As a girl I was protected from the Measles and Mumps
But not from the dis-ease caused by chubby thighs and lumps.
I felt dejected when rejected and not labeled as a beauty.
“Conforming,” I was told, is your moral civic duty.”
My mind however knowing, that I deserved respect,
instinctively fought back with its pre-teen intellect.
People are different in so many ways why are we judged by how much we weigh?
But teases and taunts caused the virus to spread… infecting my self-esteem.
And in desperate attempts I starved myself in pursuit of the American Dream.
Self-hate is pernicious, infectious, distressing…breathed in through the media
lack of caressing.
Once inside, it multiplied, metastasized and grew.
And everything my mind once questioned… my body, now knew, was true.
Things got worse as the monster within
Became the monster without;
Self-hate is contagious and what’s really outrageous, it’s spread with the sputum of doubt.
As I grew and matured, my self-hate endured, and I pushed many lovers away.
Though they may have found
Me luscious and round
I just didn’t feel the same way.
His eyes, looked at me with hunger and lust…there must be some mistake.
I’ve been told for so long that my body’s all wrong
and my heart began to ache.
Then I felt in his touch the heat of desire
and without protection
ran into the fire.
I was asked to dance, to revel, jump in; but the virus reminded me,
STOP! YOU’RE NOT THIN.
No condom to keep my thoughts tucked inside, I passed the bug on when I started to cry,
I’m fat and I’m ugly.
The virus was strong.
Why would you want me? You have to be wrong.
I tried to convince him.
He seemed quite immune.
At first he looked hurt but then changed his tune.
You’ve got it quite bad, we’ll have to fix that, what’s wrong is hating yourself ‘cause you’re fat.
And maybe I’m wrong but the logic seems hazy.
Telling me how to feel about you seems quite crazy.
It isn’t your fault there is no injection,
Against media pressure there’s little protection.
But your case isn’t terminal, of that I am clear,
Self-Esteem Class is starting
Right now and right here.
Beauty is not just one shape or one size and no one tells me what makes my
“You know what” rise.
I laughed and added,
It’s so complicated.
The importance of beauty is way overrated.
Carving and starving ourselves to fit in and still we are either too fat or too thin.
So we talked and we drank and we romped until dawn and the rest I’ll leave out ‘cause it borders on porn.
And while it didn’t happen exactly like that, it was close, (YOU try writing in verse about loving your fat).
The point is self-hate starts from outside
and bigotry of all kinds is spread far and wide.
And until they come up with a self-hate vaccine,
Let’s help each other
Challenge the meme.
Self-love is a happier place to be dwelling, let’s make the choice now not to buy what they’re selling.
A kiss of acceptance plus a loveable hug
can help beyond measure to battle this bug.
And while there’s much I don’t know,
of this I am sure…
Body love, and NOT hate is part of The Cure.
The Fat Poets’ Society was born at a poetry workshop at the 2006 annual convention of the non-profit organization,
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). In 2009, Pearlsong Press published Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets’ Society, an anthology of poems edited by Frannie Zellman with the authors donating their royalties to NAAFA.
The Publisher explains,
Fat Poets Speak is timely given a sociocultural climate in which fat bodies are considered diseased and blamed for everything from rising medical costs to global warming. (Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona called obesity “the terror within.”) Rampant discrimination against fat people has been documented and currently is legal in every state but Michigan. Campaigns aimed at “childhood obesity” have shamed and teased fat children and increased the fears of all children. And despite the existence of an almost $60 billion weight loss industry in the U.S., there is still no safe, effective means to permanently make fat bodies lean. In such a culture it takes courage for fat women, especially, to express anything but shame about their bodies. Fat Poets Speak is part of and intended for the growing movement reclaiming “fat” as a valid way to exist in the world.
Well, now Fat Poets Speak II is due to be released later this year, with the authors, once again, donating their royalties, and I am honored that my poem, The Cure, is going to be included. When asked to describe the piece I explained that it was a bit like Dr. Seuss meets Size Acceptance. I feel this piece embodies my belief that a sense of humor is vital when battling evil; and love and self-acceptance will eventually conquer self-hate and bigotry. I hope you enjoy it. For more information about when Fat Poets Speak II is being released subscribe to my Schmooze-letter and or follow me on my Facebook Page.
Remember the 20th annual Healthy Weight Week is coming up on January 20-26th.
Til next time!