TW: EATING DISORDERS, ANOREXIA, BULIMIA, ANXIETY/DEPRESSION
You’re right, I don’t. And I’m not. But when I was sick earlier this summer, and started going days, halves of weeks, without eating a single thing, or when I spent an entire day throwing up everything I ate, I started to look at things a bit differently. When I got better, I was still afraid to eat because of the pain. And then, when the pain went away, I was afraid to eat because…because I’d gone three days, three and a half days, then four days, without eating. I wanted to see how far I could go without eating. Coming home is always stressful for me; being back under the same roof as my parents, being separated from my best friends, not to mention my relationship was on the rocks, I liked that I had complete control over what I put into my body. Or what I didn’t put into my body. I liked the cramping, those aches that were my stomach telling me to eat, it was hungry! I liked seeing how far I could push myself. Now, I started eating again, and I haven’t felt like that for a month now. It wasn’t extreme, I don’t know how much weight I lost, and I don’t care to know. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t noticeable, it wasn’t even that scary. But it did scare me. Because I was starting to exhibit the signs of an eating disorder. My mindset was very similar to that of people who do have eating disorders.
But I couldn’t have an eating disorder, because I don’t look like I have an eating disorder. And what’s scary is that how many people have eating disorders, but people don’t notice or care, because they don’t “look” like they do? The DSM-IV now says that you have to have a certain weight to get help, and it sickens me. Anybody is susceptible to having health problems, and don’t ever let anyone make you think you can’t or don’t have a problem because you haven’t harmed yourself enough.
I don’t have an eating disorder, and I can’t say what it’s like or speak for someone who does. But if you do, please get help, because you don’t have to do this to yourself.
If you are having problems with depression, suicide or self injury do not hesitate to get help. Talk to a friend, parent or guardian, doctor, teacher, family member, or call any one of the listed hotlines.
Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255 Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743 Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438 Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673 Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272 Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
Also, this blog is a safe space. We are not trained professionals, but we are your friends. At any time, you can drop a line and remain anonymous. We will listen.
My mother likes to…say that she worries about my weight for health reasons. Deep down, I know she has some body image issues of her own. And I know she’s not comfortable with how…aggressive I can be sometimes about fat acceptance.
When my mother starts talking about how I’m at risk for diabetes because of my weight, I try to stay patient (patience has never been one of my virtues) when I explain that, no,diet is a factor in diabetes. And yes, I’m at risk, because I just ate a giant Kit Kat bar and washed it down with Pepsi. And yes, I am at risk because both my grandfathers and an uncle have or had diabetes. But I am not at risk because of my weight. You wanna know what the only real health concerns that are directly related to weight are? Strangulation of organs and joint pain. Neither of which are affecting me yet.
I know that my family cares about me. But I don’t tolerate strangers “worrying about my health”. I don’t tolerate my doctor taking one look at me and assuming I’m here to see him about my weight, when, in actuality, I’ve been having a problem with my lungs (because of, y’know, asthma and smoking). So I won’t tolerate it when my family uses this excuse. Because my weight isn’t a large factor in my overall health. I need to quit smoking before I quit eating.
My point is, I could walk outside tomorrow and get hit by a bus! And my weight wouldn’t have an affect in that. Now, if I were to get hit by a bus while chasing a taco truck, that would be a result of my weight, yes.
But I am so tired of hearing anyone—doctors, parents, anyone—tell me that I need to lose weight for my “health”.
People hate that word, fat.
I used to hate the word fat. Instead, I came up with infinite synonyms to describe myself: big-boned, chubby, big, curvy, fluffy, full-figured, etc. Fat was always an insult. It was constantly being spit out of the mouths of sloped-forehead imbeciles through crowded public school hallways as the imbeciles watched for tears to spring to my eyes. As I grew older, the word stopped having an effect on me. yes, I was fat. I had accepted that, and what idiot chose to insult me on something so obvious, so visible? But then, as I grew up (and out), and started to love my body more, I was brought to the realization that FAT doesn’t need to be an insult. It’s a describing word, and one that I have come to own. I have fat on my body. I have fat arms, fat thighs, a fat belly. I have fat inside me. And I am Fat. But I am also strong, beautiful, loving, creative. Nothing to do with being fat. My weight, my body, my FAT does not take away from everything that I love about myself. Including my fat thighs. Fat does not have to be an insult. It’s a word, and as a writer, I give power to words. Words do not give me power, or take it away from me.
Words by Sabrina, Body by Catie
Let me explain something; when Sabrina and I were discussing what to do with some of the photos I took, this one stood out. It stood out because it is not flattering. My skin is ruddy, the positioning makes me look larger than I actually am and in my opinion, I look something like a Bull Frog sitting on a toadstool. Ribbit.
This one photo made us both uncomfortable.
Sabrina comes from an angle that is uncomfortable with making fat look unattractive. She doesn’t like my choice in lighting, she doesn’t like seeing someone she believes to be physically beautiful looking like a toadstool. I’ve come to understand that Sabrina believes all people have the ability to be attractive and doesn’t want anyone to misrepresent themselves. During a conversation we had today, she explained her stance by saying “As a Fat Girl, I’ve gotten shit my whole life, and have been lead to believe I am not pretty. With this blog, I hope to inspire other women to believe that one can be beautiful and fat. And I think our goal shouldn’t be to make ourselves look as unattractive as possible.” This is why I love her. She’s a very wonderful and kind person, but beauty and attractiveness aren’t synonymous with one another. I am unattractive here, but I find beauty in it.
When I took this shot, it wasn’t about being fuckable or being attractive. It was about defiance. Like Sabrina, I have gotten shit for my size my entire life. The difference between our experience of that shit is that where she was told that she is flat out unattractive because of her size, (which is absurd, because look at the woman, she’s a fucking babe) I’ve always been told that I have to prove myself to other people. I have to prove that I can be attractive by always wearing the right clothes and always acting the right way. And to be completely honest, I’m sick of it.
My body is not a political or social statement. It’s my body, and it’s the only body I will ever own. I see beauty in this photo because for once I am not trying. For once I don’t feel the need to look like anything other than what I am. This is me, naked. This is how I look when I step out of the shower. This is how I see myself. My skin is red, I have marks all over my body. Maybe these imperfections aren’t always readily apparent to other people, but I am hyper aware of them. Through the choice of editing I made, they are readily apparent to everyone else now. I find beauty in that because I don’t have to hide. I am allowing myself to be unattractive and I am not allowing my worth to be placed on how attractive I feel.
Beauty is what you make it. Sometimes beauty is ugly. The fact of the matter is that I feel beautiful here because I am not hiding anything. It feels liberating.
Maybe this photo is going to receive a lot of shit because it’s not aesthetically pleasing, but I really don’t care. For once I don’t have to hide.
My name is Catie and will be doing the majority of the photography portion of this blog. I’m not always great with words, so Sabrina will be taking over the text portion. We hope to create an online space for those of the population who are Fat and Feminine and want to vent, bitch, indulge in vanity and grow to love their bodies.
A little bit about me: I am twenty years old and haven’t weighed myself in years. I am fat. I have a gut, double chin and wear a size 24 US jean. I identify myself as Fat, Queer and Femme. It has taken me my entire life to simply be okay with how I look, and I can only assume that it will take the rest of my life to learn to completely love who I am.
I hope that you love who you are.
My belly can talk, it says things like “Glorp” when it’s lost it’s train of thought, or can’t find the right words, or is uncomfortable, in pain or sad. My stomach can speak, and it asks me what’s taken me so long in learning to love it.
I am naked, completely naked in this photo. I am more naked than I am nude. I am capturing my body, parts of my body that I hated, and trying to find beauty in them.
Glorp. It can tell, my belly is nervous, too. It hates being on film, on camera. It doesn’t like to be captured. We are two separate beings, It knows that. It knows that while I can be loved, It will always be hated. By me, by my partners, by my friends, by strangers. It has been a focal point for politics. It has served as an unjustified reminder to others that this is what happens if you eat, if you don’t have control. My belly has been starved, beaten, and berated. It has been abused. It no longer trusts people.
When I take my clothing off, It starts talking. Glorp. Oh, god. My belly button looks like a crater. Glorp. Why are my pores so big? Glorp. If you keep the lights off, if you don’t let them touch it while you’re fucking, they won’t know how big it is. Glorp. Suck It in, suck It in, suck It in! Glorp. Why does It have to hang down so much? Glorp. Glorp. Glorp, glorp glorp.
Every “glorp” is another protest. Another question. Glorp, why won’t you love me? Glorp, you’ve always had me. Glorp, they know I’m here. They know that I’m here. Glorp, You don’t have to hide me. Glorp, Nothing about me has changed.
I’m sorry that I don’t listen to you. I’m so, so, sorry. I love you.