Hey, man! You’re FAT!
There’s been a lot of talk regarding a certain video put out by a certain “YouTube Star” (whatever the hell that really is) who fancies herself a “comedienne” (not sure she understands the meaning of the word there) wherein she just rants about fat people. I’m not going to name her or give the link to her video because I don’t believe she deserves the attention or any sort of warped ‘recognition’ for her BS. However, if you know who I’m talking about and you:
1- Agree with her—kindly keep reading this post
2- Think she’s a bitch–you can click out, no need for you to be here, we’re on the same page
If you don’t know who I’m talking about:
Google it yourself and come back or not according to your preference regarding numbers 1 and 2 above.
“Shaming” in general is a real thing, especially with the advent of the Internet, please don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. It’s a lot like bullying, in fact it’s about the same damn thing perpetrated by the same type of individual (those already suffering from low self-esteem but are afraid to admit it) but it’s usually directed at one type of another individual…any type really…doesn’t matter. In this case we’re talking about Fat People and one person in particular who was kind enough to give me permission to discuss his story here. This is not a story I heard about, this is a story near and dear to my heart as it’s about my brother in-law of 30 years. Believe he’s not the smallest man you’ve ever met but he is one of the nicest to ever walk the planet. He’s kind. He’s funny. He’s just sympathetic but empathetic to the needs of others. Yet people find fully justified to judge him on his weight without ever even knowing his name.
It’s Fred, btw.
Read the title of this blog and then imagine yourself out and about doing your everyday thing going along your merry little way and then suddenly, because you feel entitled I suppose, you walk up to some random stranger, look them dead in the eye and say to them; Hey, man! You’re BLACK. I mean you are BLUE-BLACK. Did you know that?
Would you do that? Would you even conceive of it? If you did, how long do you think it would take you to pick yourself and your teeth up off the sidewalk?
Yet, people feel perfectly fine walking up to a larger person and saying; Hey, man! You’re FAT! I mean you’re FAHH-AT! Did you know that?
Imagine you’re the person going about their everyday thing along their merry little path and some random stranger walks up to you and says; Hey, man! You’re FAT! Did you know that? Why don’t you lose some weight you lazy slob?
How do you feel? Entitled? Smug? Or like you’d really like to dive into a box of Twinkies?
I ask you these questions because, for many years, I watched people do just that to my brother in-law. Random people he didn’t know, I didn’t know, and who had no place to say anything at all to him would just walk up and say; You’re FAT! I mean you are fuckin’ FAT! Did you know that? Many times I watched him laugh it off or ignore it and then put an extra box of Twinkies or half of gallon of ice cream into the shopping cart. I saw the pain, the hurt, and the shame on his face. It broke my heart just as it did his. Most of all I couldn’t get over the self-righteous and quite outrageous gall people had. They didn’t feel bad or strange about it all.
If you think something like that is helping someone you’re out of your mind. The only thing that happens when a lowlife does something like that is the lowlife feels a tiny bit better about themselves and their own failings for a very short period of time. It doesn’t do the “fat” person a lick of good at all. So please just refrain from doing it. It’s not your place. I’m sure you’re not perfect in any manner.
Like I said, these people didn’t even know him. They didn’t know he wasn’t a jobless lazy slob. They didn’t know he hacked cab 12 hours a day trying to support himself. They didn’t know he’d bend over backwards trying to help anyone he considered a friend even to the point of his own detriment. (Which, incidentally, is how he came to live with us for a year or more.) They didn’t know he’d always been what used to be considered ‘husky’ or that his mother derided him every chance she got for the first 20something years of his life. They didn’t know how she put him down or how his step-fathers did the same. They didn’t know how they put him on one “diet” after another and then sabotaged it for him by eating chocolate cake in front of him and telling him how good it was and didn’t he want a piece, just a small piece. Then, when he took it, telling his he was a ‘fat pig’. Yeah, there’s oodles of help there. They didn’t know he’d been hurt playing football in high school and probably wasn’t properly attended to which left him with hips that ached every time he took a step. That injury led to him being less active because…it hurt just to walk…and that, along with the wonderful ‘encouragement’ of his parental units, led to him gain more weight. They didn’t know that, because he felt helpless and as though he couldn’t save himself, he tried his hardest to ‘save’ every stray with a sob story that came his way.
Yeah, each one fucked him over.
So he ate more Twinkies. More ice cream.
Why not? Let’s face it, food was his friend. It never told him he was terrible. He never ripped him off. It was always there for him. It never told him he was a horrible person because he was ‘fat’. So, yes, it made him feel ‘better’ even as it made him feel worse about himself and stole his life out from under him. Do you think some jackass saying something so ‘intelligent’ as; Hey, man! You’re FAT! Did any good?
Of course it didn’t. And neither do things like the offending video in question. All they do is show a sheer lack of empathy, sympathy, and understanding for what another person is going through.
Those people didn’t know that my brother in-law put his own life in jeopardy time and again taking in such strays until one night someone drove by his house and shot the place to shit. He was sitting in the living room and barely missed being killed by the bullets flying through the windows and doors. They didn’t know we took him in and that he detoxed from crack in my attic. They didn’t know he got addicted to crack hoping to finally lose weight. They didn’t know his mother kept saying things like; he can’t be a crack addict he’s too damn FAT for THAT.
In the meantime, he’s puking, sweating, groaning, and thinking he’s dying up in my attic.
Those people with their nasty remarks had no idea that when we moved from that apartment to the next we took him with us. Yes, he lived in the attic again but it was a nicer attic. They didn’t know that when he got off crack he became bulimic in his effort to lose weight and that he puked his guts out day in and day out until he had to go for help. They didn’t know we were there for him, that we loved him, and wanted the best for him. They didn’t know how much it hurt him when WTNH went to his therapy sessions to show people who bulimia effected males and they shot him at an upward angle coming through a door making him look twice as big as he was and then airing it for all Connecticut to see. Thanks, WTNH. Appreciate it.
Those people never saw how much he loved his nieces and wanted to play with him but couldn’t. They never saw how much his nieces loved him anyway and never gave his weight a second thought. He was just Uncle Freddy to them and he always will be.
Those people will never know how much he yearned for love and acceptance to the point that he married some wacky chick he met online. Yep, they got married in my backyard. We wished them well. Saw them off to California. Then back to Connecticut where that bitch was lucky I didn’t kill her. He was put on Fen-Fen for weight loss, we worried about him knowing how bad that shit was for his heart. We kept asking him; What do you see in this woman? And he kept saying; she loves me. Eventually they moved to Texas where they took in more strays, he had his first lap band surgery and he got his heart broken again. Eventually they got divorced and he met a wonderful woman, coincidentally also named Lisa.
Lisa just loved him, just the way he was, that’s all. She didn’t try to change him but, instead, when he felt ready to take control of his life again, she encouraged him and stood by his side.
After another gastric bypass surgery, Fred has lost OVER 200 POUNDS! That’s a whole person and he’s still ‘large’. People still call him ‘fat’ and ‘lazy’ even though he’s out there busting his ‘fat ass’ to take back every inch of life he has left to live. He even DROVE all the way from Texas to Connecticut this summer just to come see us. It’s been YEARS since he was able to even leave his house. I’m so proud of him I could burst. But those people will never see anything else, even if he loses another 200 pounds, all they’ll ever see is a ‘husky’ guy.
I know better. Much better. I never ever look at an overweight person and think that I should walk up to them, to help them see the light, and say; Hey, man! You’re FAT! Did you know that?
I hope you know better too.
There’s a REAL PERSON under that ‘fat’ with their own story to tell of how they got where they are. So the next time you want to tell someone their ‘fat’ or snicker behind their back, just think for a second. That person has a heart and its easily stomped on. Do you want to add to their pain or help alleviate it? If you don’t want to help maybe you should just shut up and concentrate on yourself. Take a step back and ask yourself; What is it about me that I feel justified in doing this?
Find the answer to that question. Work on the problem within yourself. Then maybe you’ll be able to see the beauty in the ‘fat’ person who just disgusted you so much simply because they walked by you. Maybe you’ll even be able to see the beauty within yourself. No promises on that one but it could happen.