... is not a compliment to me.
Shocking, I know. Weight loss culture has poisoned our society so much that everyone just assumes that telling someone they look thinner is somehow the highest of compliments. For a lot of people, it probably is.
Because no matter what you do, how you try to educate yourself, the articles you write, the art you make, the relationships you nurture-- the most noble thing you can do is strive to keep yourself within the very narrow bounds of our beauty norms. The narrow boundaries than narrow down further all the time.
Y'all. That is sick. Our culture says the greatest thing we can do- especially as women- is to NOT EAT. Come the fuck on!!
I reject this. I reject it hard.
I've been really sick this past month. I'm finally starting to feel a bit better.
People are asking me if I'm ok, am I better, etc. And of course, someone says, "Well, you look like you lost some weight, so that's good, right?"
Because of course. Of course that happened.
So... I was in the hospital for 4 days. I was in horrible pain, dehydrated, had a temp over 102, and was really scared. I was so nauseated that for days, I couldn't eat anything at all. I had to have a semi-permanent IV put into my arm so I could give myself infusions at home. I couldn't shower or dress myself without help. I could barely stand for days.
But I should be grateful. For all that. Because I lost a little weight. Weight that, with my normal eating patterns, will be back with me shortly.
Because anything that makes a fat person thinner, no matter how temporary it is, no matter what the cost-- it's a good thing, right?
I knew this was coming. It's happened to me before.
A few years ago, I was taking a medication that caused me to drop a lot of weight very quickly. It was not fun. The medicine affected my appetite and made it very hard to eat. I felt faint and sick all the time. I had to spend a huge amount of money on clothes. Money I didn't really have.
This was before I discovered fat acceptance. I was just hoping I could keep the weight off forever. I feel a little sad for myself then. It seems pretty obvious now that there was no way this weight loss could be maintained. And even though I was barely eating, I was still only a US size 16. You could see my hip bones, and I was still plus sized.
People kept complimenting me for losing so much weight. As if this made me a more moral person. "What did you do?", they asked me, over and over.
I tried to explain. "I've been sick," I said. "It's the medicine."
"I wish I could be sick too," they would say with a chuckle.
Even then, with my own fucked up weight loss issues still ongoing-- it pissed me off.
I was physically miserable. How dare these people downplay my illness. It happened over and over and over. It made me want to scream.
While this was going on, I witnessed another conversation where someone "complimented" a woman for losing weight. The woman tried to explain that she had been very sick with a gastric illness that would barely let her keep any food down. She sounded exhausted and a little scared.
The response-- *Blink blink* Does not compute. "Well, you look GREAT! Keep it up!"
When you're fat no one listens to you.
When you're fat, your pain means nothing.
When you're fat, you can show up looking like death warmed over, covered in bruises from IVs, and someone will always "compliment" you on losing weight.