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I got an email from someone asking me if I was offended by the “Fat Girls on Bicycles” video I posted last week. I took the weekend to think of it. My initial response came quickly, but then I wondered if I was wrong.
Yeah, I worried that my own feelings were wrong. “Should I feel a different way?” I panicked.
So silly. My feelings are just that – MY feelings. I shouldn’t second guess that.
No, I’m not offended by it.
Yes, it’s certainly offensive and I can see how people would be offended by it.
But on a personal level, it doesn’t offend me.
It’s just a song and video someone threw up on YouTube. I even think the tune is kind of catchy.
And I chuckled at the first part of it.
Because I am a fat girl on a bicycle trying to lose weight these days.
I am “huffin’ and puffin’ and going real slow.”
I don’t swing by a taco stand trying to find a man (happily married already) or ride my bike through the grocery store picking up hams (but I admit to chuckling at that part of the video.)
I also don’t ride to candy stores, ice cream shops and fast food places like the cartoon lady in the video.
This is mostly because I ride with my daughter. And because shops like that aren’t within an easy ride.
I struggle with emotional binge eating. I just do it by car.
The song and video makes fun of overweight women with food issues.
Hey, that’s me!
So why am I not offended?
I guess because this is something I’ve dealt with since I was a preschooler. People have targeted me because of my weight my whole life – and not just boys on the elementary school playground or cheerleaders in the middle school hallways.
It didn’t stop when I reached adulthood. A boy I’ve never seen before walked by my car and yelled “fatso” then flipped me off a few years ago. I’ve been called a “fat b*tch” by people frustrated with me for varied reasons and even told my weight makes me appear unprofessional by a former boss.
Those things are personal. I took offense. That’s what makes me hide under my covers in heartbroken tears.
A former coworker came back from lunch and described his waitress as “big, fat and disgusting,” then looked at me and said, “No offense, Rachael.”
Yeah. That was offensive.
Even though he said, “no offense.”
A black and white cartoon video someone put up on You Tube? Eh.
That’s not personal. They don’t know me. They aren’t attacking me directly.
Is it in poor taste? Oh, yes.
But I still find myself humming in when I ride.
Besides, like I said, I really am a fat girl on a bicycle these days.
That doesn’t mean I think it’s okay to be mean to overweight people or any other group. Unfortunately, I’d have to hide under my bed all day long to avoid it. You can’t turn on the TV or Internet or pick up a magazine without being exposed to negative views on weight and body image.
Somewhere along the line I’ve stopped letting it get to me unless I’m the direct target.
What are your thoughts? Do fat jokes and commentary offend you?