Tag Archives: Gabby Douglas

Olympic Athletes Say “Enough” With the Fat Bashing Already

It seems even winning a gold medal in the Olympics Heptathlon isn’t enough to shut people up about your weight.  Women who can run and jump and hurdle and pole vault and lift hundreds of pounds at an undeniably elite athlete level are still receiving criticism in the media and in the social media stream about the size and shape of their bodies.  And these women have had enough!

Olympic weightlifters Sarah Robles and Holley Mangold received criticism for their size and shape although they are elite athletes at the top of their game.  Eight-time gold medal winner Liesel Jones from Australia was blasted for the way she filled out her swimsuit.  And apparently qualifying for your 4th straight Olympics games is not enough to quiet critics unless your washboard ads are visibly rippling.

Even Jessica Ennis, arguably one  of the fittest women in the world was criticized for the size and shape of her body.  She went on to win the Heptathlon for Great Britain last week.  Look, it’s one thing when folks have difficulty believing the fit/fat story in my case.  I’m a size 20 and a mere aerobics teacher.  But one has to find it at least a little ridiculous that the fittest women in the world are being criticized for not looking like supermodels.  I guess we can take heart in the fact that there is a backlash, and these women are speaking back.

But apparently no matter how accomplished you are as a woman, you’re not okay unless you look great in a swimsuit, oh and have perfect hair.

My little chicklettes, all I can say is that the world most definitely sucks sometimes.  All you can do is all you can do.  And sometimes, you just have to tell those small minded critics out there to kiss your tailfeathers.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Reducing A World Title to a Hairdo

I’d like to talk today about another way that obsession with thinness reduces us.  I wasn’t always a person who spoke out on behalf of HAES(R) and Size Acceptance.  For many years, I hated my body.  I was miserable because of my body.  And I put my life on hold waiting to be pretty enough and thin enough to be ready to begin my life.

This went on for years.

There were years and years where I wasn’t living to my full potential, because I didn’t think it was possible for a woman of size.  Day after day, I didn’t dare to try challenging things or exciting things because I thought they were impossible to achieve unless I was thin.  Month after month, I let opportunities pass me by–waiting to be acceptable.

And all during this time I was spending thousands upon thousands of dollars and thousands upon thousands of hours focused on losing weight and recovering from the inevitable (at least for me) weight gain.

I love my life now, but I honestly wonder where I might of been had I not lost nearly two decades obsessed with losing weight.  And I am one of the incredibly lucky ones.  I have a genuinely wonderful supportive family.  I have an amazing spouse.  I have a survival instinct that has always fought against this desire to make me smaller–to make me less than.

But I wonder about the millions of us that are right now not achieving, not winning not being in a world where Gabby Douglas can win the most prestigious gymnastics award in the entire world, and face a huge argument about her hairstyle.  I mean really?  Gabby beat out countless thousands of gymnasts around the country, achieving an unbelievable level of perfection in a merciless sport where skill is measured in thousandths of a point, and you want to talk about her hair?  What is going on here?

Is Gabby threatening the idea of what a gymnast should look like?  Is she redefining a visual standard of success?  You’d better believe it!  And you’d better believe that a whole lot of people are threatened by it.  And you shouldn’t be surprised when that threat manifests itself in terms of people finding any excuse to put her down.

You have to wonder, is obsession with thinness a tool used by those who must compete with us?  Those who see our talent and our power and are afraid?  Those who will do anything to put us down and make themselves seem better, sexier and more powerful?  Those who will cut down the herd of competitors by any means necessary?

My dear chicklettes.  You can choose, right now, to throw off your shackles.  You can choose to love yourself and accept yourself.  You can refuse to gain ascendancy on the backs of other women.  You can choose to empower and strengthen your fellow women and succeed together.  You can live your absolute best life, right now.  Right this very second.  I’ll be in the stands, waving a flag, jumping up and down and cheering.

Love,

The Fat Chick