Hi. My name is Becky and I'm an apologetic fatty. Or at least I used to be. Whenever my size was brought up in conversation I would be the first person to jump to my fats defence. I would be quick to explain that I eat ok, just like everyone else, in fact. My standard script consisted of "I like a cake as much as the next person but on the whole I eat a balanced diet" and "I take care of myself and make sure I still look nice". When told I had a pretty face, or dressed well for a chubby girl, I would be in complete agreement and take it as a massive compliment and I would be the first one to sigh a rather large sigh of relief when a friend would reassure me I wasn't as fat as the woman walking in front of me.
It's only now after years of blogging and moving in more enlightened circles do I realise the above notions are not only massively insulting, but destructive to me and every other fat person on the planet. I am not here to justify my size to you, I should not have to nor will I make excuses for my size. I will not play a twisted game of good fatty/bad fatty for you. What I wear, how many donuts I've consumed and how many men I've slept with despite my hideous blubbery body is not your concern.
These past few weeks my twitter has been alight with the story of Julie Creffield of www.toofattorun.co.uk - a size 18 woman who was told by doctors she was too fat to run. Julie defied her critics, got up from her sofa and ran, ran marathons in fact and encouraged other plus size women to run too. Julie is an amazing, admirable and wonderful woman. But I can't help but wonder why her story has been picked up so enthusiastically by news outlets? Are people truly excited for what Julie is doing or is it the case that Julie is an accepted fatty because she's doing something "good". Don't get me wrong, any news coverage that doesn't involve a video of a headless fat person walking down the street and the words obesity epidemic plastered across the screen is more than fine with me. But I wonder if there will be a time when we can just "be". Without having to make excuses for our fat.
The very same week Julie's story went viral, some vile woman over at the Daily Mail went on a one woman crusade to make every fat women in the country feel terrible about herself. I'm loathed to give this woman any more exposure so I'll refrain from using her name, but in said article she talked about a group of vivacious woman she'd encountered at an airport. Excited to be heading off on their holidays, they were laughing and joking and wearing hot weather appropriate clothing. This "journalist" was horrified that the girls were willing to show off their "flabby arms and lardy legs". Now whilst I could write a very long and lengthy rant about this notion and article in itself, it's worth pointing out, it was hot, they were heading off to somewhere even hotter. What exactly did this women expect them to wear? It would appear that to those who hate us fatties so much, think that we should indeed be swathed from head to toe in black fabric to hide our hideous bodies and to avoid upsetting other people with our disgusting appearance.
In a society transfixed on appearance and perceived beauty are we fighting a losing battle? Will there ever be a time when fat people can walk down the street without being verbally and physically abused. Will we stop being the butt of jokes on panel shows and sitcoms? And when will a fat woman take the romantic lead in a film without having to be funny or tragic?
Thankfully, it's not all doom and gloom. I have most definitely seen a shift in the way the world treats fat people. The fashion industry quite curiously, the most image obsessed industry there is, has embraced plus size fashion and is making leaps and bounds towards raising the standard of clothing available for plus size women. My blog has introduced me to a world of women unafraid and unashamed to wear whatever the hell they like, bikini's on beaches, crop tops and shorts and practice a level of self love most women would be envious of. And it's because of them I am no longer an apologetic fatty. I will hold my chubby cheeked head high, I will eat in public, I will make bold fashion choices and I will occupy the space I am entitled to as a human being. Because that's what we are. Humans.