The kind of fat that can no longer be wishfully thought of as just baby fat, a phase I’d grow out of — I’m 28, it’s okay, this isn’t baby fat.
A few weeks ago, I was in New York City visiting my parents. My earliest memory of realizing that my fatness rendered me undesirable was on a canoe trip during the summer after fourth grade, one of my many summers at Camp Eagle Island, an all-girls summer camp literally on an island in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York.
There isn’t ever a single moment in a sexual relationship where I’m not considering how my body and its size affect the desirability of my partner toward me.
She looks great, and for whatever amazingly angelic miraculous reason, she’s never critically commented on my weight. But writing that doesn’t eradicate the 20-something years of socialization that pounded into my head the idea that my fatness is bad. It was dusk and we were pulling the canoes in for the night when someone told us to look up at a shooting star and make a wish.
After our joint spin class together, drenched in sweat and having burned thousands of calories, I exhaled in a moment of frustration „why doesn’t this do anything for me? I don’t remember ever having seen a shooting star before, let alone in the rural woods of northern New York surrounded by dreamy dyke counselors and all my camp friends, so the moment was quite magical.
Detrow The other day, in my queer theory reading group, I (again) silenced my voice in a room of thin people, albeit all radical queers of various races and backgrounds, when someone made a comment about intersectional analyses of issues of privilege and didn’t include bodies, body politics, or the privilege of attraction and desirability.
No one wants to hear the fat girl’s rant; internalized fatphobia through western, hegemonic socialization is a real bitch. The kind of fat that can still keep up with you walking around town and maybe borrow your oversized jumper when it’s cold and we’re walking home from a party, but only if it’s cutely oversized on you as a thin person and then fits me ever so snugly as a fat person.
I have reservations about the concept of dating around, reservations that stem from the internalized socialization I fight every day that tells me my body is undesirable. “You’re so lucky.” I want a euro for every time I’ve been told that in my current relationship.
The unattractiveness of dating around because of internalized shame re: my body as not desirable. When your partner is masculine and thin and everyone tells you he’s hot (I wonder how many people tell him I’m hot?
I wonder how this reflects my internalized notions of what is desirable, how to offset my fatness and femmeness in a way that makes my queer relationship less threatening to my community, and to the heteronormative world beyond.
A psychoanalytic analysis of this consideration could go very, very deep, I’m sure. We’ve been dating for over a year and I’m happily in love. He listens to the critical thoughts I share on inhabiting a fat body, and seems to care.
(Neoliberalism.) Inevitably, I anticipate well-intentioned friends to respond with compassionate prodding, wanting to know why I’ve never shared my “experiences” with them.
It’s like recently when I told my dad that I’d experienced homophobia and been kicked out of places for my queerness, and he wondered why I hadn’t shared this with him before.
It’s easy: why would I share something you can’t relate to and instrumentalize my own complex emotions of anger, embarrassment and pride as a teaching opportunity?