Stay Safe, Eat Cake
Hey there, #sorrynotsorry for my use of expletives and profanity but…. FUUUUUUCCKKK THISSSSSS:
This, my friends, is a postcard I recently received in the mail from a business my company had partnered with in the past. On the other side of this postcard was a cute little message thanking us for our support. I wanted to light this 4x6 card on fire. YES. THIS WAS A BUSINESS SNAIL MAIL POSTCARD ADVERTISEMENT. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. I will not name the name of the business who sent this piece of trash in the mail because professional, blah blah, blahbitty blah. Are you wondering why I am ready to flip a table and set it all on fire? Because my safety as a fat person is not predicated on how much fucking cake I eat. That’s why. I am not safe because of my weight. EVER. My weight makes me a target for scrutiny and harassment every single day. My existence is far from safe.
For those of you who don’t know, I work in food. Not in a restaurant as a chef. I work in marketing for a food manufacturer. As in, you’ve likely picked up the product I market at your local grocery store, specialty store, or on Amazon. No, I will not name names but if you’re paying attention and keep close tabs on my writing you might be able to figure it out. Anyway… My point is: Fuck being a woman working in food and being surrounded by people who don’t think you should actually eat, and if you do eat then how dare you enjoy it or have a body which looks like the body of someone who consumes food.
Going back to me wanting to flip a table covered in a Thanksgiving banquet and set it on fire? The aforementioned abominable postcard was the tipping point to years of listening to women in my office relate the following to me:
They’ve gained weight since joining the company.
They’re starving themselves to lose that weight.
They’re openly saying how fat they’re getting as they put food in their mouths in my presence.
They’re sharing their diet of the week with me in the hopes that I’ll join them in their crashfadfoodmadness.
They are doing ZERO research on what works for their bodies despite the ridiculous amounts of access to research and information available to us.
Just EXACTLY how fattening a delicious item we are putting out into the world is going to be.
I could go on, but I will close the list with this gem: I have a colleague who makes smoothies with avocado, banana, and SUGAR because she says it suppresses her appetite. She always offers to make me one “you know, because she knows, I like, workout and stuff, but it doesn’t really look like I do anything.” Yes, that is a real thing that has been said to me in my place of business.
I am surrounded by people in my office, in my industry, and in the media who are clueless about food and how to enjoy it, much less what to enjoy and when. It is definitely compounded by social media and doing it for the ‘gram. I have to take pictures of food all day and I am rarely in those pictures. While I don’t blame social for this entirely, if you check out Amanda Mull’s piece about instagram food on eater.com it’ll give some insight on how these images of disembodied food consumption certainly don’t help. None of this feels safe. At all. It feels as if I have to defend everything that goes into my mouth. If I’m always on the defensive, then how will safety in my body ever come into play?
As I work with my body and figure out all the amazing things it can do in its current state, I find new ways to enjoy every single thing about it. I’m not waiting for it to look different. I find ways give a stout middle finger to all the notions of what I should do with it, and I’m going to stick that finger firmly into a lovely slice of cake with extra frosting.