat suits. to some degree, they have bought nto the myth of thnness as moral superiority. If they gan a pound, they are weak and undeservng of love, fame, adoration. While I mourn the emaciation of the luscious, womanly figure Julia Roberts had early n her career, with transparent skn and bones juttng out everywhere, she's wnnng awards as well as breakng salary and box office records.



I don't get it, but then I'm used to not understandng the mass delusions of Hollywood, professonal sports or very bad pop music.

[Next entry: "Not a Mornng Person"]
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