Once I rendered the word “fat” useless as an insult, it became much easier not to take shit like that seriously. When you break it down those words are meaningless, they really are. They come from a place of hate that is misguided, grounded in ideals that are hell-bent on shaming fat bodies at any cost. By hurling those words at you, that person expects a certain reaction. Don’t give them the satisfaction of affirming their thoughts that your body is something to be ashamed of because it is absolutely not and I hope you know that.
I’ve been there. When I was 13, simply taking a walk around my neighborhood, a group of older kids taunted me as I walked past. When I didn’t look at them, acknowledge, or smile at their jeers, they yelled something along the lines of “god, you’re fat. are you a man?” at my back as I walked away. It took me a long while to shake it off. I just kept walking and continued to ponder comebacks for the rest of the night that would never happen.
On a more personal level, an ex of mine used to call me either “curvy and beautiful” or a “fat bitch” depending on the context of the situation and whether or not he was pissed at me for one reason or another. But I accepted it, because I was taught to believe that as a fat girl, I should accept any attention that comes my way and be grateful for it. What I AM grateful for is coming to my senses after less than a year into our relationship when he cheated on me.
ANYWAY. Today, if someone yelled “fat cow” at me whilst shuffling around Walmart (I tend to walk with my head down and make direct eye contact with no one because shopping is the worst), I’d probably be briefly perplexed that anyone cared enough to focus on me at all, let alone direct words at me. Then I’d probably say something awkward in agreement and moo at them? I don’t know.
I like the idea of maybe yelling “YEAH I’M A FAT COW, MILK THIS MOTHERFUCKER!” and flash my glorious belly whilst brandishing middle fingers but who knows what would really go down. All I know is I don’t do well with cleverness under pressure and seldom avoid the opportunity to be vulgar.