Not that big...

Discussion in 'Fat in the Media' started by Critters, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Jul 4, 2012 #1

    Critters

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    I've been noticing something about the way I see big people and myself lately.

    As we all know, there is always a slew of negative media coverage of fat people, and it's hard to escape. The other day, I was waiting in line to pay for my milk and eggs and looked at the magazine racks around the cash register, all of the mags decrying some celeb or other's 'hideous' weight gain. And I looked at the images and thought 'geez, they're not fat!' At the most, they just looked like totally normal people to me, rather than the usual 'concentration camp victim' look of most female celebs or the 'musclehead' look of the guy celebs... both of which just look disgusting and pitiable to me.

    A few weeks ago there was one of those exploitive 'documentaries' about fat people that are basically hour-long weight-loss-surgery commercials, and I found myself thinking about the people who were featured, that I didn't consider them all that big. They just didn't look really fat to me. One of the guys was around 600lbs and the women were around 400. Even shows about people who are over 700lbs don't make me think the people are all that big. Whenever I've tried to estimate a fat person's weight, I always guess low. A lot low. Like more than 100lbs low, often more.

    I'm around 250, myself.. have been big ever since an autoimmune problem in my late teens and early 20's forced me to take meds that caused major weight gain and messed up my metabolism.. prednisone, valproic acid, antidepressants, pain meds. And lately, even though I know I'm big logically, I just don't really see myself as all that fat. I'm only 5'4", so I know I am, but I see other women who are a lot bigger than I am, and I just don't feel as big as I really am.
    It actually surprises me when I have to shop for clothes... an infrequent event since I loathe clothes shopping and make the things I have last until they're practically falling apart... I'm mildly autistic, and have Sensory Integration Disorder, which means some of my senses are amped up to the point of pain. One thing I can't handle is tight, binding clothing, so I buy my clothes a few sizes too big. I can fit into a 2x, but I usually buy a 4x or 5x in order to feel comfortable in my clothes and avoid a sensory meltdown. I sleep in 8x t-shirts. When I have to shop for clothes, it kind of surprises me.. Kind of forces me to realize I'm bigger than I think I am.

    Does anyone else find this? Anyone else see themselves so differently than they really are? Anyone else look at a person that everyone else considers hugely fat and still not think that person all that big?
     
  2. Jul 5, 2012 #2

    MadLordOfMilk

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    As an FA, I've definitely found that my opinion of "big" is much, much, much bigger than most people I talk to. Of course, I can also understand how my opinion would be slightly skewed, but it ceases to amaze me how someone whose size is "not skinny" is immediately filed under fat by many people.
     
  3. Jul 6, 2012 #3

    Myn

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    I'm big - 5'8" and somewhere between 450 and 500 - so it blows my mind just how small "plus sizes" are. Like, I'll see some of the contestants on Biggest Loser and be all, "But they're not even fat!"

    And then they talk about how they can't go out into the world, can't find a date, can't have kids, etc. because of their size and it's like... Really?
     
  4. Jul 6, 2012 #4

    CastingPearls

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    I'm 5'8 too and I have to laugh because I used to weigh almost 700 lbs. I now weigh around 320. No matter what I weighed, if I ever did, I ascribed 'too big' to myself--not to others--and still can't judge. I think 'too big' is relative, really.

    I watch the barest minimum of TV and that's mostly National Geographic where no one says the elephants and rhinos are too big or Nickleodeon where there are entire animated series consisting of fat societies (Chowder) or multi-sized (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Spongebob), and avoid most everything else because I know that the networks are sponsored by the diet industry which makes a huge profit on convincing people to hate their bodies.

    I was checking out the BMI charts and noticed that if I weighed 200 lbs. I would still be considered obese and I had to laugh because that's stick thin to me. Hell, I weighed 250 in FIFTH GRADE and wasn't the blimp everyone called me. I look at pics from back then, as well as when I was 300, 350 and 400 and was still running around, doing my thing, breaking hearts, etc. yet I know of people who are 250 lbs. who really find that weight incapacitating.

    Maybe that has to do with the fact that I've never known a thin day in my life and my weight gradually increased over a lifetime as opposed to many people who were once thin or average by cultural standards. I don't know. I have many fat friends who dream of the days of yore when they were 'thinandhappy' but I can't relate to that. I was actually 'fatandhappy' until more and more people kept pointing it out to me that fat was ugly and I didn't deserve to be happy. Thank dog I've discarded that trash from my life.

    I think a lot of 'too big' is all in the mind unless it's you and your body and you become concerned, unhappy or unwell because of it, in which case, it's your body and you should do what you think is best.

    I'm going to be appearing in a doc on body-image and during an interview, I actually lost my shit because a woman who was a size 6 was deeply distressed because she was SO FAT and I just went off with WTF? Really? Have you ever been rejected on sight because of your size, not fit in a booth, classroom desk, theatre seat, airplane seat, mocked by people while walking on the street, had beer bottles thrown at your head by guys screeching by in the pick-ups or have people make assumptions and decisions based exclusively on your SIZE SIX??? It wasn't one of my finer moments. And now it's on film.
     
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  5. Jul 6, 2012 #5

    moore2me

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    Dear Lainey,

    It doesn't sound to me like you lost your cool. In fact, I think you took it pretty easy on the old girl. I have heard you do much worse (on paper). You didn't get up in her face did you? You didn't punch the air with a pointed finger aimed at her did you? I am sure you did not fully unload all of your artillery on the poor lost child. You were just trying to re-educate her.

    Now what I really want to know is where will the interview be aired and when can I watch it? I am sure a lot of others on this board want to know the same thing. (Pretty please, tell us.) :rolleyes:
     
  6. Jul 6, 2012 #6

    CastingPearls

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    No. I'm not sure I met her*. That interview took place years ago and the filmmaker decided to contact me a few months ago and asked me if I was willing to pick the project back up and before we could continue filming, his other doc about a traumatic event in his life won best film in a film festival so he's been riding the publicity circuit and now a producer is opting to make a H'wood film about it so our project is on hold but he swears it's temporary. We know that we'll be working together again--it's our karmic destiny.

    There is another film that I'm in that was a film student's senior thesis but I doubt that will ever be available to the public. I saw my unedited footage and they think I rocked so that's good enough for me. I hope she gets an A or whatever they're calling grades for Bachelor's thesis'. That film is about compassion and empathy.

    * I may have met her during a modeling assignment because I do recall that she was quite small for a 'plus-size model' and the designer was very big on showing real sizes as opposed to a size 12 representing a size 30 and we were chatting while they were setting up lighting (lighting and sound take up at least twice as much time as actual filming) and she said she wished she had my confidence because she had been in bed with a man who brutally rejected her upon seeing her nude and she was very traumatized (as would I) and she was trying to get her confidence back but in all honesty, no matter what I told her, I don't think she was going to get something back she didn't seem to ever have. It was sad. And I felt like shit after the subsequent interview ranting about 'size 6' because I realized in hindsight he was probably asking about her.
     
  7. Jul 6, 2012 #7

    fatgirl33

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    Perception is powerful, yes?

    We've all had skinny friends (our perception) who complained about being too fat, or gaining too much weight. I honestly don't believe they are being coy (generally), they really perceive themselves that way. Their 10 lbs gain (from, say 140-150 lbs) probably seems as significant to them as my 50 lbs gain (from 300-350) does to me.

    I'm usually just grateful that my mind is as open as it is! ;)

    But I agree with the comments about plus sizes & Biggest Loser - those are "big?" Come on! :doh:

    Brenda
     
  8. Jul 6, 2012 #8

    ClashCityRocker

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    ..this just goes to show that a staggering number of people live by societal standards without considering anything that exists beyond the confines of the norm.
     
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  9. Jul 9, 2012 #9

    moore2me

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    This would make me furious instead of humiliated. This guy would have trouble getting out of my house - or he might have to call the cops to get me out of his house. Things would get broken. Liquids thrown on the wall and flour on the carpet. Clothes would get shredded. He would get outed on a gay website (not that there's anything wrong with that). And if he is making fun of what God gave me - he damn sure better have a good six pack, a great butt, great hair, smell good, dress good, and have a razor sharp wit - because he is going to male confidence hell. He also better not be drunk, get nasty or abusive, or fall asleep - it won't result in anything pretty.

    I am thinking something like the havoc the Girl With The Dragon Tatoo did to her sadistic perp.
     
  10. Jul 9, 2012 #10

    Critters

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    My mother is a size 4. She's also 5'8" and generally weighs less than 100 lbs. I have been able to pick her up and carry her around since I was 9 years old. And I was a very scrawny 9 year old.

    A couple of years ago, her doctor put her on a med to control anxiety and she gained a bit of weight.. not enough that I could even see a difference, but the way she carried on about it was absolutely incredible... you'd think that someone was branding her with a hot iron, the way she fussed about it. I'm guessing that it was only between 8 to 10 pounds, and likely closer to the lower end of that estimation. Shit, I can fluctuate like that over a couple of weeks without changing my behaviours or diet at all, and I don't go into a full-on freak out.
    Even when a medication caused me to gain nearly 100lbs in 14 months despite my being able to eat only crackers and flat ginger ale without puking, I didn't fuss about it. I hated the puking and the constant nausea, and I did feel it was mightily unfair that I gained weight while eating less than a fasting monk, but I didn't make a big deal of it. More along the lines of 'if I had to get fat, why couldn't I get some enjoyment out of eating, first?' mindset than an 'OMG I'm hideous!' mentality like Mum's.

    She constantly fluctuates from thinking she's too fat to bemoaning the fact that her arms and legs resemble those of concentration camp victims. And when she complains about being fat when she's wearing a pair of jeans with a waist measurement smaller than my thigh, it kind of annoys me. Often I really wish she and I could switch bodies for a couple of days... that would let her *really* have something to moan about.. let her honestly complain about being fat for a change.
    I can't help it, and she denies it, but I often hear a certain judgemental quality when she complains that she's fat to me. Hell, I'm more than twice her weight, and she's the one complaining?
     
  11. Jul 10, 2012 #11

    EMH1701

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    According to the BMI charts, I am supposed to weigh around 130. Yeah right, I haven't weighed that since I was a kid.

    I weigh a little over 200 now. Since I started doing HAES, my weight has remained more stable. I feel better, too. Dieting just always makes me feel yucky and low on energy. I wish doctors wouldn't prescribe diets to people; they never work on a long-term basis.
     
  12. Jul 11, 2012 #12

    Tad

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    I think “I’m fat” (or “that person is fat”;) can mean so many things….
    - “I’m too fat to pass for being thin (and so I don’t get the respect and privileges that go with being thin” is probably one of the most common
    - “I’m fat compared to the self-image I have of myself (that I probably formulated during my teen years, and which is probably not quite attainable anymore, but it is my holy grail)” is probably also common
    -“I’m too fat to achieve the look that I want (as shown on TV, in magazine, or on the catwalk)”
    -“I’m fat compared to what I was before, and I don’t like change.”
    -“I’m too fat for people not to expect me to be trying to lose weight, so I either I do that, explain that I don’t share the group values, or else look like I’m too lazy to bother.”
    -“I’m fat enough that I notice some things are harder to do than they used to be, and I don’t like that.”
    -“I’m too fat to buy clothes at some fashionable store.”
    -“I’m so fat my doctor tells me that I’m obese.”
    -“I’m too fat to buy clothes except at fat people stores.”
    -“I’m fat enough that it is changing my silhouette, making me not have a ‘normal’ shape.”
    -“I’m fat enough that I jiggle.”
    -“I’m too fat to reliably fit comfortably into ‘normal’ spaces (chairs, etc)”
    -“I’m fat enough that some pretty normal things are getting a lot harder (tying up shoelaces, crouching, etc)”
    -“I’m too fat to do what I consider normal activities without getting winded or tired or chafed (going up several flights of stairs, taking a four mile hike, doing a really thorough cleaning of the house, etc)”
    -“I’m fat enough that I need to take it into account when planning a lot of activities (make sure there is a seat belt extender, do I need to book two plane seats, does the restaurant have tables or only booths?....)”
    -“I’m fat enough that I end up with pain from a lot of ordinary activities (sore feet from standing too long, sore knees from doing anything too vigorous, sore hips from much walking, etc”
    -“I’m fat enough that I can’t reliably find clothes in any bricks & mortar store”
    And on it goes….
     
  13. Jul 11, 2012 #13

    bbwjessiestroxxx

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    :kiss2: I find this topic a very interesting one because I too am 5ft8 and 330 pounds in the weight department. Ive never been bigger than that and the last time I was skinny I was 17 years old at 186 LBS. I look at these plus size clothing models and laugh because some call them fat and even I have looked at them and said No way is she fat she is skinny. I said if anything she is petite plus size. I laugh to myself when I hear petite plus size to me I imagine some one taking a fat chick and sucking her into a vacuum like exsistance to where she is shrunk to clausterphobic proportions and that sucks. I hate clothing that is tight or NOT made for real plus size woman. I feel womans bodies already have curves so why in the hell does the clothing need to have it too? I mean come on its rediculous. I love my body every curve and dimple. Some men adore me too which is fine, as far as being too big or too small in my mind you can be plus size and be healthy too. Im happy being right in the middle and letting everyone enjoy me from every angle. Ive had friends say Oh she aint that big leaver her be, Or she is only such and such leave her alone. to me if youre not atleast a size 16 and up than you arnt fat so shut it please. your are skinny with muffins ok.
    So ok thats my Opnions and Im sticking too it so thanks and many blessings.
     

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