The Audacity of Fat

based-on-true-story

The Audacity of Fat…
Leaving their homes wearing clothes that are too small and atrocious to not laugh at, too alarming to not whisper about, too funny to not click-share-shame. Thinking they can squeeze into the empty subway seat reserved for the slender, sandwiched between two “innocent” people. Assuming they won’t be noticed sliding into the workshop a few minutes late while they pinball their way to the single vacancy in the middle of the room. Eyed by airline passengers who are hoping, praying they won’t fall victim to the hefty middle-seater. Responsible for increasing insurance rates and taking beds in hospitals because they are too lazy to do the world a favor and lose weight or just stay at home. Knowing they are being judged, ridiculed, leveraged for entertainment purposes only, yet remain big on and in their body.

The Audacity of Fat…
Refusing the side of ketchup with fries at daycare because they are on a diet at age 3. Working out with the moms, when the friends are out buying tween heartthrob posters and exchanging clothes at age 11. Weighed down not by the heavy backpack of books but from carrying objects and words of hurt that are thrown at them from passing cars on the way home from elementary school. Taking the career leftovers when the jobs in fashion and beauty are befitted for those with better measurements. Scared of bullies disguised as classmates, teachers, bosses, shop attendants and relatives. Such-a-pretty-faces that try to exercise grace and humility while listening to the broken record of a backhanded compliment. Obligated to be the nicest, funniest, smartest and most ambitious to compensate for taking up too much space in the wrong category: humanity. Portions, pills and exercise drills in the name of acceptance—at the cost of anxiety and depression.

The Audacity of Fat…
Living to fit in…to their clothes, communities, workplaces, families and friends. Trying to fit into their own genes, dying to belong, to be loved, to be whole in spite of being told it will come a few less pounds from now. Untying the knot in their stomach that’s been tightening since they were told as teens half a lifetime ago that not everyone is marriage material. Asking to be paid fairly for performance not for pounds. Saying size-based acts of hate are a form of social terrorism. Daring to suggest shame on those who make it unsafe to walk around wielding their fancy zooms, megapixels and hashtags, blind to the world where the surveillance used for protection is also used for exploitation. Exercising the courage to remind oppressors that they work, live and play where someone (else) is always waiting and watching, watching and waiting for them to screw up. Disturbing those whose agenda involves aesthetic cleansing. Calling out digital dictators repeating history with atrocities that seek to create a race of people who look more alike than different.

The Audacity of Fat…
Ripping off my Band-Aid, which hides an invisible scar that reads, “no hustle ever seems to be enough unless it’s about being less instead of more of a person.” Telling my story, my truth, not for the sympathy of some, but for the empowerment of many who may choose life instead of a knife to cut their risk of simply being alive.

This… is the audacity of that.

 

Guest post by Salima Nathoo

SalimaNathoo

Salima shakes it up with workplace learning, leadership and Social Media for HR. She’s a speaker, entrepreneur, start-up enthusiast and has had the opportunity to do some amazing things in her career with more on the horizon. What’s missing is experiencing all of this with the joy of being comfortable in her own skin. Salima’s always felt forced into a slim, linear path dictated by a societal-voice that constantly whispered, “you’re not good enough”. Naturally, she’s never done well trying to squeeze into anything small, especially narrow minds. With her alter-awesome PotentialistaTM (fashion meets human potential) and the mantra Fabulous Has No FearTM, Salima is stepping into her truth and making her debut in the world of plus-size beauty with fierce curiosity.

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