Today, I read a bunch of news online, as I do every day, and one particular story really, really grabbed my attention. It was the one about Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor in Wisconsin, who went on a four minute tirade about an email she received from some guy, basically telling her she should not be on tv because she's obese and it's a bad role model for little kids who are watching. She called him a bully, ripped him a new anus, kept her composure and did not cry, and just all around let him have it. I, however, was watching it on video and applauding her with tears running down my face. I went straightaway to facebook, found her page and "liked" it, and left her a note saying she was beautiful inside and out, to which some numskull dude replied "Really got a crush, eh?" PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID!!!!
Anyway, all afternoon I kept seeing things about it on the news shows and elsewhere, and there was all this debate about is what the email said really bullying and was she being overly sensitive.
The jerk didn't say that he was concerned about her health and wished she would take better care of herself, he essentially told her she should quit her job because her body wasn't good enough! And then even on her facebook page, where people are telling her how inspiring her words were, etc... there are people making comments like "She's not a role model, but she's a 'roll' model!" It just makes me hate the human race.
I used to be skinny, a long, long time ago. I can remember thinking I would never, EVER let myself get out of shape and that I was always gonna look just as I did when I was 16. I thought being fat was gross, and it certainly was never my intention to turn out this way. I never threw up my hands and said "I don't care." It just sort of happened. I hit 19, and gained weight. I got thyroid disease and started having it treated, and gained more weight. I started having babies, and not only gained weight, but also got all the weird things that happen to your body when you have babies, things drooping where they ought not be drooping, fat redistributing where there used to be none, etc...
There was a time when I thought I should just lay down and die because my life was over, because of my weight. I was fat now, so why bother living? There was a party where I spent my time in a bedroom curled up in the fetal position sobbing my eyes out, because I felt I couldn't enjoy myself because I was fat. A wise and chubby relative of mine had to talk me out of my funk just to pry me out of that bedroom and back to where all the people were. I look back now at pictures from that time period, and I wasn't even really fat! Compared to where I am NOW, I was stinking SKINNY! And I let my worries ruin a perfectly good party. I have spent countless hours worrying about going places or doing things, feeling not good enough, crying about how I look, having ACTUAL NIGHTMARES where I'm doing something I love and then realize I look stupid cuz I'm fat... it's a waste of life to spend all that time that way! YES, it's good to be thin, and YES, it's very unhealthy to be obese. I'm still fighting to whip it to this day, and I will continue to fight. I'm not at all saying that we should all just quit trying to be healthy and eat a bunch of chocolate cake. But I'll tell you this, as an experienced fat person: I've tried diets, I've been a total workout freak, I've tried diet pills, I've seen doctors about it, and I've had varied degrees of success, up and down and back and forth. It's a neverending battle. But it doesn't do ANYONE any good if I refuse to do anything fun until I'm at my perfect weight. If I never put on a bathing suit, or dance at a party, or buy a nice dress, or ride a ride at the fair, etc... until I look a way I'm happy with, then I'm gonna waste my life waiting. And if I were fortunate enough to have found a job I love, reporting the news on TV, and some jerk wrote that I should stop doing my job because my fatness might be contagious to people watching, I can only HOPE I'd have the wherewithall to rant for four solid minutes on television about what a jerk he was and where he should shove it. I'm sure my first impulse would be to think "He's right, I'm not good enough, I should quit." and to curl up in the fetal position and bawl my eyes out. But Jennifer Livingston didn't. She stood there with poise and said what she needed to say, and for that reason, she's my new role model. And not my "roll" model, Mr. Poopforbrains!