Sunday, October 3, 2010

Days 90 - 93

We go to Oktoberfest and we run into some people from law school. I’m introduced to a man I remember from class, M. He wears a t-shirt with a large graphic print of a light bulb and a grey cardigan. He extends his hand across the table to shake mine firmly. We have never spoken before.

‘Aaaaaaa B, I remember you. You always used to sit in the back and ask boring questions.’

Later he is standing beside me. In the course of conversation I say something snide. Then I apologise and I explain that I was offended by what he had said previously. He asks, ‘can’t you take a joke?’

Michael Sharp. 1996. I am 10. His family has been away from Brisbane for a number of years while his father fills a position in the UK. Now that he is back, he has an accent. He has dark hair and narrow features and for the first time in my life I like a boy. He makes fun of me. He calls me fat.

Moving into my apartment I found a page from my year 3 school report titled ‘Personal and Social Development’. Under general comment my teacher writes the following:

‘B is good at her schoolwork and makes valuable contributions to class discussions. She is somewhat of a loner, and often lacks an awareness of her social environment'.

When I was younger still school had referred me internally to a program to build my social skills - I kept on hitting other children when they called me fat. Michael calls me fat and I say to him, as advised, ‘Please don’t call me fat, when you do it hurts my feelings'.

‘Can’t you take a joke?’ he replies.

I am in the principal’s office. She is huge. She is warm and well meaning. She tells me how children often make fun of each other because they want to be friends.

I am 12. A teacher is on the brink of tears. What I hear her saying to me is that I must accept the things that the other children say or do to me. I can tell a teacher but I cannot hit, shout or call other children names. I remember her beautiful, sassy, stylishly dressed, fat.

I am 10. I am hosting my first sleepover. We make up superhero names for ourselves. I called myself ‘Fatman’ (Batman). I have already started to learn that fat approaches acceptability where you are funny, fun. Later my Mother tells me that I should not make jokes like this, I should not degrade myself.

Speaking briefly with M, I am reminded of an article I read not long ago on Jezebel. The writer is critical that Ask Men advises men to act like complete dicks to win the hearts and minds of the ladeez. It feels like power play. M is putting me in my place. I understand that he is better than me. I should be thankful that he is speaking to me at all. Later, I will acquiesce to him if he asks.

There is no constructive way to call douchebags on this shit. If I do, my fatness will be thrown in my face.

A man gropes me in a club and I tell him to stop. ‘Why would I want you, you fat slut?’

We'll talk about the pathologisation of attraction to fat women later. You know we will, you know me well enough by now.

If I am not fat, there will be something else: I am ugly, slutty, stupid. I am a bitch.

I am boring.

I leave the German club to meet friends in the City.

Holly writes about how getting skinny is the second act of a fat girl’s tragedy.

‘I remember all of the people at home who assured me, “You never had to change,” after I lost 80 pounds. I wanted to spit in their eyes.’

When I was young and fat I dreamt of what the world would be like when I was thin. Later, when I found that the world was a little different when I was not fat, I was so angry. My life felt like an experiment that ultimately proved to me that people are cunts. On another level, I was overjoyed. Guilt and disgust followed.

Happiness is surrounding yourself with a sufficient number of people who share the same essential values as you do. Based on the biased sample you have selected for yourself you can start to construct a fiction that all people are essentially good, flawed and beautiful. The universe loves you, and you can trust the process of life. Whether or not these assumptions are true, they are constructive. You love without fear.

Start weight: 112.5
Last recorded weight: 106
Weight lost: 6.5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99


  1. Another brilliant post, babe. You know, it's got me thinking... I've realised that I've spent almost twenty years ... TWENTY YEARS! ... wishing my body was different, trying to hide it, disguise it, alter it, deflect attention from it. How exhausting. It's only very recently, now that I'm so very, very old, that I care less. It is what it is. Reading your blog has had a lot to do with that, I kid you not. I think if I'd had your confidence I would have not struggled for so long. You may say most of the time your's isn't confidence, you might say it's bravado. Well, I say it's bravery. So suck it :-)

    P.S. Fuck Michael Sharp, he's an asswipe. xo.

  2. great post. As kids i never thought you were having any social problems. I thought you were fun , smart and mature for your age and you were great to hang out with because you werent like the other kids. plus i stabbed a kid in the arm for calling me fat and that was grade 11 so you never grow out of it lol, i think that the kids calling you fat should of been the ones getting the talks for being little bastards. I say to abbi that if someone calls her names to tear strips of them. Stand up for your self ! the education system is also pretty messed up. also people are going to be negative in general even as adults especially if they dont get there way they will just point out another fault. so the best thing that i have learnt through work is that when people act like this they are defective and are usually insecure so we just pity them lol. We have one girl in particular who is like this. we call her beast. i think that even if you arnt confident about your weight and mine is 100kg at 5"3 so i get what you mean try to look at other things and then when the weight is going and gone itll be like the cherry ontop.