Thanksgiving ain’t my thang. Probably not for the reasons you think.
- I didn’t really grow up with any family around so it was always just me and my mom.
- Historically, I’m not keen on celebrating the day we led the native people to believe we wouldn’t rape and steal their land.
- I’m thankful for my blessings EVERY day.
- My dad died thirteen years ago today.
- And I could take or leave the food. I mean, that nasty cranberry goo that’s shaped like an aluminum can? Ew. And there are not nearly enough dishes at Thanksgiving that involve cheese.
But for many people, dreading Thanksgiving is about something different. Talk about a snake pit. If you’re fat and you have family, getting together for a holiday surrounding food is about the worst thing I could possibly imagine. In America (and elsewhere?), it is common place–hell its practically a Constitutional right–to comment about people’s weight and eating habits. Its okay to walk up to a person and tell them that they are too skinny and need a sandwich. And its okay to look down on someone for how much they pile their plate at Thanksgiving. And I think a lot of people out there will be facing that reality tomorrow.
Although, I may not have any horrid aunts telling me I really don’t need that extra scoop of dressing, I understand.
I remember in junior high, the greatest source of terror for me was watching educational nature videos. Sound weird? It was. But I would sink down into my seat every time I saw a hippo, an elephant or a rhino in school. Because inevitably someone would look at me and make a nasty comment. And that anticipation was far more torture than the teasing itself. Even today, I have a hard time watching these shows.
So yes, tomorrow many of us will face that same dread when ponying up to the buffet line. Anticipation of those comments that will make us feel completely worthless, make us want to hide, make us think that even our family cannot love us for who we are.
But folks, that’s bullshit. Don’t let it happen. Your family does love you, they’ve just been systematically trained by the media and health care industry to believe that being fat is wrong. In fact, it should be them who feel ashamed of their ignorance and insensitivity. And I challenge you to call them on it tomorrow.
“Aunt Betty, I love my body and you do not have a right to shame me for it.”
“Grandma, I eat healthy and exercise. My fat thighs are actually your fault for passing them down to me.”
“Mom, I’m going to have another helping of stuffing and I’m not pouring any guilt over it.”
And don’t just bring the smart ass comments. Bring your ammo, too. Go re-read Kate Harding’s Don’t You Realize Fat is Unhealthy. Remind your family that:
- Fat people survive heart attacks more often than average sized people.
- Being fat can actually protect you against infections, cancer, lung diseases, etc.
- Diets don’t work and getting into an unhealthy pattern of dieting could actually make you less healthy than just being fat.
- Correlation is not causation and that no one bothers to study whether or not fat is a symptom of diabetes, not a cause.
- Being fat is not a sin. Eating right and exercising are good for you. So is flossing twice a day. These are not issues of morality.
- No one, NO ONE has the right to comment on your appearance.
And when all else fails, check out Shapely Prose’s Thanksgiving Vent Session.
Stuff your face, beauties and be thankful that your life is so bountiful and blessed. Its just a day. This is life and you’ll be that much healthier for living it.