14 September 2014

Humans of New York - Fat



I adore the Humans of New York Facebook page. Lately Brandon (the creator of HONY) has been traveling on a UN World Tour and doing what he does so well: take photos and tell stories.

Visit:
Facebook ('Like' and follow the page, you will thank me!)
Website

All the stories he tells have a message - they make you laugh and cry. This one I can really relate to, so I've copied it here to share with you:
"I've been overweight all my life. But I broke up with my boyfriend last year, and things weren't going well, so it got worse and worse. I'd try to diet, but I'd eat something that I wasn't supposed to. I'd try to go to the gym, but I'd leave early. I was trying to lose weight because I felt like I needed to be a different person. But time has passed now, and I think I'm approaching weight loss with a much more positive attitude. I know that I can be happy without losing weight. Sure, I wish I could wear prettier clothes. I wish I could take a photograph without my face looking like a football. But I know that I'm not my weight. And it's hard to come to that conclusion. You really have to battle to separate your self-image from your weight. Because weight is always the first thing that somebody sees. Somebody will see you after a few years, and their first comment is about the weight you've put on. Maybe I've become a better person these last few years. Maybe I've been a great friend to someone. Maybe I've read a lot of books and become smarter. Maybe the reason I've put on weight is that I've got a great job that can be stressful and doesn't leave me time to go to the gym." 
(New Delhi, India)



The amazing thing with HONY isn't just the photos and quotes: it's the comments.

Here are some of the comments that accompanied that post:
  • Khushboo Taneja: is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? ~J.K Rowling.
  • Emma Hydleman: No one is fat, They have fat. They also have finger nails, But they are not finger nails.
  • Megan Marie: Love the thought process, and I love these sandals
  • Shivam Dwivedi: Your Boyfriend Had A Problem With You, But That Was His Problem Not Yours
  • Zondria Arquisola: Omg that is exactly what I've been going though. I've gained almost 40 pounds in 2 years and I feel like everyone judges me right away. What people don't know is that I've quit drugs and alcohol 2 years ago, I had a baby one year ago and then suffered post partem depression right after. I was put on medication which made me gain so much weight but here I am still sober today, a working mom, blessed to be a wife and going back to school. I am so much more than my weight!
  • Prashant Chandola: Fat-bashing in all its varied forms– criticism, exclusion, shaming, fat talk, self-deprecation, jokes, gossip, bullying–is one of the last acceptable forms of prejudice. From a very young age, before they can walk away or defend themselves, women are taught that they are how they look, not what they do or what they know. Robyn Silverman
  • CailĂ­n Alice Kless: Okay, to everyone who saw this and immediately started in with "But what about your health?!?!?!" ...she didn't say "and now I vow to travel everywhere on a motorized cooler full of lard." She told a story about how hating herself did NOTHING to improve her mental OR physical health. What a lot of these comments boil down to is basically, "Okay, yeah, but don't you think you should still hate yourself a little? For your health?" Completely missing the point of the story.
  • Rachel Sekola: I love that we can only see her feet. I think kind of the point is that you only see a part of her -- we CAN'T focus on the "beauty" of what she looks like. We are privileged to only see a small part of her, so we can focus on the beauty of her words.

Thank you HONY.

I truly wish I could overcome my insecurities and just embrace who I am. Instead, I am caught up on my weight. I want to lose the excess to be healthier... But mainly because I want to buy cool clothes from "normal" shops, and fit in. I don't want to be judged, especially the insultingly harsh judgement from friends who are 'worried about me'. That only makes me feel so much worse... So sad and hurt.

In the end there will always be judgement, fat or thin, and I have bigger self-loathing issues to overcome; some of those will always be there regardless of what I weigh. 

Everyone is struggling in some way. 

Mxo

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