Monday, November 21, 2011

Usually when I'm writing or blogging about something I am passionate about, I am able to bring myself to a level where I can write about it reasonably and not be angry. Tonight, that is not going to happen. I am too angry to even think right now. Normally, I would turn away and write this another time. Also not going to happen. The only other time I have sent an unedited, untamed, and angry blog out is when I was speaking about Verve further damaging the music industry with their ridiculous remixes (don't think I have forgotten about you. I'm still after you, and I won't stand down).

Tonight, this is something much different, but just as personal to me. I have had it with fat jokes, and the thought that stupid people in this world (and there are many of them) broadcast to everybody, that you have to look a certain way. Enough is enough.

Recently on Twitter, there was a trending topic that I noticed, which had completely blown up on the network. That was #OnlyFatPeople. For those of you unfamiliar with how Twitter works, basically when a subject is being discussed or "tweeted" about a lot, it becomes what is called a "trending topic". For example, on certain holidays it could be #HappyThanksgiving, or #ValentinesDaySucks (that will be mine... not a holiday, people), or #HappyNewYear. Other times, they are about people - and others, they are about certain catchy "jokes". This particular one was all about making fun of overweight people. So needless to say, the Twitterworld was overcome with ridiculous stereotypes, mean circumstances, and just downright disgraceful comments are what people think all "fat" people say and do. Please enjoy some examples:

#OnlyFatPeople sweat bacon grease
#OnlyFatPeople drink cocktails out of their bellybuttons
#OnlyFatPeople use their stomachs for tables
#OnlyFatPeople masturbate to cookbooks
#OnlyFatPeople make Uggs look like socks
#OnlyFatPeople roll out of bed
#OnlyFatPeople get speeding tickets in the drive-thru
#OnlyFatPeople eat dinner and watch the biggest loser
#OnlyFatPeople breathe heavily while eating
#OnlyFatPeople cheered for Precious when she stole the chicken
#OnlyFatPeople shove food wrappers in the garbage because they're too lazy to walk to the couch
#OnlyFatPeople think they're big boned
#OnlyFatPeople drink diet sodas with a full course McDonald's meal
#OnlyFatPeople stare at the fish tank waiting for the fish to die

--and my favourite--

#OnlyFatPeople will be offended by this tweet

I'd like to point out that those are ALL tweets that I found on Twitter, and that search is constantly coming up with new people adding to it. So tell me something - how is this different from other forms of bullying? I have news for you - it's NOT! Just like teenagers all over the world are killing themselves because they are being bullied due to their race, or their sexuality, they are also killing themselves because they are constantly being made fun of for being "fat". What's even sadder is that perfectly healthy individuals are being told they are fat. Girls AND guys (another common misconception is that it's only girls that care and go through this crap) who are at or even below their healthy weights for their height are being told they are fat. It's sickening.

I have struggled with my weight for the better part of my life - but never have I felt so bad about myself that I wanted to do whatever I could to be skinny. Truth be told, I don't want to be skinny. I want to be healthy. I am fairly healthy. I live a healthy lifestyle, my heart is fine, I don't have diabetes, and most importantly, I am happy. I would rather go back to being my heaviest, than to be so skinny that people are scared to touch me - thinking that when they do, I'm going to break in half or shatter into a million pieces.

What I really don't understand is how people think this is okay. It's not cool to bully people like this. This MUST STOP! It has to stop now. Because we should be better than this. It is 2011. There is no more room for this much hate in this world. Of course there are thousands of people all over this world who are overweight and obese (including myself) who need to live healthy lifestyles so they can live longer, fuller, lives. We should be cheering them on! Not driving them to suicide. 

When I was younger, I was severely bullied in school. It wasn't just one particular year. It was years. People pretended to be my friend, and were stabbing me in the back from second grade all the way through high school. I'd like to point out, that the people who choose to bully, do it because they are insecure with themselves. We are bigger than that. When they bully us, we aren't the victims they want us to be. We are stronger. We can push past it and come out on top. Why do you think these mothers on Toddlers and Tiaras (REALLY!?) choose for their kids to dress up as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? Why do they put pounds of make-up on their four year olds? Because they are insecure, and they don't' know any better. Whether it's because they didn't get the love they needed from their parents, or they want their kids to be the next Paris Hilton - it doesn't matter. Be yourself.

Even though it's a little early, I'm going to announce one of my New Year's resolutions. I'm going to try my very best to be an advocate for those being bullied because of their size. I'm going to get out, and get involved and help as many people as I can when they are struggling. If you are reading this as someone who is being bullied, reach out and ask for help if you think you need it. There is always someone around who will help you. If you are one of the assholes reading this who thought those hashtags were funny...get the hell off of my blog and try and put your stupid self to use somewhere.

#OnlyStrongPeople will #RiseAboveHate and #ConquerLifesChallenges

I'm a big girl, and I'm happy as ever!
Photo by: Tracey Nolan (@MissTraceyNolan)

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Caftan Woman said...

I saw on the news last week that it was "Bullying Awareness" week. It only made me sigh. The bullied are aware, but the bullies are never held to account.

Much of my school life was a nightmare due to bullying and "it" doesn't "get better". You get better by enduring. However, for many of the young they don't know yet that they can endure.

The only "help" I ever saw from adults and those in control was for the bullied to handle it because, I think, everyone is afraid of a bully.

I'm glad you put the spotlight on the shameless Twitter trend. Bullies have to be called out. That's the only way "it gets better".