Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fat Chicks

So, I know I haven't posted anything in over a year, and it's very possible no one will see this.  But I had something to say, and this seemed the most appropriate place for it.  

Today one of my co-workers told me that my sense of humor reminded him of “that one chick from SNL.”  There are a handful of female cast members, yet I felt certain I knew which one he was talking about.  “The fat one?” I asked.  He got a panicked look in his eye and stammered for a minute before describing some of the recurring sketches she does.  He did I...and he knew that I knew...that he was talking about the fat chick. 

This is NOT the first time this has happened, and I find it pretty convenient that I remind so many of my male friends and co-workers of overweight comediennes.  I myself am overweight and lean heavily on my sense of humor, sometimes to a fault.  But does that make me comparable to every fat female comic?  I'd like to think people see more than that.  When something like this happens it forces me to look at myself the way some people must see me, and it's pretty upsetting.  I accept myself the way I am, though if I'm being totally honest I don't really feel like I belong in this body.  The way I feel inside doesn't match the reflected image in the bathroom mirror, and sometimes I'll catch a sideways glance in the glass of a door or window and have to look twice to convince myself it's really me there.  When that happens I realize how I look through other people's eyes, and I know that there are many who will never really, truly get to know me.  I want to think that I'm wrong about this but it's difficult when, just today, someone who interacts with me every day has basically reduced my personality to "fat funny girl." 

I believe a lot of people are programmed to view overweight women as unappealing, unhealthy; basically the worst thing a woman can be.  We're punchlines, dirty little secrets, worst case scenarios and cautionary tales.  But we're NOT seen as complex individuals.  No one wants to imagine a fat girl as someone who feels complicated emotions or has sexual desires.  Why has society created an environment where it’s totally normal for these women to feel like they’ve done something wrong…is it fair for me to feel as though I’ve let someone down because I’m not the standard of physical beauty?  

Although I truly don't believe he meant to upset me, my coworker found me funny and his instinct was to compare me to another fat girl who is also funny, even though there's very little overlap in our personalities.  And maybe I took it too personally.  Maybe recognizing parallels in character with different types of people is not one of his stronger qualities.  But as a result of what he said, I spent the rest of the day feeling self-conscious, scrutinized and generally not good enough.  It’s something I’m working on; I shouldn’t allow someone to make me feel that way for what is certainly an insecurity of mine…but I’m not going to say the problem only lies with me and others like me.  I don’t see an immediate future where everyone is suddenly sharing messages of body-positivity, but I’m going to do my best to surround myself with people who seek beauty within.  That’s the only beauty that truly means anything.


  1. Hi there... long time, no read! This was such a thought provoking post. I have thought at great lengths before about why there are so many funny overweight people, and I think it's a cover. It's a way to hide an insecurity... Yes I know, being funny isn't a bad thing, but it can be a great disguise and I think important that it should be recognized as such sometimes. Now, people who are overweight and make themselves the topic of the joke are a whole different phenomenon that I cannot stand.

    Please stick around, I'd love to hear more about where you are! I've wondered about you many times. <3

  2. Hi Hollee! You're looking fantastic--congrats on all the amazing progress you've made! I saw that you've been approved for RNY and I hope everything goes well.

    I think it's maybe different for everyone. Although my sense of humor has always been helpful to me as a way to feel like I was contributing something, like I wasn't completely useless, it's really just a natural thing for me. I NEED my life to have silliness and jokes and laughter in it. It helps me get through anything I might be faced with--big or small, good or bad. The difficult thing for me is when people that have no idea what my life is like assume that I need to be funny in order for people to like me. You're correct when you say that some people use it as a very effective disguise, but I'm not one of those people. Maybe if I wasn't that way naturally, I would have tried to be, to make things easier. Who knows...

  3. Hey stranger, welcome back! Better late than never! I'm proud of you for coming back online and bringing yourself with you. :)

  4. Welcome back!
    I know that I have used humor to disguise how uncomfortable I am at times. Especially now sporting a new weight gain.