I wanted to share something that happened to me a week or so ago and try to give you a sort of snapshot of what fat people wonder when they are fat shamed by complete strangers.
This is a topic I'm really passionate about and this is the understanding I have both personally and from the plus-size community that I've been a part of. I'm not meaning to "speak" for others who have had a different experience, but I think most can agree that this is what happens in our heads.
âSo, I decided that I wanted to make this explanation post to get out into the open some things we fat people want others to understand:
1: WE DONâT BELIEVE YOU âCARE ABOUT OUR HEALTHâ
2: WE FIND SOME OF YOU VERY HYPOCRITICAL
3: WE ARENâT ASKING YOU TO LIKE US
4: WE DESERVE EQUAL PRAISE FOR EQUAL
I cannot tell you how many times in my life that Iâve accomplished something amazing and shared it with friends, only to have someone share a different (equally as amazing) accomplishment and give praise to someone who is substantially smaller than me.
I work super hard to do the things that I do. I also strive to be supportive to all of my fellow creators.
And donât give me that âyou should validate yourselfâ nonsense. Have you ever asked a friend if your makeup looks good? How about asking your partner if your outfit makes you look âfat?â
As if you donât own a mirror.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is in some way concerned with how they are perceived. If you donât think so, then youâre either very enlightened (kudos) or youâre lying to yourself.
5: WE DONâT GET WHY YOU CARE SO MUCH
Caveating off of the first point, why do you care? You have no personal stake in my life, so why do you care what my size is?
Unless youâre sitting next to me on a plane or in a crowded bus, my fat is none of your concern. Half the time, airlines make fat people buy TWO SEATS to make other passengers feel comfortable.
I do want to say that, in situations where fat people are in a packed area, most of us try to be courteous as best as we can. I have requested to move seats on an airplane when it was open, chosen to stand rather than sit on a crowded bus or subway, etc. Most people donât want someone else in their personal space, anyway.
6: WE ARENâT PROMOTING OBESITY BY LIVING LIFE IN
OUR OWN BODY
It took a lot for me to choose this picture for this point. We've all probably had a taco. But this picture of me pointing to a taco sign means I'm "promoting obesity" to some.
In this photo and the caption, I don't encourage people to eat tacos until they gain weight. I am very honest about my love for tacos. I am very open about being a foodie.
âBut I have never in my life seen or witnessed or taken part in promoting unhealthy living. Iâve never seen a plus-size person tell one of their followers that they should eat unhealthy things excessively and avoid exercise.
What I have seen are people doing the opposite. They tell women they are too fat and should avoid eating, throw up their food, and get weight loss surgery to âfixâ themselves.
Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and validated. We deserve cute clothes, happiness, and opportunities. Living our best lives in the body we have in its current state is the whole premise of the body positivity movement.
7: WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR HEALTH, JUST LIKE
My health is really important to me. I go in for regular check-ups, get blood work done, and make changes to meet the goals set by my doctor. Like everyone else does!
We all just donât feel the need to tell people that. It is none of anyoneâs business. Sure, there are some who donât do any of this stuff, but most of us are trying to be healthy for our health, not for âcuterâ pictures on Instagram.
Some people may jump into the comments alleging that he never really said that. But, this notion that video games are to blame for people's horrendous actions has been a topic of discussion for decades. I wanted to come on here today to talk about the real issue: racism and a lack of care for mental health.
THE HISTORY OF CORRELATION BETWEEN VIDEO GAMES AND MASS SHOOTINGS
Video games have historically been linked to violence because of the Columbine shooting. During follow-up reporting, it was discovered that the two shooters liked to play games like "Doom" and "Grand Theft Auto." Ever since, video games and video game addiction has been linked to school shootings in particular, but has now been associated with the most recent mass shootings previously mentioned.
So, if it isn't video games, what is it?
LET'S TALK ABOUT RACISM FIRST
Racism is a topic of discussion that is close to my heart. Mainly because I wouldn't have been able to marry my husband several decades ago because of this notion.
It is also close to my heart because so many people try to use religious text out of context to justify segregation and racism, which hurts my soul so much.
The El Paso shooter, who I refuse to name, is a 21-year-old who wrote a racist and anti-immigrant document, according to CNN. The manifesto, titled "The Inconvenient Truth," was put online only 20 minutes before the shooting happened and discussed "race mixing."
I was so shocked to read this. After all, if I ever had a child, I would be a "race mixer." Not only am I shocked at how demented the mind of a killer can be, I'm also shocked that someone cares so much about individual choice and preference. At the end of the day, you can choose to be with whoever you want. Why do you care so much about another person's choice?
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA
I could write a book on everything wrong with mental health in America. There are so many factors to it.
To begin, there is just an overall negative stigma to mental health disorders and getting help for mental health disorders, especially in certain communities. Our men are told to "just be strong" and to "put their feelings aside."
"I think it is largely due to the idea of them portraying a sense of masculinity...Everyone is smiling, except Mr. Macho Man who believes smiling is a form of weakness and would rather choose from his arsenal of looks..." -Lucas Pool on Quora
And then there's bullying. The misconception is that bullying is a child's sport and that it stops in adulthood. But, nothing is further from the truth.
According to Counseling.org, 99 percent of school shootings are carried out by males (which I mentioned because of the aforementioned "macho man" thing).
As a segway, only about 17 percent of these shooters had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but nearly 78 percent had a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts. This strongly suggests that they may have been struggling with depression or another mental health disorder.
As far as mass shooters in general, the LA Times ran an awesome article that highlights some of the traits that almost every mass shooter has in common.
The first is that most are exposed to childhood trauma. This could leave them with untreated PTSD or another mental health disorder. Second, they had all reached a crisis point. Third, they sought validation for their motives. And fourth, they had the means to carry out their plans.
WHAT WE SHOULD REALLY BE TALKING ABOUT
- The value of human life, regardless of race,
- Racist sentiments bred into society and even in our classrooms,
- Politicians who have made terrible racist statements, regardless of what they "meant" by them,
- Bullying - how different it is now vs. even 10 years ago,
- Punishment for bullies, regardless of whether or not they're a star athlete or their parents have money,
- Adding licensed counselors to our schools,
- Recognizing bullying and/or signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder,
- Normalizing the talk about mental health,
- Encouraging men and at-risk communities to seek counseling or just to be more open about their feelings and their emotional status (trust me, y'all will still be macho),
- Stop "celebrating anti-bullying week" with orange t-shirts and start getting real about the reality of bullying,
- Give everyone paid vacation and not guilt them into not using their vacation,
- Access to affordable mental health care,
- Mental health care within our schools,
- ...and so many other things.
I mean no disrespect to anyone of either opinion. I simply want to give my reasons for wanting and not wanting another season.
"Dos" will be in green, "Don'ts" will be in red.
1: THE BOOK ISN'T A PROBLEM WITH MANY PEOPLE
As a mini book review of sorts, I loved this book. I read it when I was in high school as a part of the library intern program.
While I haven't read it in a while, the general idea of the book is the same: Hannah commits suicide and sends around a bunch of tapes to the people who she feels had a hand in her decision to end her life.
The book is chilling, but definitely a good read from my memory. There have been a ton of books that have been banned from schools, but I don't remember this one ever being in the news for being banned.
By the way, this was published in 2007! The story isn't new, just the Netflix adaptation.
2: HAS TRIGGERED SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry published a study that indicated that suicide rates among teens and adolescents had risen from the stats they had in 2013 before the show first aired.
This is very troubling, as it seems a few people have taken their lives after watching the show.
3: BUT IT SHEDS LIGHT ON A SAD REALITY
As someone who was mercilessly bullied in middle school, I can tell you that it isn't a walk in the park to have your peers pointing a finger at you. It is even worse now since technology has become readily available, with some students being bullied using school technology!
Bullying needs to stop, and I believe that this series does shed light on how serious bullying can get for victims.
4: THE STORY PASSES BLAME FOR SOMEONE'S DECISION
Don't get mad! I cover the other side of this in the next point. One thing I didn't like about the book or the series is the idea that someone would blame someone else for their choice to end their life.
I personally believe that suicide is a choice that someone makes. No one is forced to kill themselves, and I think it is wrong to teach that it is OK to blame someone for an individual's decision to end their life. Especially in this case when it seems Hannah could have confided in trusted people for help.
5: HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT DECISIONS ARE SOMETIMES MADE BASED OFF OF THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS
At the end of the day, the story tells us that Hannah chose to end her life because of how some people treated her and the nasty things they did to her. While it was her decision to use suicide as a means of an out (which I don't think is OK, don't get me wrong) instead of seeking out help from a trusted adult.
6: THE ACTORS ARE REALLY GOOD
It is undeniable that the cast of "13 Reasons Why" is incredibly talented, and they're all so young!
I feel that their acting really sells what is going on and the severity of the situation. Perhaps if they weren't as good at acting, people wouldn't find the show so believable and so triggering. They all really take over their characters in an almost scary way, which is good for acting.
7: THE SHOW IS WELL-PRODUCED
8: IT IS REALLY HARD TO WATCH SOME SCENES
9: THE STORYLINE LEAVES YOU WANTING MORE ANSWERS
At the end of each season, something always happened that left me with more questions, and I couldn't wait for the new season so I could get answers to those questions.
This is a classic TV show stunt to keep people wanting more, and it really works with this show because of the high-quality actors and crew.
10: UNDERAGE PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH DISORDER CAN ACCESS THESE STORIES AND MAY NOT UNDERSTAND HOW TO PROCESS IT
Young children are still developing and may have their first encounter with suicide or even sexual assault by watching this show.
Also, as someone with a mental health disorder, I think it is safe to say that processing things that can trigger us can be difficult and can leave us in more of a depressive or anxious state.
11. NETFLIX HAS PARENTAL CONTROLS
One good piece of news is that parents with underage children and even those with mental health disorders that might be triggered by this show can go in and block it if they are aware of it. This will prevent a child or a person from watching a show that could be potentially harmful to their mental health or to their innocence, for lack of a better word.
12: CHILDREN CAN WATCH WITH FRIENDS OR ADULTS WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS COULD HAPPEN UPON THE SERIES AND GET TRIGGERED
We have come to find that, even if parents block something in their house or on their children's devices, they can still access it in some way. That could be watching it with a friend, figuring out the parental controls code, and more.
As previously mentioned, older people with a mental health disorder might not know what the show is and may click on it and be triggered by some of the scenes and imagery.
13: I WANT TO SEE THE CHARACTERS DEVELOP
Because I love the show and the actors, I do want to see the characters develop. This has gone beyond the scope of the book, and creative writers have taken the show to new heights (or depths, if you don't like it).
I want to see how they grow up, what they learn, and how they better themselves as people.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Plus Size Children
That's My Opinion