By Renee Walker, Oct. 11, 2022

Let’s take this from the top. I swear I’ve practiced this speech for years, always reimagining the person and circumstance. Yet, the words always remain the same. Maybe it’s the trauma or the plight of overthinking every little thing, but this will haunt me until the day I let the grave swallow me whole.

When I was little, I always wanted to be invisible. As I grew older, I realized that my wish was the worst kind of curse. Although, I did notice a few special exceptions.

Be good at something. Make someone laugh. Win at everything.

Just do not be fat.

Jackson Gray | The Poly Post

Society treats fatness like an invisibility cloak. Although you may be the biggest thing in the room, no one is going to acknowledge you. I guess you can call it the “elephant in the room” syndrome. We all know it is there, but who really is trying to open that can of worms?

They call it weight; I call it a cloak. They call me big; I call me small. God does this body make me feel so small. I learned long ago that if this body does not come with benefits, then there is no point to be seen or heard. If I’m not up to be a man’s sex doll or his personal chef, then tough luck for me — as if my voice does not matter, or as if my experiences do not amalgamate into life lessons, too.

Unfortunately, I’ve had firsthand experiences mistaking opportunities to exploit my talent and what I may be able to do for people as genuine connections. I honestly feel like people only care about me when I’m in proximity to them. At the moment, you may need me to take your grad photos or even paint you a portrait, but when I’m not needed for a task, then where are you?

I have had people directly pass me up to talk to my friends. I have completely walked away from group conversations with men, because they decided that I was not even worth a, “hello.”

So, I’ve curated a small list of reminders to always go by when fat and living in this apocalypse of a society:

  1. Sometimes there are days where you will not speak unless spoken to. It’s not because you want it that way. People just won’t talk to you unless they need a favor.
  2. Everyone is going to need a favor. If you are talented in some aspect, be prepared to receive requests from people who would not be in your presence otherwise.
  3. Do not mistake acquaintances or colleagues for genuine connections. Fat-phobia is real. So, please do not become upset when you are not invited to a party by an individual you thought was your friend. Although you have every right to be pissed, there is a “look” some people need to hold up.
  4. Let’s be honest, men like plus-size women … in private. Majority of the men who taunt fat women, are the ones also asking to hook up in the DM’s. Hear me clearly when I say this: run as fast as your thick thighs will carry you. Those men need therapy.
  5. Lastly, and the most important, too: take up space. This world will treat us like the dirt we walk on. They will try to minimize fat voices and experiences. If you do something well, be the best at it. Make yourself known.

Nowadays, I’ve taken up an oath amongst myself. If a situation doesn’t welcome me with open arms, then I will not force it. I will simply go somewhere that will, and if I really want to cause trouble that day, then I’ll make them notice me.

I will stand on my soap box and yell out into the void. I will leave them no choice but to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

Feature image by Jackson Gray

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