Initially I was going to title this “Dear Gustavo,” but dear is usually a term used with a certain sort of care, even if used sarcastically.
I don’t know you. The only reason I can surmise as to why you decided to message me on Facebook would be because I stood up for my friend Michelle Carter in the Facebook comments section of a New Yorker article written about her. She is competing in her third Olympics. We went to school together. She has always been stellar. (Plus, nerd that I am, she has a freakin’ New Yorker article written about her! #Jealous)
I love the Olympics. I love the diversity of bodies represented. I mean, look at these fine folks of Team USA:
Back to you, Gustavo, and how you should fuck yourself.
I do not recall making excuses for being fat. A man in Portugal said:
Speaking as somebody that is overweight, it’s not alternative. It’s unhealthy. It can lead to diabetes, and that’s a complicated can of worms. It can lead to sleep apnea, an then to heart problems . It also screws with your joints and back bone. It’s pathetic that people are trying to present obesity like an alternative body shape, it’s a health hazzard. Curvy bodies are gorgeous , a little beer belly is fine, but after a certain BMI you should be concern and stop lying to yourself. [sic throughout]
In response, I said:
Gustavo – who wasn’t the one who made the original comment, though that guy can fuck himself, too – may have seen what I said. Or maybe he just saw a picture of me. I don’t know.
He felt compelled to message me to tell me to not only shut up, but that I am disgusting.
What an immense sense of entitlement must one have to send such a message to a stranger? Even at my most vitriolic, I have never thought, “You know what, I’m going to send that stranger a message telling them what I really think about them.” Maybe it is because I was taught in Texas to kill with kindness a la “Bless your heart.”
In any case, Gustavo, I am not finding excuses to be fat. I have fat and I am fat.
If anything, I have done one of the most drastic things a person who is fat can do: I had bariatric surgery – a vertical sleeve gastrectomy – in June. My reasons for having surgery are varied and my own. I don’t expect you to care about them. You would likely see them as more excuses from a disgusting person.
I have kept this surgery secret from many of my friends and loved ones. There is still a lot of shame and stigma around surgery. I have worried about alienating myself in the body and embodiment community for sociologists. I worried about hurting people and betraying them by choosing VSG. I don’t want it to be a thing.
I actually wrote the person – my friend – who I was most concerned about hurting. She told me to not dare feel guilty or ashamed for doing this. I cried, Gustavo. Do you know what that’s like? To cry at the receipt of a message of love and affirmation?
Still, Gustavo, you tell me I am making excuses for being fat. Because you don’t care that I am a real person. Hell, I don’t care if you don’t have a lower body with which to fuck yourself, but then again, you have proven yourself to be above such considerations.
I’m guessing that you are meaning that my being fat is disgusting, not so much that my speaking my mind is disgusting. Or perhaps you find it particularly egregious when a fat woman speaks her mind about fatness (if indeed that is what caused your indignation).
I don’t find fat disgusting. I strive to love my body everyday and take advantage of all the things it can do – breathe in air, carry me from place to place, feel cool breeze, sweat in the heat, determine different textures under my feet, maintain homeostasis in general. I am grateful for my fat stores as they help me to survive right now as my stomach heals and I subsist on fewer than a thousand calories a day. I am scared about how I will handle the future when I won’t have a “protective” layer of fat that renders me largely invisible in terms of receiving catcalls and other lecherous male behavior.
I suppose, then, I should count it as a sort of relief that such men of your ilk still find me fat enough to be disgusting. Joy!
Go fuck yourself, Gustavo. I hope your dick falls off and that you get “It’s A Small World” stuck in your head in perpetuity.
Note to non-Gustavos:
For those who want to know my journey, you can look under the Evolving Stardust menu on my blog. The password is 61416 – my surgery date. I explain my reasoning and thought process.