You Need To Shut Your “Fat” Mouth

It’s no surprise in this country that we have young girls and boys starving themselves or sticking their fingers or other objects down their throats to make themselves throw up their dinner to maintain some unrealistic body image or keep from being called “fat”.

I’ve been very open in the past about my nine-year battle with bulimia from 1986-1995.  Honestly, I’ll always have an eating disorder and although I’m not a practicing bulimic, it’s something that I think about every day.  I blogged about this back in February when fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld made a comment that singer Adele was “too fat”.  You can find that link at the bottom of this blog.

Yes, Adele is definitely a full-figured woman, but the name calling has to stop.

Guess who the latest “fat” celebrity is?  Guess who’s getting plenty of press now and it’s not for her new music or her recently announced North American tour dates?

Lady GaGa on stage at the KOKO club in LondonLady Gaga 1

It’s Lady Gaga and all of the publicity is because of her weight gain.  Those are pictures from her past tours.  Here is a picture of Lady Gaga last week.

Lady Gaga is an Animal in Paris [USA ONLY]

And, Mother Monster posted this one on her Facebook page this week.

How many women and men across this increasingly obese country of ours would love to be this “fat”?

In the past, Gaga admitted that she’s battled anorexia and bulimia since she was 15 years old.  And, she’s not denying that she’s gained weight.

While dispelling rumors that she’s pregnant, she said, “I love eating pasta and pizza.  I’m a New York Italian girl. That’s why I have been staying out of New York. My father opened a restaurant. It’s so amazing. It’s so freaking delicious, but I’m telling you I gain five pounds every time I go in. So my dad wants me to eat there and I’m, like, I’ve got to go where I can drink green juice.”

And, on her Facebook page, Gaga posted this perfect quote by another legendary performer who also faced criticism because of her voluptuous figure.

GagaMarilyn

Lady Gaga may have indirectly addressed body image and how people talk in “Dance in the Dark” from her “The Fame Monster” album.  Here are some of the lyrics:  “Silicon, saline, poison inject me/Baby, I’m a free bitch” and “Some girls won’t dance to the beat of the tribe/She won’t walk away/But she won’t look back/She looks good/But her boyfriend says she’s a mess”.

As a father of an 11-year-old daughter that loves pasta and desserts, I’m going to do everything that I can to let her enjoy the foods that she loves.  At the same time, I’ll be monitoring her weight without bringing it front and center with her.  I don’t want her to deal with what Lady Gaga and many others have to deal with.  People can be cruel.

I remember coming back home from college, in the mid-1980s, and having a friend of my mother’s make a comment about the amount of weight that I had gained after my first two years at college.  Yes, the “freshman 15” and “sophomore 15” caught up with me and I did have a little bit of stomach from the daily endless cafeteria buffet at Murray State.

Those words, regardless of whether it was meant as a light-hearted comment or not, weighed heavily on my mind and, in part, led to my eating disorder.

Karen

Back in 1983, the death of legendary singer Karen Carpenter from a heart attack brought on by anorexia nervosa, raised awareness for eating disorders and propelled it into the nation’s spotlight.  She began dieting in the 1960s when she weighed about 145 pounds.  By the fall of 1975, she was down to 91 pounds!

Prior to her death, after a two-week stay in New York, the singer had gained 30 pounds and was eating healthy.  However, the disease had already taken its toll on her body and she died on February 3, 1983.

karen carpenterpeople

We should be remembering Karen Carpenter only by her beautiful voice and not the ugly desire to be thin that killed her.  I want us all to be healthier.  Being a little thin or a little thick is fine.  However, being pencil thin or obese is not good.

The bottom line is that when we speak of someone’s weight, we should be tactful about it.  There’s a person with feelings behind that body, regardless of what size it is.

Here is the link to my February 12, 2012 blog about Adele being “too fat”:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/do-we-really-need-to-tell-adele-shes-too-fat/

And, since we’re talking about our eating habits, you might find my March 3, 2012 blog informative:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/our-eating-habits-are-killing-us/

Anthony

P.S.  While I was writing this, I considered adding a very inspirational song for me from the early-1990s.  It’s from a stunningly gorgeous and very slim woman that I had the pleasure of meeting in 1996.  I’m adding Faith Hill’s “Take Me As I Am” because this song gave me hope almost 20 years ago that, one day, I would find an amazing man that would “Take Me As I Am”.  And, I did.  Faith, thank you for this song.

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19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cinchy on September 26, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I wish I was that fat !!
    I keep trying – I know someday (maybe) I will be at healthier weight……. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Brenda Hagemeier on September 26, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I went to college with a girl who would not eat that day if she could not move her watch past a certain mole on her arm. She weighed around 80 pounds. She was afraid that guys would not like her if she was “fat”. A group of us finally decided to notify her parents about our concerns. We did an intervention with her and got her the help she needed. She is now a beautiful wife and mother and much healthier. I have never been thin but my husband loves me the way I am and that is all I care about.

    Reply

  3. Brenda,

    Thank you and your friends for reaching out to this young lady! It could have saved her life. And, your husband sounds like a great guy!

    AP

    Reply

  4. I have struggled with my 200 lb plus frame ALL my life. I met my birthfamily and saw that they were all like me. We all struggle with it. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. Currently you will find me loving who I am, not fighting with myself anymore, and trying to eat better regardless to set the right example for my kids. I think Gaga is amazing – and if you see all the people who have posted pics on her Little Monsters page – you see there a lot of “less than perfect” people struggling together. There are alot more of us (imperfect people) than there are of the perfect ones. Thanks for posting Anthony. Love ya!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Dorothy DeMay on September 26, 2012 at 7:51 am

    When people gain weight, it is not always because they are not eating properly. In some families it is a hereditary situation, often brought on by a serious illness. Many that have been on chemotherapy end up gaining weight, that they wish they could get rid of. In my case it is a combination of heredity and chemotherapy. The steroids they pump you with to counteract the side affects of the treatment is one cause for some, to have what I call “preggo” belly. While many a times it is the situation of economics that will lead to weight gain for some. It could be “no job” and the inability to purchase healthy foods. Let’s face it, eating healthy is expensive. It could be the fact that people’s metabolisms have a very difficult time adjusting to various work schedules, especially if they are needing to work multiple part-time jobs just to keep the bills paid and a roof over their head. There are many reasons for the weight issues we as a people and nation face today. But calling people names or ridiculing them publicly over the weight gain is wrong, I definitely agree. As for Lady Gaga, I think she is beautiful with this weight gain and I can only hope that I can be THAT fat someday. I’m boobless and shaped like a pear, but I am alive. Puffy face, hands, feet, and a “preggo” steroid belly isn’t so bad if it is the alternative to what could have been. So I additionally agree, people need to “think before they speak.” However, we are human. If we breathe we are offended and commit offenses. It is what we do about it, that will change perspectives. Great blog, Peeps! Just one more reason why I love you my friend. You are concientious of others feelings and recognize that there is more than just the picture presented in an individual.

    Reply

    • Doe,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story and commenting.

      There are many reasons we are who and how we are. People just need to love us the way we are, but we must love ourselves first.

      I totally agree that we have become too sensitive and PC in this country, but there are boundaries. I’ve used offensive words, too, that may not have been so bad then. It really helps having an 11-year-old around to help me filter my comments. 🙂

      Take care, my friend.

      AP

      Reply

  6. Posted by Athena on September 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Thank you so much my friend for posting this. It is such a personal battle for us all. We talk easily when we can put each other down, but inside it is an individual struggle for many. I grew up with being called fat (and I wish I were that “fat” now) by my own family. As much as I hate to write that, it is the truth. After I had my first daughter in 2001, I kept losing the baby weight and kept losing weight. I would only eat if I felt like I had to. I remember the first time I ate nothing for two weeks straight. I was 5 pounds away from my goal weight! I felt like such a pathetic 23 year old, but I was the most happiest in my life. Everywhere I went, I was complimented. It was so hard to maintain! After having my other two children 5 and 7 years later, I went back to the same routine- lose the baby weight fast and while I was on track, lose any extra I possibly could. This is when I took up smoking because I had read that cigarettes were an appetite suppressant. I hated myself so much, but at the same time I was very happy.

    Now I am 32, married, and weigh more than I have ever wanted. (That was really hard to type.) I’m certainly not happy with my weight, but what is crazy, I am really happy with my life. My husband is constantly telling me I am beautiful, and when I get frustrated with how I look, he says he loves me exactly the way that I am.

    Since we were married, we have had several people comment on how much weigh we have BOTH gained. I find this incredibly offensive, and I covet those who are not as sensitive as I am, but I think it is quite crazy that anyone would have something to say regarding how much weight we have gained since our wedding. I don’t understand why in our society, this is something we have to judge. We just eat really really well. EVERY night! Roast, Chili, Lamb, Steak, you name it, I cook it.

    I think it is time that our culture takes a deep look at ourselves, and go back to what our mother’s taught us, and to THINK before we SPEAK. We have all leaned on the excuse lately that this is a free country and one of our freedoms is speech. However, using this freedom as an excuse to hurt people is unacceptable. We are supposed to be a country that backs one another up. We should all be family. Speaking out of turn in regards to body image or weight gain, in my opinion is crossing the line. I think that if we all took a step back as far as this subject is concerned, we might have a healthier society in general. We’ve all just gotten a little out of line with this, and now it is our meme. I say we stop accepting it. This blog was a fantastic start. 🙂

    Reply

    • Athena,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me (and us) because I know it was painful to write. I’m so glad that your husband thinks you are beautiful and that he loves you the way you are.

      Our society is so superficial. Yes, we strive to be pretty and thin and whatever else is chic, at the time, but we lose ourselves in the process of trying to be something for someone else or what we feel we lack.

      Be you and if you can lose some weight, that’s awesome. If not, you’re still loved by your husband and kids and, most of all, by yourself.

      Your friend,
      AP

      Reply

  7. Posted by Connie Huizenga on September 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    One of our daughters struggled with anorexia and purging with laxatives and diuretics. Her “boyfriend” commented that she was “fat”. She was 5’5″ and weighed 102. She wore a lot of baggy clothes so that no one would see that she was dropping weight. I happened to walk in on her while she was dressing and saw a skeleton with skin. Next day we were at the doctor. When she was pregnant with her son, she would weigh facing away from the scale at the doctors office. She has admitted that her worst fear is getting fat. Now she exercises, mostly reasonably, and eats healthy. She is setting a good example for her son, but still struggles with the thoughts. Eating disorders also impact the families. We are very aware of what we say to her and how it is said. We love her and accept her as the beautiful person that she is. I wish everyone else would do the same. Thank you for sharing your story. Know that you are special because of who you are, not how you are.

    Reply

    • Connie,

      Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with your daughter. I’m very happy to hear that she’s healthy now and exercising.

      It’s a battle and it’s one day at a time.

      Take care,
      AP

      Reply

  8. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on September 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I was very thin until high school, then put on a little weight. Struggled with gaining extra pounds in college & beyond, was starting to lose again when I injured my leg, foot & ankle & the pounds really returned in earnest. I am definitely a “plus size” woman. I’m not lazy, I’m not a glutton, I did “on my feet” work for years. I just can barely make it around with a cane these days…it’s hard to exercise like I used to. I’m still a good person if you get to know me. Some of the most beautiful people I have ever had the honor of knowing have had issues with weight…they are loving, caring human beings no matter what others think about their outward appearance. While I would love to lose weight for myself, to feel better health-wise, I will never starve myself to fit society’s idea of what I should look like. I keep myself clean, suitably dressed…if my size offends anyone, don’t look at me. I’m not on this earth to entertain bigots.

    Reply

  9. Kathy,

    I’m very happy to call you my friend.

    If your size or anyone’s size offends people, they are the ones with the problem!

    AP

    Reply

  10. Wow! what beautiful comments,made me teary! & just what i needed to read right now.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Connie Huizenga on February 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Anthony, As an over weight person who struggles with weight and attempted weight loss, I thank you for posting this. To quote Lady Gaga, “I was born this way”. Genetics do play a roll in the weight that we are able to pile on and the ability to lose weight.

    As a nurse, I cared for an 11 year old girl who was anorexic. She was a skeleton with skin. When I stood her in front of a mirror, she saw fat and repulsive. She needed to lose more weight, in her mind. We did the best we could for her. We sent her to intensive inpatient therapy. She was re-hospitalized several times with relapses. Ultimately, she did not make it. She was around 50 pounds when she died at 13 years of age.

    My point is that words hurt as badly as a fist. Once the words are out there, they can not be taken back. This girl was told that she was a cute, “chubby” little girl and that is what started her journey. People need to remember that they can change themselves, not someone else.

    Reply

    • Connie,

      You know I love to write and share my thoughts even if people disagree.

      There are times when I share information that may be a little personal. But, if my faults, failures, or struggles can help someone else, it’s all worth it.

      Thank you for thanking me for posting this. I meant every word.

      I know how hard it is to lose the weight once it’s on there. I’ve been surrounded by sweet (and not so sweet) overweight women all my life. Men, too.

      People shouldn’t have to know what the reason is that people cannot lose weight and gain even more. It’s easier just to assume they have no self control and they are lazy. That’s just stupid!

      I love you the way you are.

      The story you shared about the little girl is heartbreaking. People, even before social media and even worse now with the internet, just don’t know or care how devastating a few thoughtless words can break someone.

      Take care of yourself, my friend.

      Love,
      AP

      Reply

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