I Am Not Your Fat Friend
This is an open letter to people I have/do care about throughout my life who have either disregarded me, not seen my sexuality, or not seen my value and worth because of my weight. Some of these people I am still friends, even best friends, with but this is my truth. These stories are not personal attacks, but rather examples of how thin privilege operates on interpersonal levels between friends, lovers, and the people we interact with. I am not necessarily placing blame—I am telling part of my story.
- I didn't tell her how much I liked him so she could suddenly see him as a love object, too, and start to flirt with him. I didn't tell her so she could be the one he spent nights talking to on the phone when that person was formerly me. I didn't pour my heart out to her in that letter that I never gave to her, because even at 12, I knew she wouldn't understand what it was like to have grown up chubby and be one of TWO chubby girls in our class.
- I didn't cruise dudes with her at the mall and at amusement parks so boys would inevitably choose her until she settled on the "hotter" dude and passed the "less hot" dude down to me. I didn't cruise with her so she would amass multiple phone numbers and I would be lucky to get one, only to call them and have them ask about her.
- I didn't go shopping with her so she could drag me into all the "cool" stores, ask for my opinion as I waited outside the waiting room for her, and have her mom buy her clothes while looking at me with eyes that told me how sorry she felt for me because I couldn't fit into any of the clothes in those stores.
- I didn't live with her so she could flirt with my male friends when I invited them over for social gatherings even though she knew I had a strained history with them. I didn't live with her so she could get drunk and flirt with my boyfriends, too, and then just expect me to believe that "it was just how she was."
- I didn't invest time into getting to know him so he could drop me out of nowhere when a "hot bad girl" started giving him attention. I didn't then invest more time to listen to him tell me how crappy she was to him while ignoring the fact that as an adult, that was the first time someone turned me down for someone thinner than I was and how detrimental that was to my self-esteem at the time.
- I didn't sleep with him so he could hide me away while he publicly went out with thin women and only called me when he was lonely at night. I didn't "date" him for four months to have him never take me out, never meet my friends or my family, or take part in my life only to find out that he was cheating on me left and right with younger "prettier" (thinner) girls.
- I did not spend years being his friend with our weird sexual tension for him to talk about and emotionally process with me about all the girls he had crushes on while ignoring me. I didn't imagine him going out of his way to ask me to hang out or to touch me or playfully wrestle with me only to turn me down when I tried to make any of that real.
I am not just your fat friend on the sidelines. I am a powerful, intelligent, creative, beautiful, and emotionally rich person. But even if I wasn't any of those things... I am still not your fat friend.
If you related to this post in any way, I would love to hear about your experiences of being the "fat friend." Our experiences are real and often go unnoticed—let's change that! Feel free to comment, tweet or write your own post with your experiences and either link me or use the #notyourfatfriend hashtag. ♥
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