An open letter to the man I met last week.
When you stated to me, "well, you're obviously single" and gestured up and down my body a la Hiccup's father from How to Train Your Dragon, you joined an illustrious group of people.
The lady at the grocery store who pulled me aside to ask, "do you need help picking out vegetables since you don't usually buy them?"
The doctor who stated, "you'd be so beautiful if you could just lose thirty pounds."
The dietitian that said, "it's a good thing your husband does not mind fat chicks."
As I sat across from you trying not to cry, because by George I have my pride if nothing else, many thoughts and feelings crossed my mind.
There's so much I could say that is empowering and truthful. I'm not attractive despite being overweight, I'm hot as hell. Period. I could site a plethora of empowering, body positive thoughts and mantras. I love myself. You don't get to take that away from me. I could tell you all about my supermodel eyebrows or my baby doll skin; that I don't just feel attractive a lot of the time, I am attractive.
I could wax poetic about how there's nothing wrong with my husband for thinking I'm spectacular,
even though, yes, I'm fat. Gasp! He loves me anyway! He'd choose me over any other woman, every time - the horror! Sorry. I descended into sarcasm there for a bit. Yes. My husband is an Adonis, the total package. He's handsome, successful, intelligent, humorous, and caring. And he's crazy for me. He thinks I'm the total package. Not despite my weight. Period.
We could journey down the long road that is a frustrating mixture of nature and nurture that has lead me to this hefty predicament: my slow metabolism, my poor coping skills, various cognitive distortions that have created an unhealthy dependency on food, America. There could be an explanation of if there was an easy fix (just stop it! stop eating!), I'd do it, damn it. I do worry about my health. I do care about my future. I'm not dumb.
I could bear my soul and tell you how I cry in dressing rooms because I hate seeing myself in those three way mirrors with the lighting from Satan himself. That I hate myself when I lay down to go to sleep, if I have eaten something that does not have 100 percent nutritional value. How I explore the infinite ways life could be better if I was just skinnier. The fear I live in to see pity or disgust in peoples' eyes, or worse, comments like the one you made. To know they are justified and it is true, my weight is shockingly noticeable.
I could say all of that, or none of it. It does not matter. There is nothing I can say that will change the snap judgment you made about me, based on my weight. The fact that in your eyes my value was summed up and discarded in lieu of my rotund appearance.
There's not really a point to this letter. You can't take back what you said. I can't deny how it cut me to the core, how it stirred up so many things inside of me. What I can do is put some of it in writing. For you, and others, to see weight is not a simple issue. It is not simple how I "got" this way. There is no simple solution. It's not simple if I even want a solution. There is no simple way to sum up how it impacts me.
All of that said, you sir, are an asshole. Unlike my body and image issues, that's pretty straight forward. I hope you get a permanent paper cut and have to juice lemons the rest of your life.