Just because I wear my shortcomings on the outside

This fleshy fat suit is so heavy, but it protects me.
It has always kept me safe from unwanted advances, and violence if I were to reject them.
It keeps me from scrutiny, people trust me because I look comforting; other women sit next to me to feel safe from the things I’m not subjected to, because I am cloaked in my fat suit.
This suit has left me out of much of the spiteful competition women use against each other.
It has made me seem more motherly, more warm, more responsible, more mature.

My size lets me look just like my mama.
Being big gives me license to be loud and clear when a smaller woman would speak in fear.

Living in rejection is normal for fat kids like me.
I was over weight before I was 10, so I don’t exactly remember being thin.
My family would infrequently and gently encourage me to eat a little less, but never really encouraged me to exercise more, nor did they join me in much activity.
They sure did show concern, in their way, but they also weren’t overly biased against it.

Being fat ain’t for sissies.
Whether you’ve always been this way or just ended up like this, being fat is fraught with trouble.
Kids can be cruel, it’s been said, as if somehow that’s were it ends.

But no one acknowledges what they did to my head.
They get inside and roam around, curl up at night, at home with my frown.

I can’t let it go because it’s still part of me.
The fat has not simply melted away.
I’ve only made dents in this can as of yet.

And I know in my mind that they’re not right, because you can’t judge a man by his jacket.
The fat suit I wear may not be cloth, but it hangs on me like a cheap garment.
I get that people can be curious, and I’m good with answering questions.
What I cannot stand is being treated as less than for being who I am.

Of all the things for someone to fall short in,
I would think that physical appearance
Would be a lower priority.
Plenty of folks have shortcomings, I’d bet quite a lot on that.

That fact that my fat is on the outside,
Makes my life and my privacy no different.
Not that I would, since I know what it’s like…
But I don’t get to judge your hoarding, gambling, voyeurism, or animal porn thing…

So it never fails, I get to that place
Where I just have to laugh.
If this is the worst transgression I’ve made,
That I’m overweight and
It may in some way affect my health someday,
Well alright, so be it.

It still hurts every time – though they are judging a laughable circumstance –
And try though I might I can’t seem to get inside the idea that it doesn’t matter.
Maybe it’s the delivery,
So full of scorn
That sometimes it’s downright scary.
The pity’s the worst though, hands down, far and away,
Like it’s some kind of waste of their time.
The jokesters are sometimes a comic relief,
When I can get a quip back in time to join ’em.

I’ve had plenty of practice in my day,
And then some.

As I grew and the world did too, I began to hear it a little less.
I got lulled into complacency, content in my environment.
I walked down the street on a warm spring day,
Enjoying every moment.

I thought to myself it’s been a long time since anyone hollered “Jenny Craig” at me.
Within weeks I had not only that pleasure, but a bus altercation to boot.
It wouldn’t be so bad, aside from the hit to my ego, if it weren’t for one big thing.
It’s done with an attitude of superiority, and it’s not just demeaning, it’s dehumanizing.

But I wear it well.
I joke about how this kale salad tastes a lot like I’d rather be fat.
And I’m a big girl, so I look out for collisions,
Which is why I don’t appreciate the office clown flattening himself against the wall like I’m a freight train rolling by.
I cover myself on the beach for your protection.
And I ALWAYS look forward to whale jokes.

The world of shallow popularity gets many prizes.
It’s a bittersweet victory knowing their friends are rarely or never there for them.
The young will grow old, what is new will be worn,
If we are lucky we’ll all be reborn.



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