I’ve struggled all my life with the attitudes of this fatphobic society and what it means to be a fat girl in this society. It’s not fun.
Recently, my mom has lost a lot of weight. She makes offhand comments about other women making envious and flattering remarks to her about her weight loss. “HOW did you lose all that weight?” or “What’s your secret, I’m so jealous!” I know my mom only mentions this to me as a form of bragging and being deeply flattered by these women’s comments and envy.
It would be different if they were complimenting her because she’s meeting a known weight loss goal for her health or even her personal image. But unfortunately when these women are participating in this catty, stereotypical, and fatphobic behavior, what they don’t know is that mom’s weight loss is the result of a very extreme diet placed on her by her doctor because she has spent the majority of her adult life mismanaging her Type 2 diabetes and must now change her eating habits or risk further complications and danger to her life. Hence the weight loss.
My recent blood tests prove that I do not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, my kidneys are good, my A1C1 is in a non-diabetic range and my blood sugar is well-controlled. The only concern that the doctor has is that my BMI is really high. He’s concerned because I’m “very obese”.
Meaning, doctors don’t like that I’m fat. And feel the need to wag their fingers in my face.
Even if my blood test didn’t read so good, it would be the same. Because me being fat is the problem to these so-called doctors who are oh-so “concerned about my ‘health’.”
The envy of the women complimenting my mom, my family’s mistreatment, my mom’s attitude about her body and mine, my sister’s obsession with weight loss and beauty, the attitude of these doctors–the only thing this proves to me is that they aren’t concerned with health at all, let alone holistic health. They are concerned with the appearance of fitness, thinness/skinniness, patriarchal stamps of approval, and universal conformity.
Everybody’s bodies and conditions are different yet they are all treated the same. I find no comfort or faith in a society where the only thing another Black woman can think of to say to me is, “You’ve lost so much weight, OMG, I’m so jealous. Tell me your secret!” And I momentarily shut my mom’s camouflaged bragging down by saying as much.