Monday, January 7, 2019

How NOT to Win Friends and Influence People - Part 2

I woke up Sunday morning to a flurry of hits on a blog post from nearly three years ago. A bit of investigation revealed the source. I'll admit I thought about ignoring the issue; I simply have too much work to do.

But the words of romance cover model Jimmy Thomas stuck under my skin.

I've always had an issue with my weight. When I was a teen, I was chubby even though I could and did throw around 50-pound hay bales on the farm. I was mocked by classmates and family for my size.

It was bad enough I pretty much stopped eating and was on the edge of full-blown anorexia my freshman year in high school. I got sick around Christmas, damn sick because I wasn't eating. What pulled me back from the edge? The stubborn part of me that decided I wasn't going to die for these mother fuckers.

Forty years later, I see Jimmy Thomas's post on Facebook, and I want to cry. Not for myself, but for the readers and writers and cover artists who've been fat-shamed all their lives by asshats for not fitting into the asshats' preconceived notions of what a person should look like.

But hey, since I don't fit Mr. Thomas's notion of what a person should look like, then he doesn't need to be gracing any of Alter Ego's book covers anymore either. I'm moving the cover re-dos to number #2 on my priority list. And I'm going to put food on some of those damn covers.

Because right now, fifteen-year-old me is flipping off Mr. Thomas with one hand while eating an ice cream cone with the other.


  1. [sigh]

    I answered a question on Quora just... earlier today? I don't even remember, but it was about whether fat shaming was "cultural." o_O My answer, distilled down, was 1) yes, and 2) it still sucks.

    If someone wants to lose some fat, I'm happy to give all the advice and encouragement they can stand. (Unlike a fat friend of mine years back, who tried to shame me for wanting to lose weight, telling me I didn't really think I was too fat, that I'd been brainwashed by a fat-phobic culture to think so, but I didn't really know my own mind, that they knew what I really thought better than I did. Wow, thanks for completely removing my agency on the subject, and also, fuck you.)

    But trying to make someone feel like crap for how they are isn't helping, and anyone who says they're "just trying to help" (which I've also seen, over and over) is either fooling themselves or blatantly concern trolling. :/

    Good grief....


    1. My issue is--are you healthy? That's the only requisite I care about.

      Too little body fat can be as unhealthy as too much. And none us will EVER look exactly the same.

    2. Sure, there are people who are visibly fat, but whose medical stats are perfectly normal. [nod]

      And there are some things you just can't do if you're too fat. That's a great reason to make a change, and was a major factor in sticking with my own diet/exercise.

      And then there's the fact that far too many people in our culture look at someone (especially a woman) who's perfectly normal in build and thing, "Fat!" Marilyn Monroe was a major sex bomb of her era, but if she were a young actress looking for work in 2019, she'd never make it past toilet cleaner commercials because of her butt and thighs. Which is ridiculous, but the current standards in popular society and particularly the media are ridiculous. The idea that anyone who doesn't have visible ribs is "fat" is ludicrous, and that driver behind a lot of horribly unhealthy behavior. [sigh]

      Idiots. It really comes down to idiots. :/