The History and Future of Fat

I am fat. That’s my word. That’s the word I choose. If you were to describe my body to a policeman that would be the first descriptor you’d use, except you’d probably say, “heavy set” or “larger woman,” cuz you’re too civilized to use the F word. Pssht. Fat is fine.

I don’t think a fat person should ever feel so desperate about their condition, or so full of self-loathing, that they shift blame for being fat. I know the main reason I’m fat is because I like to eat and I don’t move around much. But I will say, going through family photos, I came up with an interesting picture.

This is oh….about 1912, say. This is a family of rural Oregonians. The dad is a logger. They’re poor, they eat mainly what they grow. Check out the biggest kid. That’s Beth. She’s my grandma. And she’s a fat little kid. The only one! Back when it took an amazing amount of effort to MAKE yourself fat….she still somehow managed it. By 1950 she was a positively circus-lady-sized (back then) 300lbs+, even without mass produced snack food or microwaves, and even though she couldn’t drive and had to walk everywhere, up and down the slopes of Garabaldi. How did she manage it?
None of this changes the fact that I frickin’ love to eat Oreos at 10pm. But I do wonder if fat doesn’t cling just to my chin, but to the rungs of my DNA. Just like smooth skin and brown hair does. That the kettle of my soul spurts and smokes in discontent unless it can be protected, warmed to a simmer in fat.

At any rate, there is no point in being ashamed of it. I’m fat. I’m a lot of other things, too.

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