When I am in the middle of a personal breakdown I immediately drive to the nearest McDonald’s and order a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge. Then I hide in a remote location and eat it in my car.
I once ate a sundae in a cemetery parking lot. It was creepy.
I hide because I hate reprimands for my emotional eating. I made a habit of hiding because I don’t want to listen to another unsolicited diatribe about preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and the joys of Crossfit to solve stress. I hide because we live in a society that freely engages in body-policing, a corollary of which is fat-shaming, which leads strangers to believe they can comment on my food choices.
What is fat-shaming?
Fat-shaming is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me it is conflating body weight with health. It is associating fat bodies with negative characteristics like laziness and uncleanliness. That association isn’t lost on anyone in this culture, especially women, and it is the reason why I hide when I eat certain foods. Fat-shaming causes me to creepily park my car in cemeteries and eat sundaes. Making value judgments about my food choices is a form of fat-shaming.
I want to clarify, I don’t self-identify as fat, and my body is not representative of many people in the fat-acceptance community. It is not my intent to speak for a community that I am not a member of, but to share personal experiences.
I am not an expert in fat-acceptance, but I am an expert when it comes to the impact of fat-shaming and food-shaming on my personal life, and for the record: shaming me for my food choices doesn’t make me stop eating the things I love. Shaming me makes me feel like shit (which probably makes me eat another sundae) and what kind of person actively tries to make someone feel like shit?
I receive the messages about weight and body image from every angle, every day, and I don’t want to hear it from you. So please, the next time you think about commenting on a stranger’s food choice, ask yourself, “Is it really any of my business that she is eating a cinnamon roll that’s as big as her head?”
It isn’t, so move the fuck on.