If there's one thing I can't stand in this godforsaken world, it's all the self-help pandering and happy-feelings horseshit that permeates it. A good example is the kind of stuff kids are being taught today—that everyone is special, there are no losers and you can be anything you want to be—which is the main reason there are so many clueless, entitled douchebags running around out there.
A recent example of this kind of everyone-is-special-think is the Huffington Post essay "Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls... So I Will" written by Jes Baker, a mental-health professional, plus-sized model, fatty advocate and organizer of the annual Body Love Conference. Here are some excerpts and my responses:
· "When people say 'you're gorgeous,' believe them... When people genuinely compliment you, it's because they really see it. Try to not dismiss their perspective as wrong and assume that you know better. They see all of you. We see our flaws. Believe them."
Well, isn't that a giant hock of ham she pulled right out of her ample ass? Every psychologist and two-bit life coach on the planet will tell you that it doesn't matter what other people think of you; it matters what you think of yourself. And as a card-carrying fatso, I know this firsthand—people fallaciously tell the obese that they're "gorgeous" all the time. Because there's nothing worse than hanging out with someone who's overweight and depressed.
"I'm so fat—nobody will ever want to date me."
"Of course they will. You're beyoootiful."
"I am? That's great. Pass the bon-bons please."
· "Everyone has rolls when they bend over. Everyone. ... I've [asked] 30 women ranging from rail thin to extra large to hug their knees. You won't believe this... ALL OF THEM HAD TUMMY ROLLS... Even my super fabulous professional model [friend] had rolls..."
First of all, telling fat people they needn't be embarrassed about their rolls because everybody has them is like telling Shane McGowan not to worry about his black, rotten teeth because everybody gets a cavity now and then.
Of course everyone has tummy rolls! It's how many and how large they are that matter. I'm sure the rolls on Baker's model-friend are like tiny ripples from a pebble dropped in a pond, whereas, when I hug my knees, entire villages get tsunamied.
· "'Arm flab is embarrassing.' No it's not, go fuck yourself. No, not you. The people who tell us that, silly."
This is just dumb. I contend the only people who say, "Arm flab is embarrassing" are the corpulent saying that to themselves, because it's true. Arm flab is embarrassing. That's why they call it "arm flab."
Fortunately, I don't have any arm flab to speak of. My problem is that I've got everything-else flab. When I look in the mirror, I focus on my missing arm flab to feel better about myself.
"Now, that is one sexy, flab-free arm you got there, Mister!" I often say while flexing in the mirror.
"But what about your neck flab and your face flab?" my Inner Fatty Monitor will often respond.
"Shut up, Inner Fatty Monitor and look at those guns! They are beyoootiful!"
· "You're not stunning despite your body. You're stunning because of your body... We are all much much more than our bodies, but our bodies are a beautiful part of us too. Beauty comes from the inside AND the outside. I am of the firm belief that every person is beautiful..."
I'm sorry, Jes, but, no—our pudgy bodies are not "stunning." Not unless I was meeting a gal from Match.com after I told her I had "an athletic build" would she be "stunned" by my looks. If "every person is beautiful," then what the heck do we even need the word beautiful for?
Look, my fellow Jell-O-bellies, I know it sounds like I'm being mean and uncaring, but I gotta tell you, Jes Baker is full of crap. And I know she's full of crap because of the convention she organizes.
The Body Love Conference is an annual gala aimed at making the porcine feel good about themselves. Its mantra is "Every body is the perfect body"; however, all the models on bodyloveconference.com are the kind of plus-sized models that are big, yes, but "big" as in "voluptuous." These are all healthy, buxom, young and sexy women. Naturally, there aren't any real fat women on the website—with sagging jowls, stringy hair and guacamole stains on their sweatpants. These models are fat the way Ugly Betty is ugly, proving that their mantra, her article, the whole damn thing, is just more brain-dead, feel-good, pandering horseshit.
The truth is, there are some people who are pure specimens of fitness and beauty, a whole lot of average-looking people and then some ugly, fat people. Pretending we are not ugly or fat does not solve the problem, because the real problem is the unwarranted value our society places on physical beauty. This is the mindset that should be addressed, not pretending that obesity doesn't exist or that the lard we've collected over the years isn't pissing us off.
Jes Baker prefers that the elephantine hide their heads inside their ample rolls. I prefer they face reality. You tell me which of us cares more.
Write to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Edwin Decker blogs at www.edwindecker.com. Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.
Make sure not to miss the Sordid Tales podcast!