June 27, 2016

"But it felt like there was an invisible force blocking me from achieving my dreams. Sure, I'd think, is it because I'm fat?"

"But then I'd think, don't be paranoid. I refused to believe that people were that shallow. It had to be more complicated. I tried to put my finger on it, but I just couldn't figure it out. Once I lost weight [110 pounds], I realized, it was all because I was fat. It felt like that famous Eddie Murphy sketch on Saturday Night Live, where he goes undercover in whiteface and gets treated way better. He rides the city bus. And when the last black rider gets off, music starts. A cocktail waitress in a sequined dress hands out martinis. That's what I felt like — like this whole other world for thin people had existed alongside mine, a world they've been keeping a secret from me. When I was fat and I walked down the street, people would stare. I'd hear comments that I would ignore. Occasionally someone would shout something out at me. In this new world, when I walked down the street, attractive men and women would do something to me they'd never done before. They would look me up and down, and then they would nod their heads. Thin people nod at each other?"

From the "Tell Me I'm Fat" episode of "This American Life."

51 comments:

J. Farmer said...

Is it possible she felt differently about herself after losing so much weight and it was this change in self-image that altered her behavior and that is producing a new response from strangers. Most communication is nonverbal, after all.

Mountain Maven said...

Too bad nothing on NPR/PBS has credibility anymore.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is it possible she felt differently about herself after losing so much weight and it was this change in self-image that altered her behavior and that is producing a new response from strangers. Most communication is nonverbal, after all."

Listen to the whole segment, as I did. I would say no, that's not what happened.

J. Farmer said...

Ive been browsing through the transcript at the link but haven't come across it yet. Which segment?

Michael K said...

I used to do weight loss surgery.

Those people are highly motivated and, therefore, often subject to questionable surgeons. We have had a few scandals here with clinics that advertise heavily. A surgeon friend of mine once did a bypass on a guy who weighed 700 pounds. He lost about 500 pounds over two years and was freaked out at the changes. He didn't like it. Nobody recognized him.

Eventually, my malpractice carrier told us that we had to either do nothing but weight loss or none. I chose none. I think it was a mistake because I knew some of the people who chose to specialize. They were not the best surgeons.

Fernandinande said...

"I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people." -- Rodney Dangerfield

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"Is it possible she felt differently about herself after losing so much weight and it was this change in self-image that altered her behavior and that is producing a new response from strangers. Most communication is nonverbal, after all."

Listen to the whole segment, as I did. I would say no, that's not what happened."

That only indicates what the teller wants you to believe. Not reality. Easier to say it was the prejudicial failings of others that "I'm a fat ass loser."

The Bergall said...

I somehow missed the point aside from the fact she's neurotic..........

Laslo Spatula said...

As so often before, The Girl With the Ponytail on the Treadmill has contemplated this very issue.

Not saying she's more intuitive than "This American Life," but just because I'm not saying it doesn't mean that I don't know it's true.


I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Not saying she's more intuitive than "This American Life," but just because I'm not saying it doesn't mean that I don't know it's true."

A lot of switchback negatives in the end of that sentence.

What I am saying is -- Yes -- I believe The Girl With the Ponytail on the Treadmill has more value than much of "This American Life."

Or is at least shorter.

I am Laslo.

Carol said...

I have a weight problem, but (heh) not like these other women! I mean, nowadays there seems to be a whole new level that fatness has attained. When I was young I used to think you could balloon out only so much. Now I see the hugest, most awkward unmanageable butts! Huge blobs of flesh rolling around in wheel chairs.

How did they do that? How does it happen? What in hell is going on? It boggles the mind.

But it's kinda stupid to tell someone she's fat. I worked with a very balsy outgoing BBW and one night some old fart tried to break the news to her about her weight, and she just said yeah what's your point..he didn't get the irony of course. But I was laughing because it was so perfect.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The impulse to scorn fat people makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, which is why I try to be nice.

Michael K said...

Fat women were in fashion in the days when it was an indication of prosperity.

Rubens nudes were very much a sign of husband's or families' prosperity. Plenty to eat. Styles change.

Bill Peschel said...

She can be right, but I wonder. I've known women who were as fat as her, and they found husbands. They're smart, driven, funny, and creative.

If you look at the portraits of mistresses, particularly the royal ones in France and England, you'll find they're not as beautiful as you'd think. What they did have was wit, charm, and an ability to put up with royal bores.

But I'm not saying she isn't witty or charming; I don't know her. But she's living in New York City, trying to become an actress, and that's not what most people would perceive as mature, rational creatures.

And yes, men are hitting on her without knowing her because she's cute. We tend to profile for beauty and potential for fertility.

So are women, who usually profile for money and power.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ive been browsing through the transcript at the link but haven't come across it yet. Which segment?"

The easiest method is to search the page — command F — for a unique word. Try "Eddie."

Ann Althouse said...

"That only indicates what the teller wants you to believe. Not reality. Easier to say it was the prejudicial failings of others that "I'm a fat ass loser.""

The question that I saw as unanswered was: Back when you were fat and flirting very actively and unsuccessfully, were you flirting with men who were as fat as you?

Ann Althouse said...

"Rubens nudes were very much a sign of husband's or families' prosperity. Plenty to eat. Styles change."

In the first segment at the link, the story is of a fat woman who chose to embrace her own fatness in a positive way. She was influenced by art: Leonard Nimoy's artistic photographs of fat nude women.

Michael K said...

"I've known women who were as fat as her, and they found husbands. They're smart, driven, funny, and creative."

The last gastric bypass I did was on a 26 year old young woman who had a very pretty face but weighted 250 pounds, She told me she had never had a date. I told her I was quitting the surgery but she go me to do one last one.

A year later, I saw her. She had lost 100 pounds and told me she was getting married.

Sydney said...

It is very definitely true that fat people face undisguised prejudice and even disgust. I don't think it was her perception. I've seen it happen to fat people myself. Doctors are especially bad about this. Orthopedists, cardiologists- they don't mince words and their facial expressions convey their disgust. It is the last acceptable prejudice. (That and anti-Christian prejudice, but you have to actually talk to someone to know they're Christian. Fat prejudice doesn't require that.)

Ann Althouse said...

Another thing to keep in mind is that she got diet pills — speed — to lose the weight and she's still using them. Whatever she thinks and believes while thin is in her new condition of being not merely thin but on speed. That would change her personality and her perception. She also feels bad about herself for being on the drug.

Also worth noting: When she was fat, she was a devoted Mormon. She seems to have lost that faith.

Ann Althouse said...

"It is very definitely true that fat people face undisguised prejudice and even disgust."

A big part of the segment involves her trying to deal with her boss, none other than Dan Savage, who was expressing disgust about fat people.

Scott M said...

She seems to have lost that faith.

Holy cow...how much does faith weigh?

tim in vermont said...

@ScottM, perfect marriage of comment and avatar!

J. Farmer said...

@Ann Althouse:

"The easiest method is to search the page — command F — for a unique word. Try 'Eddie.' "

Thank you, Ann, I was actually reading on my iPhone and did attempt that method (using "Murphy", though), and it wasn't operating. That's why I had been "browsing" it earlier to find it." Now that I'm back home on an old-fashioned screen, I can manage.

"Act 2" would have taken a lot less energy than your snarky response.

EDH said...

My weight has fluctuated plus-minus 25 pounds, and WOMEN definitely treat me differently when I'm in the low range.

Same with wearing a suit.

J. Farmer said...

In a society with socialized healthcare costs, is it fair to resent heavyset people who will consume a disproportionate share of the resources?

Carol said...

In my mind, looks, others' sexual disgust, physical revulsion - is irrelevant. And I know plenty of fat women with boyfriends.

What is important is that cluster of ailments that will descend on the obese in their 50s. All that Fat Pride goes out the window when you're finally ordered to go on insulin or else, and every part of your body hurts so chronically that they lay the "fibromylgia" Dx on you, and oh with that you'll probably have CFS and COPD and a boatload of other problems.

J. Farmer said...

"Same with wearing a suit."

TLC used to air a fashion makeover show called What Not to Wear with Clinton Kelly and Stacey London. It was a bit of a cornball show, but the two hosts had great chemistry, and it was often entertaining to watch (if that's your cup of tea). It really made a strong argument for how wearing clothes that fit you correctly and are well constructed can have a profound impact on your self-confidence and how you carry yourself.

tim in vermont said...

It really made a strong argument for how wearing clothes that fit you correctly and are well constructed can have a profound impact on your self-confidence and how you carry yourself.

If you are fat, you better be rich to bet flattering clothes that look great. If you are thin, you can get them off the rack at Target.

rhhardin said...

JOE
Maybe he's fat. He's fat. He's a fatty.

KATHLEEN
I don't care about that.

JOE
You don't care that he's so fat, he's one of these people
who has to be removed from their house by a crane? You
don't care?

KATHLEEN
That is very unlikely. That is ridiculous.

- You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks

YoungHegelian said...

A big part of the segment involves her trying to deal with her boss, none other than Dan Savage

I don't think Dan Savage has much use for humanity aside from buff & hot guys, so in that respect she's in the same situation as the rest of us.

tim in vermont said...

Imagine if Titus had a talk show.

YoungHegelian said...

@tim,

Imagine if Titus had a talk show.

He could call it "Going Whole Hog".

Titus, feel free to use it without attribution if you ever do get a show.

JAORE said...

".... none other than Dan Savage, who was expressing disgust about fat people. "

And this is a surprise because......

MikeD said...

I see Insta has picked up the whole "fat is the new thin" meme:https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/237256/
BTW, I'm still looking for lawyer to defend my robot self-identification from these humiliating forced denials!

Birches said...

Ok. There is something the matter with that girl. I have been fat. I have been thin. I weighed 175lbs seven years ago. I'm only 5'4", so I was fat. Over the next three years, I lost over thirty pounds net (and had a baby in between). I'm overweight right now, but only about 10lbs (and I have a five month old). I have never noticed a difference in how people treat me. I think it was the speed.

Smilin' Jack said...

In this new world, when I walked down the street, attractive men and women would do something to me they'd never done before. They would look me up and down, and then they would nod their heads. Thin people nod at each other?"

At least she realizes that only thin people are attractive, a fact most land-whales seem oblivious to.

Sydney said...

@Birches- I also am 5'4". I consider 175 pounds thin for me. I am currently 190 pounds, but three years ago I weighed 250 pounds. There is definitely a difference in the way people treated me at 250 pounds and how they treat me now. I am not on speed. If I can get down to 170 pounds, I think I will see even a greater difference. (Although I am old now, and people seem to tolerate pudgy grandma-types better.)

Lucien said...

Sounds like she didn't really get the point of the "White Like Me" SNL sketch.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

"If you are fat, you better be rich to bet flattering clothes that look great. If you are thin, you can get them off the rack at Target."

You are correct. Life is unfair. I', 5'9" instead of 6'1" so I don't look as good in clothes. Also, I'm not so sure very thin people have this advantage. How many men do you know who are really turned on by flat-chested women with no asses?

I know quite a few heavyset people who are married with families, happy and content. What do they have that this woman doesn't?

Jon Ericson said...

Fat Asses.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But it felt like there was an invisible force blocking me from achieving my dreams. Sure, I'd think, is it because I'm fat?

The invisible force is called gravity. And yes, it is because you are fat.

Todd said...

J. Farmer said...
In a society with socialized healthcare costs, is it fair to resent heavyset people who will consume a disproportionate share of the resources?

6/27/16, 4:31 PM


Depends on who is doing the resenting. If it is the Government doing it, OK. Not OK for you or me. We can't show resentment against fat people, drug addicts, women that want free birth control, or people with eating disorders. It is OK for folks to vilify conservatives, Catholics, and southerners though, so there is that.

Deja Voodoo said...

What, no Milo?
No, JC Penney, Fat People Should Absolutely Hate Themselves

SGT Ted said...

Lots of fat is unattractive to most people. The response is visceral. I think people equate obesity with lack of self discipline as well.

Except for the chubby chasers, who love that stuff.

The negative health consequences of obesity are well documented.

"Fat acceptance" is just another SJW feminist bullshit coercion and censorship movement based on privileging women by asserting that you cannot criticize them or disapprove of their choices. It is an effort to shame males for not being sexually attracted to fat women and is thus sexist.

It is also an attempt to carve out and assert a protected class status for being fat by denying it is a correctable health condition.

It is yet another proof of Rush Limbaughs undeniable truth of life #24. Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.

Texan99 said...

I've lost almost 80 lbs. since last winter. People absolutely react differently to me, both strangers and acquaintances. I don't see anything wrong or surprising about it. I think we turn on a bit of a filter when confronted with someone who's got a distressing physical ailment. Even if we're just trying to be nice, our response is distant or muted. I'm nearly 60, so I'm not talking about men checking out a hot chick here, just ordinary interactions in stores and such. I think what's missing now is some pity and horror that was a constant background before. No matter what we say about how it's OK to be fat, it's not. It's tiring and unhealthy, and it certainly doesn't get any prettier the older we get. My slowly rising blood sugar and blood pressure have gone back to normal. My chronic acid reflex has completely disappeared. No surgery or drugs here, just portion control.

Todd said...

Texan99 said...

I've lost almost 80 lbs. since last winter.

6/28/16, 8:59 AM


I believe I may have found some of them (10 to 15). If you email me your address I will try to get them back to you.

walter said...

Blogger Bill Peschel said...
She can be right, but I wonder. I've known women who were as fat as her, and they found husbands. They're smart, driven, funny, and creative.
--
And perhaps tried harder...

"If you look at the portraits of mistresses, particularly the royal ones in France and England, you'll find they're not as beautiful as you'd think. What they did have was wit, charm, and an ability to put up with royal bores."
--
And perhaps tried harder..

It is often helpful to look at the standards in a given location. Take Madison for instance. Drive 10 minutes into rural Wisconsin and you'll often see reasonably in shape men with obese women.

From transcript:
"That's why deciding to stay fat and be OK with it is at a peculiar frontier right now, where things are shifting and people do not agree about what is acceptable to say and think."

Yes..moral relativism entrenched, we now embrace "BBW", "plus sized models" and aversion to "fat shaming".

mikee said...

As a fat person, I recognize that being barely able to reach around far enough to wipe my own ass is a real problem, and that people who are fatter than me cannot, oh cannot, cannot now, cannot ever, reach their hands far enough around their flab to clean their own ass cracks.

I hope they have bidets, because otherwise they are using cleft sticks with t.p. on the ends or some other contraption to clean that disgusting mess back there. Or just letting the stink remain, and are living with it.

CL said...

There is competition for looks. Get over it. You can't stop it. Being ugly kills one's chances of a date, but so does being boring, rude, unkempt, socially awkward. The last 4 one can work to improve. A fat person who takes care of themselves, looks nice and is funny and charming can do very well in life. And yes, a fat man with a fat wallet will do better than a fat woman--blame Darwin.
By the way, if you take note of people who can barely walk, who need a cane (let's say middle-aged and up, not 80+), who can't climb stairs, they are almost all way overweight. That weight has bad life consequences besides the dating scene.
You can try to punish people for judging looks, but you can't stop them.

Bob Loblaw said...

I laughed at the bit with her husband. She was offended her husband wouldn't have dated her if she was still fat.

Why? Fat is ugly. I gotta give the guy props for not just placating her.