Thursday, August 18, 2005

Someone Doesn't Like Us -or- I Want a Muffin Right Now

So, it finally happened, we got our first official piece of "hate" mail today! I can't believe it didn't happen weeks ago. I feel like we have officially joined the blogging community now! (Why is it that negative comments make me feel welcome?) I am shocked that all of the other comments and emails we have gotten have been really positive and supportive, and I feel like a lot of our readers get what we are doing here and what our posts are about. However, it seems that more than 4 of you are reading this blog, and the 5th person does not recommend Trident. We got a rather cold email regarding what a reader views as the message of our site. This posting is not just a response to her, but a general "thesis" about what the message of our blog is .

This is what her email said:

When I briefly visited this site, I could not figure out what the point of it was. My impression, possibly superficial (I am a bit pressed for time today), was that it seemed to suggest that everything in a fat person's life is about the inconveniences of being fat. I know that is not true of myself and not true of many other fat people I know, regardless of how large they are.

However, whatever the purpose of the site, it would seem more appropriate to use photos of yourselves on the site instead of photos of other fat people,especially if those photos show the fat people in rather unflattering poses.And in addition to being more appropriate, there is a liability question in using photos of people without permission - if they decide to take legal measures, it could get to be rather a difficult situation for you folks.Generally speaking, photos of individuals might not come under the "fair use" protection.

Finally and this is only my opinion but in answer to your quest for feedback, you might want to ask yourself, "will this site create awareness and respect for fat people or will it reinforce the stereotypes of fat people we hear about in the news all too often?" I don't know what the answer to that question is, but speaking ONLY for myself, when I visited the site, if it was supposed to make me respect fat people as productive,BEAUTIFUL members of our society, I somehow missed the point - this could have been my fault, t'is true but if I missed the point, perhaps other visitors might miss the point also....
Best,
Emily's Least Favorite Person Of the Moment

There were actually links to, funnily enough, weight loss and obesity surgery links at the end of the email, but I didn't include them because of the "liability" issues involved...but how funny is that??? If everything about being fat is positive and there are no inconveniences, then why include that at the end?

First off, and because we fully appreciate constructive criticism, we did take down the pics on the site. Girl had a point. If you want to see pictures of fat bellies or a pannus or before and after weight loss pictures (my personal favorite), I recommend typing those keywords into Google, sifting through the random stuff, and having yourself a picture fest...

But back to the point:We have a few things to say in response to the email...First, this is OUR site. It's a site about us and our life experiences largely pertaining to being fat girls. We are not role models. We are not a typical "fat acceptance" site. We are not here to make a statement about all fat people.What we are doing is giving you a little piece of our lives. We are honest, sometimes brutally so, but we are going to continue telling the truth about our lives, and if you don't like the message, then I guess it's time to move onto the next blog that is giving you what you want to hear.

While I did just say that this isn't a "typical" fat acceptance site, I want to say that I do believe this blog does represent a form of fat activism. I think that by writing about our fat lives, whether the writings be positive or negative, we are giving a voice to fatness. No, not all people will like what our voices are saying, but just getting our experiences out into cyberland is, in my opinion a feminist and revolutionary act.

We aren't going to tell you that we like being fat, because we don't. On the other hand, we aren't doing anything to rectify our fat problems, so we live daily as fat girls, and are trying to live the best lives we can. LET ME CLARIFY SOMETHING: We are not a healthy or curvy size 12, 14, 16, 0r 18. If we were, let me tell you, this would be a much different blog. There is a difference between societies' obsession with thinness and it's need to label the size 10 models in the Dove ad's "plus sized", and feeling old and broken at the age of 24 because fat and gravity aren't friends.

Neither of us feels like we are at our ideal weight. And, neither of us want to be skinny, but we aren't satisfied with the state of our bodies at the moment. There are fat sites both advocating obesity and/or spreading the fat and proud message. To the fat and proud, I say, "right on"! We, however, are not proud, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that either.

The email seems to saying that being fat isn't an inconvenience. I’m calling her on her bullshit. Not a day goes by where I am not inconvenienced by my weight, be it emotionally or physically. If I weren't fat I wouldn't have to:

  • Make sure there is enough room between me car and the car next to me to make sure the door opens up wide enough for me to get out or in.
  • Actually have to evaluate a chair to make sure it won’t break or is big enough to accommodate me.
  • Shop at specialized stores which are really expensive and hidden at the back of the mall.
  • Worry that the elevator is broken.
  • Worry about telling someone off that has cut me off on the freeway because how horrible would it be if they called you a “fat bitch”.
  • Pretend that I'm on the phone with a friend so the person taking my meal order won’t think I'm actually eating all of that!
  • Worry that I'm breathing too heavy.
  • Loathe shopping with my friends because I can’t participate in the fun of the try-on room.
  • Lift my folds of fat so I can clean under them.

So, "will this site create awareness and respect for fat people or will it reinforce the stereotypes of fat people we hear about in the news all too often"? Create awareness: Yes. Create respect: You tell us. Reinforce stereotypes: Maybe.

But we’re not here to fight anyone’s fight. We’re just here to write some funny stories about what has happened to us and how we feel about this modern society where, yes, being thin is in. We’re not here to upset anyone or to enforce a stereotype. But, we won’t lie either. It’s hard being fat. But, as long as we are fat, why not make the most of it.

33 comments:

The Author said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
punkindunkin said...

hate mail means you're doing something right.

you've made someone uncomfortable and they want to whine.

this is my first time on your site and already the few posts I've scanned have made me laugh, cry and go "oh, hell yeah sisters!"

keep blogging because I think you rock!

LoRi~fLoWer said...

Great response to that mail. She (yes I'm assuming it was a female)couldn't even come out and say what she thought, it was all "maybe I'm wrong" "maybe I missed the point" blah blah.

At least you girls have the cahones to say what you mean. Love the blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow, everything on your list, me, me, me , me, and me again. Proud, no. Making the best of it, yes. If nothing else you are showing me that I am not alone in my mindset and situation and for that I am grateful.

Abbey said...

Hell yeah!

gabriela said...

Hey girl,

I saw the hate mail you posted on your site on the DTMWSIMB website and posted my own response. Some of the women on that website are so fucking uppity about being fat it's not funny. It's all about being noble for the cause of fatness for them. Personally, I could give a shit about being noble. Being fat sucks. Period. Let's not pretend that we're all satisfied at the size we are, because we're not. I'm also not saying let's join the tyranny of our thin-obsessed society. I just wish we could live our lives as freely as thin people do, and get treated as well. But that's just not the reality.

I think you are doing an awesome job here. I love your website and your observations and have laughed along with them and I will be visiting daily to see your take on life. Keep up the awesome work and don't let people like this, with a political agenda, stop you from doing what you're doing. (I know you won't.) Go girl!

gaby

Anonymous said...

Dear Gals,
I think that there will always be differences of opinion. I think that your site does offer some refreshing truths about being big. I don't think that there are too many of us big people out there that haven't experienced what you have experienced, and that probably helps some of us in some way.
I believe that if a person doesn't like what you are writing, they have every choice to navigate away from it, and never return. I also agree with the pix thing - there are thousands of pictures like that on the web, and anyone can view those at any time. I don't see why it is a big deal.
JMHO
BTW: I have experienced some real negativity on the web...I think that it is quite a common occurrence out there. Keep up the good work!

~pal~ said...

haa haa!!! love it!!! youre site makes me feel not so alone... keep on truckin!!

Anonymous said...

Is this website syndicated? What's the address?

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Ive been reading your Blog for a few days and i love it and when i saw that you actually got hatemail i was shocked! If whoever wrote that didnt like what u were saying then why didnt they just not look!
I am a fat guy and know all too well that fat people are not treated the same as skinny folks but that doesnt mean we all have to become champions for the cause. Keep doing what your doing i love your stories, even if i dont identify with everything u say since guys dont think all that deep into stuff like u girls do.

Anonymous said...

it wasn't actually hate mail, though was it?

I mean I think you are doing a great thing, and putting your experience and opinions out there, but the person who wrote those comments was just doing the same

I admit the tone is not overly positive ...

Kelly said...

I agree with your opinions,no it isn't nice being fat or living through the bad experiences...but it is fun writing about them,as you can always look back & laugh at them!!

I used to be really fat,i have lost over 7stone around 100lbs over almost 2years!!I didn't do it to fit in with any thin people, to shop in thin shops or prevent bad fat experiences happening to me....I did it for myself,to make myself happy,healthy & better looking(through my eyes no one elses)!!!

You should be & live how you want to,not how anyone else expects you to.Yes you may not be happy being fat but then again you may not be completely happy thin!

Fat or thin your life is your own no one elses & you should live it how you wish!!

I think this is a fantastic site,if you want to blog stages in your life then that is your choice...if people don't agree with what you are saying then don't read it!!

Keep on going...stay fat or become thin...either way just stay happy!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree - it wasn't "hate mail", it was a difference of opinion and a good piece of constructive advice on the photos. My god, you should see the real hate mail that other fat positive groups and individuals receive. This email is a walk in the park by comparison. If you put your opinions online, you are going to get feedback, for better or worse. I think you've received something sincere, even if you disagree with the entirity of the message.

Anonymous said...

As authors of this blog, you specifically went to the DTMWSIMB group and solicited opinions. Someone took the time to give you their considered, well-thought-out opinion, and now you've got the nerve to call it "hate mail" and whine about it? Come on! Tell the truth! You've got people commenting here that the person shouldn't have read the blog if she didn't like it--you ASKED her to read it, and to give you her comments. She did EXACTLY what you asked her to do.

She deserves an apology, and you two have a little growing up to do.

Wisewoman
member of DTMWSIMB

Jenna T. said...

I think that "Wise"woman totally missed their point. They were just clarifying their views, as the person who wrote the email asked them to.
It didn't sound whiney to me at all. And I think they were quite fair to the author of the email.

Anonymous said...

I feel like you two just wrote down exactly how I feel about myself! Thank you so much for being so honest and sharing.

Just one thing - please write more often because I read everyone of your postings, and I can't get anough.

Becca said...

I love you guys!! Being fat isn't fun, but why be obsessed with the negative....the negative crap enters our lives and minds naturally.....seeking out the positive and humorous aspects is mentally healthy and a hell of a lot more fun!

You f-ing rock!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with clarity, Jenna T, but why label a response as 'hate mail' when it ain't? Hate mail is screaming abuse, not polite interaction or a different point of view.

Liz said...

You do have to notice that they did quote the "hate", making me, at least, believe that they were just trying to make light of the situation. These girls are funny. They have a sense of humor. I seriously think that they know it wasn't hate mail. They seem to be smart girls, not dummies.

Mr. W said...

see... who cares? we at No Beaks have been trying to find a "message" of our blog. the only thing we've been able to come up with so far is some anti-alcoholics anonymous forum to talk about our indiscretions with booze. of course not too many people read our blog... mostly just our friends and well most of block 6 at the Joliet Correctional Facility.

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Gary said...

This is one interesting and different blog - you are great writers, with a fine blend of humour, honesty and making details fascinating. Go!

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madman said...

Hey--I'm fat--but the idiot who emailed must be REALLY FAT!

Anonymous said...

Hey, girls
I have had some bad experiences on the web. One time (when I was totally new at the whole thing, I had a certain group (who I will not name) call me rude because I wanted to share a new group with them. Then, on another group member accused me of being a "bible thumper" because I had put something in my message pertaining to helping Terri Schiavo(I won't name that one, but that one really annoyed me!)
I think there are some people out there who are just happy making others miserable. They can hide behind the fact that nobody really knows them, and some of their personalities suck!
Keep blogging girls, because most of the people who will read your stuff will take it for what it is!

amanda said...

I also noticed that "hate" mail was in quotes...

Clarice said...

After hanging with too many FA types on the Web, it's refreshing to find a place where I can come and see people laugh and bitch about being fat. And I can diss my "apron of flesh" here without everyone jumping on me and telling me I need to love all of me. I love almost all of me. That's all I can do. So thanks.

I gotta say, though, McGee, that when you worry about broken elevators and heavy breathing, you're confusing the effects of being out of shape for being fat. I'm very fat. Maybe fatter than you. But I'm in decent shape and don't huff and puff or sweat excessively or avoid the stairs or anything. Even if you stay fat, you can get fit and feel great. So keep blogging and get moving!

Anonymous said...

Just block 'em out and KEEP ON TYPIN GIRLS!!

You two are GREAT!! EVERYONE loves you!! You need to post your pics!!

Gypsy said...

Both of you have a great writing style, and style counts...I love reading your blog, its real and raw and I can relate to it. Don't let one person get you down! Hang in there and keep writing! Since when does having a blog have to have a "point"...like a mission to change the world? What ever happened to journaling your feelings? If the person doesn't like it...then go somewhere else! Writing IS art and you cannot please everyone with your art! : ) That is the point! Please yourself!

SuzyBear said...

I'm another who saw the entire interaction over on DTMWSIMB. *You* solicited opinions, *she* gave her opinion. Period!

THAT IS NOT HATE MAIL!!

"Hate mail" is when someone anonymously and unsolicited writes to you, ranting and raving, yelling and screaming all kinds of hateful things and obscenities, going as far as telling you that you don't deserve to live and should be neutered so you don't procreate. As a list-moderator for many Yahoo groups and owner of a few web sites, I get *those* kind of e-mails a lot. *You* had a friendly exchange of messages, that's all.

I like your blog, I enjoy reading about your adventures, especially since I, too, have the same problems (We stopped hitting our fave pizza place because *all* they have are booths.), but you really shouldn't call the difference of opinion "hate mail" - that's just sensationalism and false advertising.

GoBetty said...

never mind the haters... keep on bloggin.

Anonymous said...

Keep on keepin' on! I love this blog!