As I have commented on Mrs L's most excellent blog (http://thelardarms.typepad.com/the_lard_arms/), I'm re-reading The Perfect 10 by Louise Kean. It's chick-lit but it's fascinating because it's about a girl who has lost 8st (or thereabouts) and how the world treats her differently. It's clearly semi-autobiographical as the author went from a size 24 to a 12 in a year (mostly through exercise as far as I can work out). Now (very) clearly I'm nowhere near at the slim end of my journey but I can identify with the mixture of hostility and contempt that Sunny (the heroine) refers to in her 'fat life' - and the fact that as she says, (and annoyingly I can't find the bit to quote from) that she suddenly becomes visible when slim, despite taking up half the space she did when fat (and seemingly invisible). She talks about strangers hissing insults at her ("fat bitch"). I wouldn't be surprised if every person on LL has experienced some of that malice. And then it sounds like people are also experiencing another sort of hostility from 'friends' who clearly have alot invested in them being overweight and can't help a few bitchy comments and snide digs. Why do we work so hard to make other people feel bad? Does that make anyone feel good? It shouldn't. When my friend lost weight on the divorce diet, despite the fact that it made me feel uncomfortable about my own weight problem, I congratulated her, complimented her and buried my jealousy really deep inside so that it never made her suffer. God knows I'm no paragon but surely you'd be pleased for your friends' triumphs? Surely you wouldn't try and boost your own self-esteem at the expense of another's?
A few weeks ago there was some spurious medical research widely publicised in the media, saying you should avoid having overweight friends as it somehow 'rubbed off'. What rubbish. And what nasty, malicious, narrow-mindedness. Fat-bashing seems to be one of the few prejudices that's still socially acceptable (apart from ginger-bashing - and yes, I am a redhead too!). You'd never say to someone that you weren't prepared to be their friend because they were too poor, too badly dressed or from the wrong social/ethinic background to be aspirational for you.
And some poor girl on Minis was actually told by a so-called friend in an oh-so-humourous way that she couldn't be her friend any more as she didn't want to get fat too, referring to these reports.
I think - like any prejudice - that it's all about fear. Almost every person has the capacity to be fat and they know it. But you don't catch it like herpes, people. Perhaps people should put their effort into being the best person they can be (on the INSIDE too - we're so obsessed with appearances over everything else) and not looking to criticise others.
Okay, that turned into a rant and now I need to go and calm down lest I do some rude person an injury on the rush-hour tube! See you all on Monday (I'm having a fun-packed day cleaning the flat tomorrow!).