Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This post is so FAT, it's HILARIOUS.

 I Recently came across Haley Morris-Cafiero's Project "Wait Watchers". I find it intriguing and it gave me a lot to think about.

Sure, the people who are staring at her in these pictures might just be looking at her in a weird way because she stopped in the middle of a busy street to whip out her map or started digging through her purse on the sidewalk, if anyone did these things, they would get strange looks, sure, I get it. But there are some photos which clearly show people laughing at her while she is sitting in a place where everyone else is also sitting or quickly stopped to take a photo of something.

Like this guy and girl here, aiming to take a photo of her.

Or these girls finding it very funny that she is taking a photograph, and checking her lense.

Now, people might say, "Oh, they seem to be laughing at how she looks, messy hair, clothes etc..." Okay, well let's look and see here... The first girl seems to be wearing PJ pants, and her hair seems to just be held back by a hair band and a little wavy and messy, while Ms. Caifero is wearing a T-shirt and Shorts and her hair wavy and short.  So, it's cute if thin girls are wearing PJ pants or jogging pants with messy hair but it's absolutely absured if a large woman shows her arms and legs in a T-shirt and shorts? Fat women must always be completely well dressed and tidy to keep from being gawked at?...Goodness me, what would have happened if she actually did go out in jogging pants...Complete and utter chaotic disbelief, I'm sure.

Now this really pissed me off because I never actually understood WHY it is so funny to be fat. Seeing these people gawk and laugh at her for doing absolutely nothing except just sitting or standing there, is repulsive. Where is the comedy behind this? It bothers me because I, like many other people who are overweight have been the target of other peoples amusement solely for being overweight, which needless to say is extremely rude and insulting.

Let me give you an example.  A few years ago I was at a party with a then guy friend of mine, it was a party with mostly his friends and the only other person I knew left early.  So after a few hours of dancing and drinking, my friend got pretty trashed and fell asleep on a couch. Him being the only person I knew there and me still having a full drink to finish up and being some what of an introvert, forced me to just sit on the couch next to him while sipping on my drink and looking around at everyone enjoying themselves. A few moments later one of his thin and attractive girl friends comes over and starts shaking him awake and laughing while saying "hey! why are you sleeping? she's clearly attractive! HA HA HA!" and walks away laughing. Of course she was being sarcastic about the attractive part.  She didn't even care that I was sitting right there and could hear her...My friend just kind of waved her off and mumbled something while half awake before falling asleep again...but I just sat there, I had no idea what to do..Why did she think it was so funny to ASUME that anyone could find me attractive? "wow, he must be sleeping because she is completely disgusting and there is no reason to socialize with a fat girl" seemed to have been the only explanation for her.  In a mild state of shock I proceeded to finish my drink and leave the party, feeling completely ashamed and insulted.  Unfortunately, this is not the only example, it's just one that really stuck with me throughout the years because I did have the hots for that guy at the time, and it just crushed me to be completely stripped of my confidence, right then and there.

Fast forward a few years aaaaaand I moved on to be a fat activist. However, I still don't know why it is funny to be fat? How does this translate to comedy? is it just as simiple as "haha that lady is fat" and that's the end of it? because that is extremely unintelligent of most people, surely most people are not that stupid? There must be a more complex process of thought behind this.... Why is it so hilarious and satisfyingly funny to laugh at someone for having different body proportions than the "average joe" not caring if their feelings are hurt, because they're fat, they don't have feelings, so screw em, right?

It baffles me. Which is why I absolutely love this project that Haley Morris-Cafiero is working on and I can't wait to see where it goes! Thank you Hailey Morris-Cafiero for sticking up for us and showing the rudness and stupidity of these individuals to the rest of the world, because like the background in the first picture says "Anonymity isn't for everyone." We have a right to feel beautiful and confident no matter how fat we are.

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Over and out,


Anne-Caroline Cosendai said...

Kind of stand up go to that thin laidy (mistake is on purpose) and laugh at her because she is thin ? and because she is so self in confident that she need to laugh at other ?
Move on, let's be proud of what we are, trough size and shape...

Cassykins said...

I do enjoy how in the last picture you posted, everyone BUT the laughing one seems to know they're being watched. I hope that woman feels like a jerk now.

Scrapyard Butterfly said...

These pictures are amazing in that they capture the sheer ugliness of the rude people.

Honeysuckelle said...

Ugh, I pretty much can't stand to witness anything that is hateful or cruel directed at another person, especially a total stranger just going about their lives not bothering anyone. I'm definitely far from perfect but I try extremely hard not to ever be cruel to people even when I'm angry or the person has done something bad to me. I've always tried to live by the philosophy of treating people the way I want to be treated and I know for a fact that if the people laughing at the woman in this picture had someone treat them that way they would not enjoy it at all. I'm so sorry to hear about that incident that happened to you at a party, I've had similar things happen to me and no matter what you do having someone be that rude to you sticks in your memory, I personally don't understand it because I think you are gorgeous both physically and other wise so clearly that girl was/is mistaken! I also hate that "fat" translates to "unattractive" to some people, I've met and know so many extremely attractive people who aren't tiny. I wish we could see more positive portrayals of larger people because so much of the media/tv/movie make the larger people out to be a joke and it just perpetuates this cycle of treating another human being as if they are less than their thinner counterparts. This was a great post m'dear, thanks for sharing it.


Bad Taste Toast said...

Oh my God really? This party story pisses me off... I don't get why there have to be people like this? I suppose it's society and media again. okay it's always easy to blame it on them, but its true. Skinny bitchy girls are skiny and bitchy because their whole environment, TV, shops, restaurants, whatever else suggest them "Thin is good, fat is evil."
However the fact they actually mock not-skinny people based on this wrong given ideal simply shows their bad character :-/ It's one thing if I believe "thin is good" but it's another thing when I walk around and insult everyone who doesn't fit into my world view. So unnecessary.

Some people need a high five... in their face... with a chair!

P.S. Haha mir fällt grad erst auf dass ich das ja alles in Englisch getippt habe xD Macht der Gewohnheit ;)

Sleepydumpling said...

One of the things I believe is the most stigmatising and harmful towards fat people is the CONSTANT denial/dismissal of our experiences. People will turn themselves in knots trying to find ways to deny and dismiss the very real experiences we have. I think this is because they subconsciously KNOW it's wrong and don't want to face up to the fact that massive injustices are happening right under their noses. Or they realise that they do it themselves and don't want to be held accountable for their actions.

Not to mention the fact that as you rightly point out, fat women are held to an entirely different standard to everyone else - in dress, behaviour, ability, health, food... everything.

fluff and fripperies said...

I find it hard to believe that there are people like that out there, who would laugh at someone for being overweight. It makes me really sad. And as I am not the thinnest person myself, it makes me more than a little paranoid too.

Michelle Jadaa said...

Im sickened by this.I feel human kind is going backwards instead of forwards.Like animals they turn on those they feel are weaker or alone.Its just plain sickening.

Ira Kharchenko said...

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Maxens M. Finch said...

I think they laugh because they want the other person to feel bad and inferior, not because they find their body funny. They just pretend it's so hilariously ridiculous and funny.
I guess if you turned around and talked to them asking what is funny, either they'd say some bullshit about how you'd be more attractive were you thinner or they'll realize how they were the ridiculous ones. That or, they'll start talking about how you'd be more attractive and their friends would realize, which would be kind of satisfying because (I guess) when someone is policing your body with their friends, they mostly "perform" body policing for their friends, so their group is "up" and you're "down". Though, mainly they're just regurgiting years of social conditioning about fatness.
Also, I don't know how someone can not find you adorable. Not that you should care for my opinion on your looks, I just saw your pictures with the party part in mind, so it seemed relevant.

Maxens M. Finch said...

I need to add: they might be regurgiting years of social conditioning, I still feel a lot of it is pretending and performing. They laugh, because "everybody knows" fat is unattractive, etc. And somehow, they need to show that they know too and to somehow "scold" the non-average person, who doesn't fit the norm. IT MAKES SENSE IN MY HEAD, I SWEAR!

Inês de Castro said...

I love it, can you take a look at my blog and maybe follow me? i follow back everyone.
and here's my page on facebook (about fashion and more):
Would mean a lot if you like it!! i can like your page back or follow you on instagram if you have.

Tovah11 said...

I'll be the first to admit that I tend to be in my own world alot of the time and I don't notice those around me.

I remember, however, eating in a cafe on Michigan Avenue in Chicago one day and the chairs were really high and I'm really short so it's just easier to sit with my legs in a sort of lotus position.

I just happened to turn around and I saw a whole table of young women and men clearly looking and laughing at me. I mean, how dare I, a fat woman, sit in such a position? Such nerve!

Why would that be soooo funny to them? Because they're shallow. It's easier to make fun of somebody than to come up with interesting conversation on your own. It's the trashy equivalent of communication.

Jul said...

Ms. Caifero's work is truly interesting. Myself being even slightly overweight my whole life I can understand what you mean; it happened to me lots of times, and I'm not only speaking of people laughing at me or making jokes about me but also cruel things like the one that happened to you. I clearly remember my best friend in middle school telling me that boys didn't like me because I was fat. Needless to say, I was shocked. I could only imagine how you felt.

Heather said...

What a great post! You write very well. I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts I have a acquaintance on facebook who seems to think it is funny to take pictures of people who are over weight and pick on them. Which I could never understand because she is over weight and struggles with it. So it must somehow come from the pain of her struggle. I find it really hard to understand the faces and the joking in the pictures. I am so glad you wrote a post on this and shared. But how horrific you went through your own story of this happening to you I was very sorry to hear this. ~Heather