Monday, November 6, 2017

I take Good Photos

I've been thinking some things since my birthday happened a couple of days ago. Generally. I am almost sick with longing for my birthday - when I was younger because I just liked myself and wanted to be loved so much and more recently because I live a hermetic existence where I 'allow' myself this one holiday where it is okay to feel happy, and meet people, look good and relax. That wasn't going to happen this year of course. I was angry at even the existence of my birthday and sincerely wished it would not come. Due to my present forced presence in the world and historic cheery behavior, well meaning colleagues and friends had problems with this change in behavior. Due to the intervention of some very well meaning friends I did go out and had me a tame birthday. But I wasn't at ease. I remember sitting in a loud place with two of my very close friends being angry still that it was my birthday- angrier at myself for the resentment I harbored towards the gratitude I felt for them. I remember watching the clock on my phone (for all I did was take bad selfies) waiting for the day to be over. The time I really started having a good time was when 3rd was done and the pressure of having to feel how I used to feel was over. I have never been more relieved for it not be my birthday anymore.

This has been a tough year and unlike most years when I write out a personal thank you note after my birthday on this blog, I am going to talk about being fat and how that feels. I was advised by every well meaning counsellor and friend that exercise helps with depression. I didn't really care but once my dad fell sick I started doing it because I knew they believed it would make me feel better and I wanted to do what little I could do for them. I lost a little weight, much like I lose some every year and gain it all back. My obesity and I are old friends. I am twisted because of it I am sure, but I don't feel twisted because of it - if it makes sense. I don't think I should die because I am fat, or feel ashamed of it or question my very worth as a person. Sure it has made me a cynical, self deprecating human being but that could have happened even if I weren't fat.

I looked a certain way on my birthday and much like I feel almost every time I put some effort into getting dressed, I thought I looked good.  People's reaction to it though was so intense that I was completely thrown off.  It's not that I have lost all the weight I could and am a transformed person but only that from being very obese, I am slightly less obese. I wish people would stop thinking that fat people feel good about hearing 'you would look so much better if you lost weight' or what for me is even worse - 'wow you're so hot now, that you're thinner.' The simultaneous sigh of relief that the world seems to exhale when you lose weight is a little dramatic, even for me.

I received personal messages from friends who didn't call to wish that I looked amazing and had become so hot. My response remained the same that I thought I have always been decent looking and do not really buy her hyperbole -  certain other fat friends seemed so unhappy that I was 'hot now' that I told them it's just the photos, which it probably was.  For someone who has always had difficulty accepting compliments, this quickly escalated into an annoyance I wanted no part of. I promptly left as many social media platforms as I could, excluding whatsapp which I cannot leave as my professor made me join it. I received yet another message from a close friend who has also always been fat but who for me has always been beautiful. She proceeded to tell me how I had become beautiful from my past ugly days. I hoped it was some random ribbing but it seemed she genuinely meant it and almost resented herself for having to change her opinion of me.

It would be nice if I could live out my life beyond these incursions on my personal space. It would be nice to have been friends with people who didn't feel that you are ugly, even if they think you are - because you are you. It would be even more amazing if people could stop directing how people should look especially when their opinion has not been asked for.

This sounds like a whiny post about me taking a good picture then having problems with compliments. It wasn't what I intended ofcourse. I wanted to write a post about representations of fat people which are deeply problematic - either you're  a morose kid who wants to die, or you're a bully or worse a sweaty pervert (remember that cop with the glasses who almost falls down in Basic Instincts when Stone uncrosses her legs ?) or someone who is either too loud or too soft, living your life on the sidelines. The only thing being fat has given me is a targetted source of insecurity - I haven't been able to find flaws in myself like most girls can because I have known what my 'problem' is and also that it is fixable. Maybe I will emerge from this cocoon of depression with a banging body (though how I can't see) with my depression still intact - or maybe I will not be depressed anymore and remember how food tasted and how much I liked it. I didn't eat cake on my birthday because I know the amount of calories there are in it. You know what made me happy ? when it was 12 and I dug into some cheesy nachos and got really drunk - I also took the 'hot' photo then . So the conclusion remains that nothing is sacred, everything sucks and we all have too many problems.

So don't fucking project your shit onto me - unless you want to be nice, because we all could do with some of that. Keep your poison to yourself and bitch about me with your best friend on a group chat like the rest of the fucking world.