Fat Girls Are The Nicest.


From their tender age, big girls are the nicest. Society also sends them the message that they also have to be nicer than everyone else. And that, even when no one else has to be kind… they (still) do.

Featured image: “Venus and Adonis” by Peter Paul RUBENS

As early as elementary school, young fat girls understand rapidly that, if someone’s “risks” hanging out with the chubby pariahs, it has to be “worth it” for them. At the risk of becoming pariahs themselves. At the risk of becoming “uncool” by association. Already, gaining – and maintaining – the regular-sized people’s “friendship” or “interest” comes at a price.

In the schoolyards of the Western World, there are big girls sharing, giving all they are and all they have. Simply to get the chance of being “considered”.

Why?

Because they are big girls. And big girls are – still – considered of lesser value by an important part of society. Big girls too often start their social lives and relationships with a negative prejudice against them. Before they even had the chance to say a word.  Because, to many, a large body speaks before the mouth does.

That is why big girls are the nicest.

They have to be if they want to be noticed for the “right” reason(s). If they want to be remembered for something else than being the elephant in the room. They might occupy more physical space, but too often, they would disappear in the background rather than being noticed only for their size.

Big girls are the nicest because they have to compensate for not being “conventionally” attractive. Though some won’t start their lives with a negative perception of themselves, they are still bound to run into people who will have a profoundly negative perception of them.

Big girls have to be so much nicer than their regular-sized counterparts to be deemed worthy of others’ attention. And to remain worthy of that interest, they have to surpass in kindness every thin(ner) girl and woman around. Still, that won’t guarantee they will be considered fairly.

That is why big girls are the nicest.

Big girls always have to be smiling and ready and available. To care for, to cheer up or console others. But they don’t dare bother others with their pain when their turn comes.

Big girls get ripped off because there will always be people preying on kindness and vulnerability.

Bigger girls are too often being used and abused by ungrateful partners who understood too well the insecurity that can cast its dreadful shadow on plus-size girls / women. Time and time again, the more insecure big girls feel in a relationship, the nicest they get. Being rejected after already sacrificing so much to “love”? It would hurt so, so bad.

But, even scarier than being rejected or walking out on any abuse: would the big girls ever get another chance at love again?

That is why big girls are the nicest.

Big girls are the nicest because, beyond a certain size, their bodies become a public matter. Along with their eating or exercise habits. Because it’s still OK for the world to comment on big girls’ lifestyles or make ridiculous assumptions about it. They are the nicest because they can’t respond to active or passive insults all the time. They have to let go of responding while being ridiculed online. Because they are too tired to educate trolls and fellow annoying, fat-shaming creatures of the web.

Big girls carry the weight of these insults and attacks, in the hope of benefiting the right to indifference, at best. In the end, emotional fatigue strains their minds, already burdened by their daily masquerade of mandatory kindness. The overload of hate in response to them speaking their minds weakens them. (Who can blame them?)

And if they ever risk a response, they are labeled. If they risk raising their voices, they become “the fat, hysterical, angry, extremist ones”.

WE ARE TIRED OF BEING THE NICEST.

It is not extremist to speak our minds about the discrimination we experience. Neither are we hysterical for demanding proper representation in the fashion world and the media. Claiming respect is not extremist. It’s a basic human right.

Fat girls have been the nicest for so long, that no one expects us to respond unless spoken to. But this is changing. Fat girls are raising their voices. We are done excusing themselves constantly for simply being.

Well-behaved women seldom make history.
-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

For a while now, we started banding together and joining forces. And we now claim our share of EVERYTHING. From basic respect to fashion, first roles, better-paid jobs and promotions. Get ready, world. Our voices and ranks will only grow stronger and louder. And they will grow to a point where no one will be able to neglect and brush off our demands any more.

WE ARE TIRED OF BEING THE NICEST.

Yet, we are not rude for claiming what we are claiming. It’s just that you’re not used to it. For decades, the Western World has known mostly quiet fat girls. Big gals fearing to stir the pot at the risk of being rejected. And that they were rejected ANYWAY. Still today, we have so little – and too often bad – representation. We really don’t have much to lose. And everything to gain.

We are the product of decades of too nice and silenced fat girls. The results of years of being the least wanted, the least represented, the least respected. We are the daughters of mothers who dieted, and who sometimes forced us to diet ourselves. And we are the ones who refuse to wait to be 10-20-50-100 lbs lighter to be considered “valuable”. And to start living.

But most of all, we are the fat women who say: “Enough playing nice. That obviously didn’t work. You can join us right now. But know that something is going to happen. It’s up to you to decide if you want to be part of the revolution. Or if you would rather be a silent witness of it.”


Note: The use of the feminine form in this blog post does not imply that big boys / men aren’t victims of prejudice. I opted for the feminine form because this post is mostly inspired by my personal experiences and those of big women around me. Also, my mother never put me on a diet. #ThanksMom


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