Monday, 1 October 2012


To quote the witty clever Marianne Elliot-Said aka Poly Styrene (check out the full lyrics -scroll down to "identity"T/W for mention of extreme self harm/suicide);
"Identity is the crisis can't you see?"

I was taken aback when I started to hear people say, fat is an identity. I can't say I felt it. To me being fat doesn't really mean diddly in essence, that's the point. It has been defined and distorted by those who want their weight to define them.

Fatness has been defined as an extension of that, in service to them-by them and their needs, contrived and otherwise. Ironically, I'd discovered just how meaningless slimness was to me when I diverted from my duty to play the 'obese' role.

After a while, I couldn't actually remember what I was supposed to be slim for. It's like the emotional memory had gone.

This is one of the few occasions when perhaps sidelining thinness or slimness would not be apt. Always when it comes to repression of others, is the repression of oneself. The drive is subconscious.

When the receptacles for this stop playing their assigned role, the dominant ones can be the ones who may find themselves a bit lost.

The underlying mystery is why the desire for this extent of assertion in the first place?  What makes certain groups so aggressive in their need for this? Do you find that as unnerving to contemplate as I do?

The peculiar thing about slim, perhaps really thin people is they have spontaneously, without to my knowledge any meetings or conferences to have decided they must issue forth this collective identity.

That it is inherently superior to fatness. Why would it be so necessary to prove? Why so fraught if its that obvious?

A small chapter of the fattening of society as a whole is told through the story of vanity sizing.  
“So many women tie their self-esteem to the size on the tag.” 
For "so many" read, slim women. These women have been reported to have stopped buying clothes on occasion when they can no longer fit into the size they feel best befits their identity.That they feel they are.

This feeling once coagulated around size 10 for a few generations. It had a meaningful cultural resonance, possibly until women's shape started to change (thicker waist). It was not so much about slimness that was a given. It was the size women were supposed to be.

Anything greater, unless you were tall or "pleasingly plump" was, well a bit awkward. Going up to unspeakable in the 'plus' or fat sizes.

That is why it is such a cheek that some people even manage to try laying this at the door for vanity of fat people. They barely bothered to make clothes for fat people, why would they wish to obscure how fat we were?

Perhaps as the fattening has now reached a critical mass (sorry, couldn't resist) the vanity has moved to fatter people, who used to be slim.

And perhaps in many of their minds, still are.

What is fascinating about this erm, psycho-sociology, is fat people simply do not care nearly as much. In that sense, it's not so much that we don't identify a fat group and being grouped in it. In our desperation to be reassigned, we were blocked from bonding properly with our own bodies, en masse.

We were taught to see them as temporary. Only time and the failure of the experiment has forced reality to be acknowledged, finally.

We neither have the drive, nor don't own the idea of what fat/ness is or is supposed to be.

That has been given to us. We are literally a figment of slimmer people's imagination. Funnily enough, it is slim people who recognize themselves-and we too-as individuals above all else and fat people are seen and still too often see ourselves as many people, with one psyche.

I don't mean what Americans call a "hive mind" I mean, our default is as one archetype. The closest that comes to mind is the way White People are always individuals, yet recognizably a group or tribe it is Black People who seem to merge. Especially to non Black People.

I still remember witnessing a discussion where a White Person expressed the sentiment that, it was frustrating when Black People did not agree.

Annoying though it was, I knew what the person meant, scary isn't it? At the same time, I marvelled at how it simply could not be applied to White People. 

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