I saw My Big Fat Revenge this weekend because I mistakenly thought I wouldn’t want to rewatch an episode of Snapped that I just saw last weekend. I was kind of hoping this would end up being a Snapped spin-off, since Snapped could’ve easily been titled My Big Fat Revenge. Let’s be honest, though, it’s not Sunday unless some woman is shooting her husband or hiring someone else to do it.
I didn’t like the show much, I’d much rather watch Snapped which has a much better (and more final) version of vegeance but in an odd twist, over labor day I had my own mini revenge of sorts.
I returned to my high school for the first time since graduation. I had actually planned to do my run on the track because it was the only place that I knew of that was flat and not a towpath that would have my mother going into convulsions.
This was where I was told “big girls are good at the shot put, so this should be easy for you.” This was where I had to run the mile in middle and high school. This was where I walked as a form of protest with my friend Tori and refused to run said mile. Where I refused to sit in the grass because my mother educated me about the evils of Lyme disease and goose poop.
Returning, though, it was like… a hollow, meaningless gesture. I went around the track for 8 miles without stopping, clocking 8 and 9 minute miles as though the ghost of my fatter, younger self were pushing me forward. But there wasn’t any victory. The track looked like shit. It looked smaller than it did 10-15 years ago (holy $hit am I really that old?). It was like beating a former foe but that foe’s on life support so really, what’s the point?
My sister recently discovered someone called her fat behind her back and was emotionally scarred by it. Her reaction was really visceral and she was hurting so badly. I was kinda surprised and blatantly unsympathetic to her tears, though, simply saying, “you called me fat to my face. Your friends called me fat in front of whole rooms of people. At least she didn’t publicly shame you. Get the f@#k over it, you’re 29 years old and if this is the first time someone’s called you fat I’d be grateful.”
It was then that I realized not everyone gets called fat or has that experience and that being heavier has been an integral part of my life. It’s like it’s a part of my identity, like being an alcoholic or something. I really felt no compassion for my sister, who had indeed hurled the F word at me when I was much younger alongside some of my friends (and at one point one of their mothers) and her own friends. I still remember with vivid clarity when one boy she was friends with (she was in 6th grade, I was in 4th) saw me come into the library to take a test and yelled out, “Hey, fatty!” prompting all the other kids to laugh while I found as hidden a table as I could and cried. My sister continued being his friend.
As early as third grade I asked my parents for weight loss advice and as early as 2nd grade I can clearly recall my mother telling me, “suck in that gut!”
The odd thing is, sometimes the fat haters don’t come out of the closet until you lost weight. Then suddenly you find out all these people thought you were gross and disgusting before, which reinforced for me the sense that people were indeed judging my appearance andmy weight. In reality, I’d rather no one said anything at all.
All of these thoughts were prompted by watching My Big Fat Revenge, which leads to the point of this post in the first place: Just watch Snapped instead.