Last Sunday, at a storytelling event in Detroit — The Speakeasy, I shared a story about the time a man told me he couldn’t date me (after months of dating me) because I was too fat. People came up to me after and expressed shock and sadness. My reaction last week was mostly *shrug*. Likely because I lived long enough to understand how we place failure and fear on to bigger bodies. This is especially true for women.
This week I watched the Internet blame a woman for her husbands’ infidelity. The reason she deserved this treatment? She got fat when she was once something other than that. Even those that defended her were quick to say, “but she’s sick.” While this is true, we still needed to create an excuse for her fat body and why it existed. Furthermore, why would she allow it to exists?
So last week, when people verbalized their bewilderment about my story, I maintained that nothing was shocking about it. Hurtful? Yes. Humiliating? Sure. Dumb as hell because I’m the shit? Well, of course. However, it happens all the time.
I have lived in a few versions of this body. Some I’ve enjoyed more than others. Some I will visit again. Every single version of my body deserves love, respect, joy, and the decency of strangers not to ridicule it for being.
We certainly all have preferences. Things that make our hearts beat faster and our mouths water. I LOVE men with connecting beards. I’ve dated two men who couldn’t get a beard to connect if you paid them in beard hair. More than their beards I liked them. Their inside. The internal place where you find out if a person is kind, respectful, and brings joy more often to your space than misery. I also, in one case, fell in love with the face as it was. Scruffy hair and all.
While we should all focus on being kind to our human form, giving it a fighting chance, it is fleeting. The soul, however, ain’t going nowhere. Let’s focus more on giving it a fighting chance.