Fat (beautyisnotanumber.com) - Imme Visser
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Fat (beautyisnotanumber.com)

There comes a time when, suddenly, telling someone your weight or even just weighing yourself feels hurtful, or shameful. I used to think this was nonsense, as even I, an ex-fashion model who was never able to GET the skinny bod, didn’t care about a scale number. I used to battle against those shallow feelings of fear by casually screaming how much I weighed to everyone who was close enough to listen. My way of pretending I didn’t care was ‘shocking’ the world with my enormous stack of pounds, hoping that I could make other girls feel better about themselves. Only the truth was that my shocking numbers weren’t so shocking and it was just my brain being a huge ass.


Yes. However comfortable I thought I was, I wasn’t. It only made sense when I gained a few more of those pounds and I felt the restrained notion of scale-hurt. I am brainwashed. We are all brainwashed. The fact that any number of pounds can make us feel emotionally damaged, though it does nothing to hurt us physically, is weird. Sure, if you’re obese and walking somewhere is an issue, you should go see your GP, but little bobbles of fat in cliché places shouldn’t change your mood. Whenever I realise this, it makes me think about how hard society is on the appearance of women and how much I want to fucking rebel against it.

‘Being fat’ is nothing. It’s not something you can measure, it’s not defined as a size or a specific amount of layers, or exactly how much cellulite you have; it’s a trick. A very good trick by marketing people to make you buy stuff, and make you feel bad about yourself so you’ll buy even more stuff. Have you ever really looked at women’s magazines? They never say you’re fine the way you are, do they? No, you should buy more (expensive) clothes and (expensive) make-up and (expensive) shampoos and (expensive) diet pills and (expensive) gym memberships to ‘look good at the airport’ or ‘look good at a festival.’ I’ve got news for you: no one looks good at either of those. Big deal.

Everyone has body fat, and if you don’t , you should worry. Notice me saying ‘have’ instead of ‘being?’ It’s because fat isn’t something you can be, it’s something you’re supposed to have. Each body is different, and all bodies will change in their teens to their twenties to their thirties and so on. Bodies have done this for hundreds of years and will not suddenly stop doing this because marketing wants them too.

Stop worrying

Stop worrying about ‘being fat’ as if it’s something hugely important, because frankly, it’s not. I’ve gained quite a few pounds in the past few years, and I still look about the same. It’s just spreading evenly over my body to give me some extra protection. Yeah, I’ve gone up about a size, but I don’t worry about this because I still pay the same price for my clothes and they still look the same on me. I still feel like me. Would I be super happy if I lost all those pounds again and regain my 17-year-old body? I would probably focus on all the wrong things (celery, self-hate, and going to the gym every day) and miss out on, well, life.

So be gentle to your body. Let it do its job. Pat your fat for protecting you and keeping you warm. Play, jump, dance, and eat your veggies. You’ll be fine.

1 Comment
  • Romke

    July 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply

    Goed stuk. En erg waar. Heeft te maken met het schoonheidsideaal van de vrouw. Dat overigens door de geschiedenis heen erg veranderd is. Denk maar eens aan de “Venus van Willendorf”, aan de renaissance, aan Rubens. Ik heb het nu over het Westerse schoonheidideaal, er zijn andere, niet-westerse maatschappijen die daar heel anders over denken. “Stop worrying about ‘being fat’”……, het hangt natuurlijk wel van je definitie af, maar in principe, als je je maar goed voelt is het belangrijkste, en vooral niet laten beinvloeden door de reclame. Don’t worry, be happy!

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