In my opinion, the discussion about weight in our community is always a few ways sided and a couple of ways wrong. The ease in which people separate weight from womxn is so strange, and has honestly required me to step outside of myself to determine if I am guilty of reducing a full person to a fractional fetish as well.
The comments about the “confidence” that fat womxn possess as if it is not a natural right to be proud of who you are, are always the ones that stick out to me the most. Society as a whole not being able to fathom the idea that fat does not innately carry shame has created a fat phobic echo chamber that settles on “health” being the reason for such wounded language. We have become lazy in the way we love, wanting to be acceptable for everyone from all angles. The tiny choices we make when it comes to the language we use or the strangers we engage with–they matter and they then become requirements and preferences.
There is no set-in stone road map for how to love a fat womxn, but there are sure fire ways on how not to, and I see examples of it, often. As their partners, we tend to look for credit where we don’t deserve. Our partners being fat does not make us or our bodies any more socially acceptable, we do not deserve cool points nor is there a requirement of reciprocation. Believing in the ideology that you are going against the grain because you are dating a larger womxn slowly nullifies the point of the partnership in the first place. It takes away from their struggles and cast you in the same ship as those who can harm them the most.
I do not want to have a hand in creating a world where my partner feels alone in any aspect of her daily life, and that includes how she feels about her body and her weight. The standards that we require fat womxn to meet just to exist is maddening for me, I cannot even begin to imagine it firsthand.
However, it is not lost on me that society is beginning to see her and not her weight. She is becoming visible to people that would normally ignore her, which she is navigating it with the utmost grace. She loved and currently does love her body, it is all things womxn and I truly enjoy being able to witness her falling in love with herself over and over again.
But to ensure that I am as present as possible, there was a conversation that needed to be started. I needed to hear from her about how this world sees or doesn’t see her, as well as, how this world treats her, especially when she is not with me.
Asking my partner to let me in on what life is like for fat women in this country was not a hard conversation to start, I just was not prepared for the answers at all. The word “invisible” stuck out to me so much during our conversation because, how? How do you restrict your sight to eliminate the things you don’t find pleasing to your eyes? How can you refuse help to someone you see struggling, living, breathing, simply due to your own deeply rooted fat phobia? I did my very best to remain present during the conversation and to not allow my own confusion to overshadow her experiences and her truth. Who am I to say, “Are you sure?” or “maybe it wasn’t because of your weight?” I have no dog in this fight but as a partner, I am tasked with making sure K has the best of everything this life has to offer. I am here next to her with reason, there are no question about if I will fight, it is who and how many of you? But then does that make this about me? Do I take the focus off of the issue because I have puffed my chest out to defend her at every turn? I’m not sure…I go back and forth with this at times but my baby is solid, and she is cornerstone…not easily moved by the opinions of others and always prepared to confront fat phobia head on.
I also remind myself that this is a constant journey for her that will never end. My job is to keep her out of her way, hold her accountable and love each and every form she presents me with. There are days when maintenance isn’t easy but we get through them together. We talk about her feelings and her needs. It is not a taboo subject with us–its life for us. We know that this will not end next week, next month or even we she reaches her goal weight and that’s okay…she’s got this, I got her, we got this.
Written by: Ebonee E. (@ohitsebb)