Skinny Therese

Adventures in Shrinking My Fat Ass

Celebrity Fat Shaming is the New Black

31fat500.1aI recently found this article online. I was researching people who had lost 100 pounds or more and had kept it off. I want to get a sense of what that is like even before I get to the maintenance phase of my journey. I want to talk a little bit about fat shaming.

I want to lose weight because it will substantially improve my quality of life. I will not tire out as easily throughout the day. I nearly collapsed from heat exhaustion this weekend while sight seeing in DC. It was so humiliating! I had not realized how out of shape I was until that moment. When I drop this weight, I will not be at risk for obesity-related diseases as I get older. It will increase my life expectancy. It will be easier for me to get affordable health and life insurance. I will be able to wear skirts and shorts again, which are much cooler in the summertime, because I will not suffer from the very painful  “chub rub” – which is what a co-worker of mine at the ACLU used to call the rubbing together of one’s thighs underneath one’s skirt. I will save money on clothing. Plus-size clothing costs more money. Clothing is available in so-called “standard” sizes (12 and below) at thrift shops and other stores for a fraction of the cost. I will be looking for a new job in the coming months and will need to find a new interview suit soon – it is very difficult to find a well-fitting suit when you are a size 16/18 and again, alternations cost $$$$.

When I describe myself as “fat” I do not mean that in a shameful way. I mean it in a merely descriptive context. I do not associate any shame with the word. Fat is simply what I am at this point in my life. I also find that when you remove the shame, the weight loss “work” itself – the  changing of eating habits and the exercise – seems like less of a chore.

I was horrified at how Kirstie Alley described herself after she put her weight back on! She could have just said: “Hey I stopped exercising and let my portions get out of control, so I gained the weight back. I need to step back and look at where I went wrong and be more vigilant about my eating and exercise habits.” That would have been sane. Instead she said: “I was so much more disgusting than I thought!” ” [I] loathed [myself]!” Huh?

What is there to loathe? You are a wealthy, successful actress and business woman! You got fat, you didn’t name names before a Senate committee. Like it or not, Kirstie, Melissa Joan Hart and Valerie Bertinelli inspire a lot of people. In America, we don’t have royalty. Celebrities are our “Royalty.” The way these women described their fat selves does not send a very good message to those who struggle with weight issues. Instead it tells us that we ought to be ashamed of our fat lazy selves and that we don’t deserve to live! And no feeling makes a gal want to swan dive into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s faster that that one!

I am not ashamed of my fat. I accept myself as I am, which gives me the courage and strength to do better by giving my body what it needs to be healthy. Take a lesson Kirstie.

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September 1, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

7 Comments »

  1. I just want to agree, wholeheartedly. I am fat. The delightful term is ‘morbidly obese’. I have been for as long as I can remember. I don’t loath myself even slightly. I would like to be less fat, for lot’s of reasons, some the same as yours, but I couldn’t even begin to imagine letting it become such a dominant feature of my life. Life’s too short and there is too much joy to be had. Size is only one aspect of life. Anyone who suffers from real self-loathing has my sympathy, but they have a serious psychological problem that will not be fixed by losing weight, and they do no good for the young women who may look up to them by suggesting that simple weight loss is the answer.

    Comment by Lesley | September 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the comment, Leslie. Yeah I can lose weight, walk, chew gum, go to work, and write a book at the same time. These are all the things I am doing right now. The scale is not the center of my life. By the way I HATE that term “morbidly obese”. It’s awful.

    Yeah, I think these celebrities are in need of some serious therapy.

    Comment by Therese | September 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. Agreed!
    An empowering post today- thanks. On my own
    weight loss journey( need to lose 40 lbs).

    Comment by YFS | September 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] of carrying extra weight, how tired I felt because being heavy was making it difficult to sleep and walk long distances, my lack of flexibility, my bad skin that was mostly the result of poor diet…I just got sick […]

    Pingback by When Does Fat Acceptance Become Bad For Our Health? « Skinny Therese | April 5, 2010 | Reply

  5. As a successful fat businesswoman, i don’t really care where people call me tubby, or porky behind my back. Some women enjoy wearing skimply clothes on their skimpy bodies and spend all day in the gym. I prefer being squeezed in my business suits, dinning out and endulging in the world of business.

    Comment by Vanessa Baum | May 6, 2010 | Reply

    • Good for you! I refuse to spend all day at the gym (I don’t even belong to a gym) and I dine out about twice a week. But I am kind of enjoying cooking for myself lately. Made some great filet mignon the other day. I don’t arrange my life to fit a healthy lifestyle, I choose a healthy lifestyle that fits into MY life.

      By the way, I have consolidates my weight loss and beauty blogs recently. You can read the combined content at brazentherese.wordpress.com! Thanks for the comment!

      Comment by Therese | May 6, 2010 | Reply

  6. […] of carrying extra weight, how tired I felt because being heavy was making it difficult to sleep and walk long distances, my lack of flexibility, my bad skin that was mostly the result of poor diet…I just got sick […]

    Pingback by When Does Fat Acceptance Become Bad For Our Health? « The Brazen Beauty | July 24, 2010 | Reply


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