Such a Nice Face: Too bad about the rest of you

Today while I was volunteering at an elementary school as Book Club discussion leader, a fourth grade boy informed me, that the character Stanley Yelnats in the amazing novel Holes is a ‘bad’ character and has ‘no friends’ simply because Stanley is  ‘fat’. Please let that sink in. Kid got a lesson of a lecture he never saw coming on why no to equate a person’s character with how they look.

I’m not a skinny person, I will never be a skinny hip bones sticking out person and I’m sick of people assuming all I do is eat all day long. And even if I did, why should that make me lesser than a skinny hip bone person?

Love yourself. Is it really as simple as that? In this era even a fat angel will be considered an overweight, out of control slob and the skinniest of devils a veritable angel. It’s so not fair to have our morals equated with the girth of our waists, but the hard fact is being fat apparently makes us ‘not good’.  And calling fat or overweight adults or kids names– Fatty, Blubber, Fatso, Ladoo, Aloo, Gol Gappa, Gaanda, Hippo– is considered no big deal.

Before I get clobbered by skinny people who say they have it just as bad if not worse– I’m sorry but having been both fat and thin at various times in my life (that is fat for most of my life with the occasional thin), in my experience being fat is always a case of ‘such a nice face, too bad about the rest of you’ by which they mean I’m not think enough to fit society’s parameters for good-looking-thin.

In our world you can never be too skinny and so if people call you names for being thin, there’s probably some jealousy involved. Have you ever seen a fat person eating cake, laughing, having a good time, only to think: should they be eating that? Skinniness just doesn’t carry the same judgment call.

Moreover the over-reaching social mantra is that losing weight and being thin will solve all your problems as well as the problems of the world. Not so (as skinny people well know). But fat people are duped into believing their only impediment to happiness is their fat.  You can lose the weight and still not be happy as Jen Larson also found out.

The absolute worst thing is watching your child grow up fat or overweight  and trying to teach her/him to love themselves and be strong no matter what ‘names’ they are called by other kids, or what ‘nice, considerate’ grown-ups have the audacity to say:  now should you really be eating that slice of cake? Even as they encourage the skinny child to have another big, fat slice.
FYI cake is not nutritious and therefore not good for the fat or the skinny.