Tell Me I'm Fat | This American Life
The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show inspired by Lindy West’s book Shrill.
I’m not done listening to this podcast yet. I have to take this episode like I took 2 Girls 1 Cup. I have to stop when it gets too much, I have to start it again when I’ve recovered enough. Not finishing is not an option because what’s in front of me is so horrifying I can’t look away.
I am the type of person who clicks on videos that feature someone dying. I’ve seen men cut off their own testicles and shaft, watched a man put a glass jar in his asshole that then broke, showering the floor beneath him with blood and glass shards. I’ve seen two women shitting into a cup and then eating that shit with their mouths.
I can’t look away from horror. I’ve been obsessed with horror for as long as I can remember. My most vivid memory from age four is watching The Exorcist with my grandmother, who loves horror movies more than me and would have loved the same disgusting videos on the Internet had she been born at the same time as me and not been so Catholic.
This episode horrifies me. I cried listening Elna Baker describing her realization that her husband would have never dated her when she was fat. He admitted it. If he didn’t, he’d be an asshole. If a fat person loses weight and falls in love, they have to forever reconcile with the fact that they are loved by the love of their life because their body is thin. Their body is better. Their body deserves the love.
Men who date me must like fat women. They say big girls. Or curvy. They like fat women. Some people call it a fat fetish, because liking fat women should be viewed as something fringe and a little funny, like a foot fetish or latex fetish.
I’ve just reached Roxane Gay’s segment, but it seems like no one is talking about food addiction, which is disappointing. Food addiction is real, it’s proven, it’s science, but you can’t say it out loud because even the people who know it’s scientifically proven cannot help but scoff and think, “yeah, but it’s not heroin. There are people who can kick heroin, why can’t you quit food?”
You can’t quit food. Take your addiction and do it moderately, three medium or five small times a day.
I’m off the rails.
More people will roll their eyes at the dramatics of this post than understand it. They’ll read everything and still think but Caragh, just quit overeating. That’s all you have to do.
This podcast is horrifying. You should really listen to it.