This essay deals explicitly with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, so please consider your own triggers before reading.
I wasn’t going to write about this.
Maura Kelly’s fat-phobic Marie Claire article “Should ‘Fatties’ Get A Room?” (in which she asks, in earnest, whether or not it’s appropriate for fat people to be shown kissing on television) has been covered extensively. The mainstream media, entertainment and feminist blogs and the fatosphere have dissected every phase of this trainwreck, from Kelly’s half-hearted apology to Marie Claire’s pageview-boosting attempt to “do right” by having fat positive bloggers “counterpoint” Kelly’s claim that fat people don’t deserve to be seen on television (as though this is actually a topic that merits serious debate). The issue has been picked apart by people who are more knowledgeable than I am, who are angrier than I am, who are stronger than I am.
I wasn’t going to write about this, but here I go. Why?
Because I’ve just spent a bitchy, restless Halloween weekend hiding out and pinching my fat until it bruised (an old habit… something I haven’t done for ten years, or maybe longer.) It’s subtle self-abuse, a deeply-rooted and hard-broken habit I didn’t even realize I’d returned to until tiny black spots began appearing like rot in the same spots I pinched when I was eating disordered… my knees, my thighs, my upper arms, below my chin.
“When I was eating disordered”. I still speak past-tense, as though this disease isn’t something I wrestle with every day. Some of us speak this way, people who’ve fought hard to overcome scary, destructive habits or horrible experiences. “Back when”.
Even though I’ve ostensibly been “better” for more than a decade, Kelly’s rant is weighing heavily on heavy me, and I have to own up to the fact that my initial resistance to addressing this had less to do with my feeling that it had already “been done” adequately, and more to do with the fact that I took the blog post prettty fucking personally.
Because I know Maura Kelly, and because I’m one of the “fatties” she’s talking about.
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