Friday, February 02, 2007

Heavy.

I never thought I would say this but, I love Tyra Banks.

Yesterday I was home due to the “snow” and I ended up exhausted at around 3pm because I had been up since 5am so I lay down on the couch and watched some television. The show I ended up on was the Tyra Banks show.

She came out in a swimsuit and started talking about how the tabloids have been saying really awful things about her lately. About how they say she’s so fat and she’s gained fifty pounds and that she weighs over two hundred pounds and a whole lot of other nonsense.

I stared at the television in disbelief. Have these people not SEEN Tyra Banks? I mean seriously. The woman is gorgeous. She was a model for what like seventeen or eighteen years? She is one of the most beautiful, self-confident women I’ve ever seen. And she weighs, what? I think 150 pounds? She’s approximately five feet 100 hundred. How can anyone consider her FAT? I would give Jason’s left nut to look that woman.

In 2005 Marie Claire magazine ran an article about how being fat was the last acceptable way in this country to pick on people. That it’s not okay to make fun of someone for their race or religion or what color their hair is, but it’s perfectly acceptable to make fun of someone for being fat. That celebrities are becoming thinner and thinner to the point that they are almost disappearing (we can only wish) and that what our children see is so extreme that they are beginning to think that it’s normal or okay for people to be so skinny that the have no curves, only bones sticking out. They detailed a group of men who would bet money against one another as to who could shag the fattest girl each night. And so on.

I read the article with great interest which became extreme sadness.

Immediately after I read the article I went to my computer and wrote a letter to the editor of Marie Claire, thanking her for running the article and saying how that I find it very sad that in this society today that I’m smart, funny, creative, kind, loving, and fat and that the first five adjectives that describe me don’t matter because of the sixth. I wrote that I felt so fortunate to meet and marry a man who loved me for the person I am and also thinks that I’m an extreme hottie (bless him) just the way I am. In fact, even though I’m trying to lose weight and be more healthy my husband says to me all the time, “Well please don’t lose a lot of weight. Not to much weight. You’re beautiful just the way you are.” He prefers a woman with, you know, boobs. And hips. And, apparently, thick thighs, if we’re using me as a gauge for that sort of thing.

The editor emailed me back within a few days and said they would be running my letter, with some editing, of course, in the magazine. In May, 2005 my letter appeared. They really, really, really edited it down to the point that it was basically only a few lines.

And what did I do?

Well, nothing. I got my copy (I’m a subscriber) and I put it on my bookshelf to save it. I didn’t tell anyone in my family (except my little sister) because I was…ashamed.

I was ashamed.

Because I wrote a letter standing up for myself and saying, “It’s not okay to treat me like this.”

Because my whole life I’ve believed that it’s okay for everyone to treat me like this. Because I’m overweight which means, somehow, I’m less of a person.

I was ashamed because I googled my name once and there was a person who had written in her blog about the Marie Claire letters and used my letter and my name and my city and said something along the lines of, “Yeah, fat cows like her need to just shut up and get up and exercise instead of wasting time writing letters.”

I was ashamed because I wondered if maybe I am crazy and maybe it’s really NOT okay to be overweight, even if you’re trying to do something about it. Maybe we should just all go hide under a rock somewhere.

But then yesterday, I saw Tyra Banks almost cry on television as she told the collective media to “Kiss her fat arse,” (she didn’t say arse, but you know what I mean)? I know it sounds hokey, but I got tears in my eyes.

If a freaking supermodel is being called fat, then what would they say about the rest of us?

24 comments:

Kellie said...

First...do NOT be ashamed. What you did was great and you should be proud. That chick that said what she said about your letter: she's probably 90lbs and thinks anyone who weighs over 100lbs is "fat". I've ALWAYS struggled with my body image, even though (fortunately) I've never struggled with my weight.

Be proud of who you are...screw everyone else :)

CPA Mom said...

Did you read the People magazine interview with Tyra? I have a brand new respect for her now. She is actually at my goal weight of 167 (we are the same height). She looks absolutely wonderful.

Yes, fat prejudice is the last acceptable prejudice in our country. And I'm afraid it may never go away. I'm happy to say I have NEVER judged anyone on their weight (unlike my sister, ahem...) and my friends are ALL SIZES, skinny (who have their own problems) to larger women (more to love!). I just want to lose enough weight to be healthy and to stop puffing up the stairs. I have no desire to be skinny.

What I'm trying to say is you are wonderful the way you are, always have been and always will be. "You are a child of God, wonderfully and fearfully made."

M said...

I actually have earned all kinds of respect for Ms Banks. I think she's a freakish over the top drama queen aw ding bat...but coming out in her bathing suit, admitting she's gained a chunk of weight and not being ashamed of it? Basically saying screw you my modeling days are done this is what my body should look like and it's still gorgeous? FABULOUS.

The media is a bunch of buttwads. As is anyone who thought poorly about your Marie Claire letter. That was so wonderfully written.

And you are wonderful.

Overweight and it's appropriateness is a fine line. In the end, however? What does it matter to anyone else? ESPECIALLY when you are trying to do something about it? Who does it hurt if my ass is in a double digit pant? Absolutely no one.

People who have issues with fat people? Usually really have issues within themselves.

I'm not one who thinks extremely obese should be celebrated and held up and be an example. Of course not there's tons of health reasons why 400 pounds is not ideal. However the middle ground? Or people who are working on it? STFU and let people live.

And thus ends my fat rant.

You rule.

xoxo

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

Please allow me to express my deep, heart-felt thanks to you for just being where you are and who you are. I have been reading your blog for a while now and have enjoyed every day of it. You've made me laugh, you've made me think, you've reminded me to care about things most folks would not think about.

Thank you for sharing your joys and triumphs and your experiences with stupid people who seem only to be here as a warning to others.

I have learned much from you and about you. You are funny, you are fun, you are smart, you care, you are a great mom, you have an awesome husband, you've got two pretty neat kids, you are truly blessed by God in oh so many ways, you have joy and fulfillment and you are human. Thanks for sharing your feelings. At times you've allowed your readers to see inside some rather thick layers of humor, and seeing what you 've come through and still deal with now and again has made my heart hurt.

You are a good person. You are one of the many people God has placed in my life to teach me how to see people in the way He sees them. By seeing with the heart, not the eyes.

Please keep doing what you are doing. God Bless you, Chick.

(sorry this is so long)

dawndadawndawnDAWN said...

*hug*
*hug*
*hug*

I read your letter and it was awesome. I think you're hott. I think that other blogger chick is a fun-sucker with no sense of humor who eats two wheat-thins a day. Screw her.

I watched that Tyra thing too. I've always thought she was gorgeous, but I think she looks even better now. Good for her!

Meredith said...

I watched too! After her now infamous statement, I too had tears in my eyes and wished then and there that I had a blog to write about it in. So, I am so glad that I came here today and you have.
I have never really had a problem with weight, but I have one child who is 2 and I still am working on getting off the "baby weight." (I wasn't so concerned for about the first year or more..haha) Now, what concerns me and what Tyra's show addressed, is that I have a daughter, and it scares me and at the same time breaks my heart to think that she might one day believe she is not good enough because of her physical appearance. I want to keep her away from all that b.s. Magazine's, T.V. etc. I know that is never going to happen, but I know that I will tell her every chance I get how wonderful and beautiful she is!

Did anyone happen to see the Tyra where she had about 8 girls for ages 5-12 on her show? Tyra sat down with them all and talked about weight and what they thought about their bodies, etc. It was heartbreaking to hear an 8 yr. old say she thought her thighs were too big!

I think Tyra deserves a medal!

*sorry so long*

and rudeness said...

What a great post! Honest! and from the heart! I am in the same boat with you girl... er... chick!

I saw part of the Tyra Banks show and sat with my mouth agape the entire time. Who in the hell has any right to make fun of someones weight? We are ADULTS now! Teasing apparently has no age limit and I am amazed that humans can be so damn cruel.

I myself am overweight (80lbs) and while I have been told "You carry it well." I know people look at me and judge me all the time. Its hard not to let it bother me. It does. It hurts. And no matter how much my husband says he loves me and loves my body. I cant believe it.

I think it is great that you wrote a letter to Marie Claire. Screw everyone else. THAT took balls. I am proud of you.

Emily said...

Hola. First time here. I read several posts, and really enjoyed it. I must admit I can't stand Tyra Banks though. Have you seen her on America's Next Top Model? She's so full of herself. I do appreciate the message on her show the other day though.

julie said...

Nice post, TCOT! :)

Stacey said...

Well said!

Bethany said...

I am so glad I "know" you. What a great post. Tyra & I are the same height and I am trying to get to her weight!
I have been thinking the same things as Meredith. I also worry that I will transfer my body anxiety to my girls. I want them to know that they are wonderful girls no matter what they look like.

Elle*Bee said...

I'm of a certain age where it's becoming harder and harder to lose weight. The old dieting tricks I used in my 20's and 30's are working anymore. I am way too hard on myself - in fact, I don't recall a single person ever telling me that I've let myself go, that I'm getting chunky, etc. And yet, I can't stand where I am, weightwise. So I struggle with it.

You know what? I remember when I was growing up that folks used to complain that my beloved Barbies promoted unrealistic expectations of women's bodies. Aside from the obvious fact that Barbie wouldn't be able to stand upright if she were a real woman (the boobs are a bit overdone), do you realize that Barbie would probably be considered overweight by today's fashion standards? I thought yours was a good post - very thought-provoking. (And altho' I'd never wish it on anyone, the gal who blogged about your letter to Marie Claire may someday find herself 40-something with a metabolism that has come to a screeching halt.)

Emma in Canada said...

Great post. But I wondered did you leave a message on that blog?

Emma in Canada said...

Great post! But I wonder, did you leave a comment on the nasty girl's blog?

Emma in Canada said...

Hmmm...sorry about the double comment there. It said the first one timed out. Odd, odd, odd. And I don't know how to delete. Sigh.

That Chick Over There said...

Thanks so much...all of you. Some of your responses made me cry.

I didn't leave her a message in her blog. In a way, I really wanted to, but then again, I just didn't see the point. People like that rarely change their minds.

Buffy said...

People only get hung up on other people's weight when they have nothing much going on in their own life. Remember that anytime you feel discrimination in this form directed toward you.

Only people who haven't found meaning in their own lives attack others who have. I now take heart if anyone makes weight comments. Because I know that's all they can come up with. You should do the same. Rejoice that they are so intimidated by you they feel the need to put you down.

Gerbil said...

Your letter was SPOT ON. And terrific. And I went out and bought 7 copies of that magazine and gave it to people.

I don't think about your weight any more than I think about ANY of my friends' weight because it just isn't THERE to me. I trhink of you and what I get is "I wish Steph lived near me... man are her kids faaaaaaaabulous... her dog is adorable and even I-the-NonDog-person-must-admit-it... oh man, where's a paper towel, Steph just made me spray coffee all over the place again because she's so frickin' funny.

That's the important stuff, or it at least it ought to be. One day, I hope you are able to see yourself from the eyes of the people who GET you, knowwhatImean???

velocibadgergirl said...

Tyra's often a twit, but I think it's absurd that they're complaining about her weight. Granted, she could choose different dresses to wear on America's Next Top Model--ones that actually flatter her really nice curves instead of trying to flatten them--but that's really her business.

And I read somewhere that she is all "ribs [like the kind you eat, presumably] and ass at 161 pounds." Um. I weigh more than that and I'm 5'5". I admit I need to lose about 30 pounds, but I wouldn't consider myself vastly overweight, which seems to be the way the media is classifying Tyra Banks these days.

And girlfriend, you know I'm proud of you for your Marie Claire letter. I think you rock the block!

Ellie said...

Really good post, very interesting and informative. Thank you for being so honest about your feelings. This is what makes a good post!

SJ said...

Tyra Banks. I like her. I like how she uses her position and takes it to a more 'real, down to earth level' than most 'celebrities'. It shows us that she's human too, just like us! However sometimes she irritates the bejeezus out of me. But anyway, that's something entirely different.

Way to go for standing up for youself and writing that letter! I think you are awesome just the way you are. And well, mean people suck.

Sarah said...

Great post..great thoughts. Agree!!! Didn't see the show but appreciate Tyra for standing up. It's sad that no one else in celebrity world really does. I worry about my daughter and her self esteem down the road as well. In fact, I would say health body image and high self esteem might be my #1 thing I want to try and instill in her as her mom. Anyway, thanks for writing. :)

frannie said...

stupid Blogger ate my comment! I'll try again:

you are so beautiful-- on the inside where it matters and the people that know you can see it and on the outside-- where the whole world can see it. I'm really proud of you for writing the letter and the post.

on another subject--- I am having issues with getting to your blog from my computer... I check every day to see if you have a new post--- nothing for awhile and then all of a sudden the 100 things post. (yea- new post!) well, a couple of days later with no more new posts and I realize that there are a lot of posts before the 100 things that I never saw (and I check every day- really). I thought that was really weird. then I see the link to this post from CPA Mom's site... wha??? No matter where I come from (my bookmarks, your profile, someone else's link) it only shows that 100 things post and previous-- nothing after. and I see that others are commenting, so I'm the only on with the issue, I guess. any idea what is going on???

Real Life in South Carolina said...

I love that Tyra Banks took a stand. I read up on all of that too and was appalled. I hate Hollywood. The standard they've set for women is unrealistic and degrading. Women are killing themselves to look like "little girls" who haven't hit puberty yet. Good for you writing in that letter. You should be proud of yourself for doing that.