Last weekend I had the opportunity to interview alongside the founder of the Realize Your Beauty nonprofit on the Tanya Mercado radio show, Raise Your Glass. Thinking I had this ED talk on lockdown (it’s pretty much all I’ve done this past week in accordance with NEDA’s 2015 awareness week) I naturally tried to take center stage with my story until, oh wait, I realized I’m not the most original thing going on in eating disorder awareness world. (It was painful, yes, but I survived)
Thank God I did ’cause the women at Realize Your Beauty and Endangered Bodies are working together to raise awareness to the bullshit that goes on in our 2015 jargon.
While we’ll never be able to rid the ”pro-anorexia” Instagram or Facebook accounts, we can raise awareness to the way we talk in our daily conversations.
How often do we hear “I feel fat.”
“I. FEEL. FAT.” From our friends, our partners, our bosses even- this term is an epidemic phenom in our culture.
It’s become accepted to describe our worth- our feelings- in terms of how we look that we don’t even think about it on a day-to-day basis.
It’s like when I was a kid growing up and using the term “you’re gay” when I was mad at someone.
Did I know what gay meant? No. Not really. But rarely was I corrected from using it.
It became such a household “term” down South that no one bothered to remember you’re degrading a group of people whom you can’t possibly categorize by one term. Whom you’re stripping the character of.
I feel as though for years I dumbed down my language instead of examining what it was I was actually trying to say. I used what was easy and accepted instead of actually thinking about what my words meant. Or what it was I was even trying to convey.
This is the new “gay” to me.
“I feel fat.”
You don’t feel fat. And if you do- then let me know what it’s like to “feel fat” sift through your body, cause hell- I betcha I’ve thought I felt that too.
What are we really trying to say when we say “I feel fat”? For me, it was an endless vacuum of lack-of-self-worth and anxiety.
For 8 years, I said I “felt fat” when really all I felt was terribly unworthy. Terribly anxious.
And scared because my self-worth was based solely on how other people thought of me.
In rehab, the “f” word was banned from conversation. And while 1 year later, I’ve still been known to mutter it in times of stress or anxiety- I’m a helluva lot more cautious, and a lot more in tune with my emotions because I’ve had the ability and opportunity to really evaluate what “feeling fat” actually translates for me.
Let’s change the way we speak. Let’s continue thinking about our words. In 2015, we are a society that craves being “PC,” that craves being “in touch with oneself,” so there’s no earthly reason why Facebook should have an emoji that supports the idea of “feeling fat” on a public status.
Get it off Zuckerberg. Lez get with the times!
You can sign the ongoing petition at https://www.change.org/p/i-signed-the-fatisnotafeeling-petition-because-fat-is-not-a-feeling-body-shaming-is-always-wrong