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‘Oh, but you’re not THAT fat’ is problematic as hell, dude

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‘Oh, but you’re not THAT fat’ is problematic as hell, dude
1Forever 21
2Lane Bryant

I’ve become somewhat of an expert…

on being the token fat friend to a straight-size person. In nearly all of the “circles” I’ve been a part of, which, in my opinion, isn’t many, I’ve known a backhanded compliment whenever served. And being told I was “not that fat” (the title of this blog post) is a prime example of that.

I’ll keep it a buck. I’m just as insecure as Issa Rae.

Maybe even more. In my mind, putting up with Lawrence and his sexy, although lazy and unmotivated, ass would be enough for me. Sounds stupid, right? But (and maybe you can relate) I’d be overcome by my insecurities thinking nothing better would come along. Which lead me to believe that any kind of half compliment was better than hearing compliments said to anyone that wasn’t me.

Being told I was “not that fat” was, of course, prompted by seeking out validation

From scenes in Mean Girls to That’s So Raven, media has provided the blueprint for how every shopping experience in the life of an adolescent or a young woman is subject to judgment by their peers. It’s kind of inevitable that you’ll seek out compliments from gal pals because they’ll do one of two things.

They’ll either tell you exactly what you want to hear or spew out brutal honesty. But in those moments you’re being told you don’t look that fat, it’s their way of teetering both sides of their critique. Ultimately, for me anyway, it ignites a mentality that weight determines worth.

Despite my being curvy or thick, so long as I never fell into ‘that fat’ territory, I’m okay to be seen with, spoken to and treated with as much humanity as the next guy.

It’s almost as if these “compliments” of sorts have the power to trigger like-minded behavior of fat-shamers. But only for a specific type of fat person. Remember kids: Fatphobia can be disguised in so many ways. Just know, someone’s really down for you when they treat your body with the same respect as anyone else.

 

 

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