Monday, March 15, 2010

Fat jokes and a high school picture..

People sometimes don't know how the smallest insults can effect a person in a long term kind of way and I think that over weight people get the worse of that because its almost ok to point out to a fat guy that hes...fat. Joking with Wify last night I told her that I hate that "O" word and I said to her for me its the same as that "C" word to women, you know the one that rhymes with hunt. I don't mean the good "O" either I mean Obese, its such an insulting sounding word and I don't know why, perhaps its because I fit the bill at one point in my life and arguably still do. Now if you add that "M" word in front of it?? "Morbidly Obese" I mean C'mon that just sounds horrible! but I suppose the situation where the term can be used is terrible so maybe it fits? At 534 pounds I was and I hate saying admitting this Morbidly Obese, that is like the worse insult in the entire universe of insults for me.

Throughout my life as a fat guy I have heard it all, I have heard every creative and not so creative way to insult a fat guy that could be thought up, some people got a mouth full of padded knuckle for their time and others got away with it because it just wasn't worth the effort and honestly sometimes it just took everything out of me. The standard "Fat ass" and and pig sounds etc to more elaborate taunts such as "Hey you have a dickie do yes?", "a dickie do?" , "Yeah your belly sticks out more than your dickie do! Buhahahaha!" but one of the worse ones was a day that it was cold outside and someone said "Hey when you are not looking I am going to cut you open like a Tauntaun and sleep inside you to stay warm". Then there were times in middle school when I would come home upset from school and told my Dad that whoever had called me fat and I cried or something like that and he said "The next person that calls you fat punch him in the nose and it will stop" so I did and low and behold it was a couple years before someone called me fat again.

Its amazing how a fat kids confidence can be beaten down into nothing because of constant taunting about the extra weight and yet a 6 foot tall 250 pound 7th grader could likely dispatch any of the other kids in the class quite easily. On occasion enough was enough and kids were thrown into lockers for calling me fat, other kids teeth were introduced to chubby knuckles but it always came back, the fat jokes are always there. In my high school year book I was "voted" "Laziest" in class along with the heaviest girl in the class and it was obvious to me that whoever did this "voting" DID NOT know me and chose me for that wonderful title forevermore in the year book purely on my size because at that time in my life I was not lazy, I removed the last names and the face of the girl in that picture from my year book to protect the innocent. My father and me were working on a house that my parents were buying so after school it was straight to that house and we remodeled much of a six family house just the two of us, I worked on cars in my spare time and was weightlifting 6 days per week for the last three years of high school so where "lazy" came from? had to be because I was the fat kid, its always bothered me that the title was given to me in the year book because of the obvious reason that it was given.

I am sure that every disability has its own prejudices but I don't know of one that is more widely accepted as ok to openly taunt the unfortunate person that has said disability as being fat does. I suppose that its viewed as "ok" to do it because the person should be able to do something about the problem thus deserves the taunting on some level? but in reality every one of those negative responses to a situation that NO ONE is happy about being in just reinforces the sulking and turning to food for comfort trigger and someone that has never dealt with a weight issue cannot possibly understand it on the same level as the person on the receiving end of these kinds of jabs.

I have come a long way on this weight loss, better health campaign and I am who I am today partially because of all of those jokes at my expense as a kid, I wish that I could say I would trade my experiences for those of a regular sized person but I can't. I have the most incredible wife on the entire planet and two wonderful kids that I possibly would not have if I wasn't who I am, and I am the person that I am today because of everything that has happened in my life to this point. I find that in a lot of people that were or are fat is an awesome sense of humor that has originally developed as a defense mechanism and that is something completely positive coming out of some negative vibes.

I do have to admit that the Tauntaun joke made me laugh last night when I was talking to Wify about it but hey! I did say that I developed a good sense of humor right?

As Ever


  1. Awesome post, Tony. That tauntaun quote is incredibly cruel, but I admit that it made me laugh too. But that doesn't excuse would have been very hurtful to me too.

    I used to live in Japan and would often get the sumo comments. It's hard to have a clever comeback in Japanese.

    I also agree that it still remains okay to tease people about being fat. Even politicians do it. I think that it is also "open season" for teasing Christians, without anyone being called on it. It is a shame.

    Again, great post!

  2. I hate it even when it's just pointed out to me. My best friend is almost 500 pounds, so he thinks since he's bigger than me it's okay to call me fat.

    Just the other day I said I felt bloated, and he was like "Caitlin, bloated? naw you're just fat"

    It's hurtful, annoying, and it would not be okay to say something like that to someone with any other disability.

  3. Amazing how long those comments stick. I can't believe your HS had a "Laziest" category!

  4. Clyde, the sumo comments response could have been to drop into a sumo stance followed by a charge straight in the direction of the comment giver ;) the look on their face would have been priceless!

    FitFunk, I am sure it was whoever the yearbook committee people were sitting around and they needed one more category and said "hmmm Tony and Anna are fat lets make Laziest!" followed by some giggles... it shouldda been that hair I was sportin' that they made fun of! ;)

    As ever

  5. Well, those people will just have to eat their words if you ever go to your hs reunion. Lazy, you are not! I've read about your workout schedule.

    At my hs the only people that made it into those yearbook categories were the jocks and cheerleaders. I was neither.

  6. I would have loved to see your sumo response in action!

  7. Oh the memories...yes indeed. I wish I would have fought back like you did. I never threw a punch, and suffered because they knew I would take it.
    The "lazy" tag people put on the obese isn't fair. It's not true for the majority...if anything, morbidly obese people work harder---because it takes so much more energy to move.

    Great post my friend,

  8. I hear ya. I really do. I would trade it though. I would trade a lot of things. And would give almost anything if I could re-do the last 15 years.