March 13, 2014
Apparently skinny women find that having a Fat friend can be a real bore, well that’s according to an article in The Mail newspaper today…whatever next? And who the hell are Angela and Bernadette anyway?
According to this article having a Fat friend can be real hard work, what with having to tip toe around for fear of offending, avoiding the literal elephant in the room, having to watch what you order when eating out (salad yes, burgers and ice-cream don’t even think about it) and of course the pressure of saying “no you don’t look fat” when of course they do!!
The Telegraph today run an article saying that having a Fat friend can actually go as far as ruining your own body image if you are a “normal” size. Research into female relationships by a Canadian university found links between a woman’s perceived weight and body confidence, and that of her closest friends. People with friends who persistently complained about being fat, losing weight and taking exercise were more likely to report feeling badly about themselves.
What is it with all the media interest in FATNESS of late?
It has made me sit back and wonder if that is how my friends see me?? Especially now that I write so often on the issue of FAT and tell them occasionally about whats going on in the world of my blog!!
When I really think back over what I like to call my “really big years” I like to think that my fatness has not had much of a baring on my female friendships and I sure as hell haven’t surrounded myself with friends of a certain size, shape or fitness level to make myself feel better about myself, or to encourage me to work towards a more perfect me, like these articles suggest.
My closest friends…who I like to refer to as The Lads have never made me feel that my weight is of any consequence in our friendship. They have never once suggested I go on a diet, nor have they told me not to bother “we love you as you are” which I know people can do too through a sense of obligation.
The three of us could not be any different when it comes to body type. One tall and large, one short and curvaceous and the other petite and athletic (she’ll hate me for that). But that’s the point. I never really have to think about my friends bodies, its their personalities, their company, their friendship that I am most interested in. It’s the jokes we have shared, the scrapes we have got into and the fact that we are there for each other no matter what life throws at us.
I have 3 slim sisters too and the same applies.
None of my sisters have ever been FAT themselves (apart from in pregnancy I suppose), but they each have their own body confidence issues I am sure. They have never pulled me aside and said “Come on Ju sort it out” or made me feel inadequate as a result of my weight, and neither have they caught the FAT bug from me….cos it is catching you know!!!
In 2007, a study of more than 12,000 people by the Harvard Medical School and the University of California found those with obese friends or siblings were at a greater risk of becoming overweight, and this is not just a problem for our American friends as us Brits like to sometimes think.
Since 1993, the numbers of morbidly obese adults in Britain has tripled from about 450,000 to 1.4 million, according to the National Obesity Observatory. 1.4 million FAT people hey? So where the hell are they all these morbidly obese people, cos they sure as hell aren’t represented in our media, well not in a positive light anyway and the mainstream sports and health programmes that I can see out there are certainly not catering for them in my opinion.
So what is the solution I hear you ask? Force FAT people to stay away from the general public incase “normal” people befriend them and join in with their wicked ways? Or maybe share the Fatties out equally amongst groups of slim women in the hope that the shame of being the FAT one in the group will be enough to change them?
I think it is a real shame that when statistics and research on the effects of obesity comes out into the public domain, the media turn it into grotesque articles like these which do not talk about solutions or ways forward, or the role that the media itself is playing in making women feel so crap about themselves but instead just try to cause controversy and make Fat people feel even more inadequate. The article in the Mail is just giving another bitchy woman (a la Katie Hopkins) the platform to Fat shame her friend, why would she want to do this? Why did her friend let her? And why would the paper think this was newsworthy?
The bottom line is I have friends of all shapes and sizes, most of them smaller than me but some of them larger… but is that at all relevant? Do I feel the need to tip toe around their body issues? No. Do I preach to them about weightloss or running even? No. I can normally gage whether discussing body issues is a worthwhile topic of conversation or not with my mates. Normally it is not. Cos generally speaking when I am with my friends we talk about all sorts of other interesting issues, and are far too busy enjoying each others company and doing fun things like drinking and eating cake!!
I don’t know, maybe I am missing the point. Maybe my friends ARE indeed sick and tired of reading my blog posts about my FATNESS, or listening to me go on about my weightloss or my recent half marathon time (2.39 in case you were wondering) and just too scared to mention it.
So come on peeps. Do you have FAT friends or are you the FAT one in your group. Is it an issue? Do you have to tiptoe around? or do you feel like people tiptoe around you.
And most importantly Is FATNESS catching?
* the picture for this post is Circa 2007 at Notting Hill Carnival, when me and the Lads (oh and Jenny with the F from Manchester) commandeered a few coppers!!