I have a body, and an image, so I definitely have a body image. Whether it’s good or bad really does depend on my mood at the time. My poor body image stems from my depression, rather than my depression starting from my poor body image days. It’s not always the case where when I’m depression I feel bad about my body, but when I feel bad about my body, I’m usually vulnerable already. Did that make sense? Good.
But why do I have a bad body image when I’m depressed. Why do I have a bad body image at all? At which point in my life did I learn that having a mighty podge and a fat ass was a bad thing, something to feel bad about?
I have no idea. Which is worrying. It’s an idea that is so ingrained I can’t even remember that first moment when fat became bad. I can remember a lot of other stuff. I was around nine when I realised that smoking was bad, around eleven when I realised my dad wasn’t perfect, I was thirteen when I realised alcohol was bad, 17 when I realised my mum wasn’t perfect, 19 when I realised I was bisexual. I have no idea when fat became bad.
I think I’m lucky though, because the rest of the time, fat is neutral. It’s bad for certain parts of my health – like my knees – and shopping is a pain but the rest of the time I don’t care too much. I’ve been fat since I was 15, many of the women in my family are overweight and I love them and they love me and are good people, hard working, loving, crazy people. Who happen to wear a size 18 or over. They are happy, for the most part and while I have been exposed to their own problems with body image it hasn’t changed how I feel about them. I never thought my mother should lose weight, and I only approve of her weight loss for her own health.
I’ve not always been like this, it’s only been the last decade or so, but I’ve always had bigger problems than just my weight. My anxiety, my depression, my mental health problems in general have always been a much bigger problem than the size of my jeans. Like not being able to leave the house for six months, cutting, and an eating disorder called Pica which had nothing to do with my weight. The fact that some strangers might not find me attractive, or thinks I’m fat didn’t matter – doesn’t matter – because my mother loves me regardless, my wife married me, mighty podge and all, and my nephew worships the ground I walk on. Also I do not need to be skinny or even have a normal healthy BMI to write poetry or sleep. And I’m good at both. Just fat.
It doesn’t matter. Not to me. Not to the people who love me and that’s what matters to me. Deep down inside this podgy core. Anyone else can go whistle as far as I’m concerned.
And that’s how it should be. It should be that a person’s fat ass is not important unless you are that persons doctor and their fat ass is a health concern. And it shouldn’t need saying, over and over and over.Sarah Milican got greif for her appearance at last years BAFTAs.
It is being said though, which is a good thing, more and more people are speaking out against this weight related bullshit. Nothing is changing, but people are talking about it. I think, of everything, that’s what really upsets me. That the more we talk about it, the worse it gets. The media is full hypocrisy, publishing stories about women taking offence to their appearance being the only thing focused on instead of their careers next to stories about how other women look on the red carpet. It feels like two steps forward, two steps back and a step to the side. Like some sort of societal morality foxtrot.
I don’t care if you are fat. Not even if your fat is causing you health problems. Why? Cause it’s none of my damn business. You are human. And more human than any person who gives you hell for being fat, I promise you that.
This was inspired by these two articles: