Girl, Ya Look Good.

Author’s Note: If you finished that lyric in your head, we’re on the same wavelength.

One of my favorite internet things is the way that typing in alternating upper and lower case has become associated with moCkiNG whAtEveR SoMEonE jUsT sAId (or mocking pretty much any statement which the person finds absurd). For a while, it was strictly a part of meme culture, and had to be accompanied by a particular Spongebob image for the full effect. Now, the letters alone make it clear that you think someone or something is ridiculous; the Spongebob is simply implied.

A particularly delightful exercise in this style of shade came across my Instagram feed the other day, by way of Tess Holliday, one of my body-pos favs and the founder of #EffYourBeautyStandards. My sis just wanted to share a photo in which she felt cute at the gym. Dassit. But in a comment which has since been deleted–probably because the person who posted it was read into the year 3000–a young man found it necessary to project all of his weight-related shit onto Tess. To paraphrase: “Omg wow, so proud of you for working out and changing your obviously undesirable body. You’ll feel so much better with all that weight off of you; I know from personal experience.” Tess replied that her exercise goals centered on improving her mental and physical health, not weight loss. And unlike me, a person who keeps a drag on deck, she was actually quite diplomatic in her wording.

But because #mengonnamen, that wasn’t good enough.

The commenter’s response was akin to the way a woman can go from “baby” to “bitch” with expediency when she rejects catcalls/advances; or worse yet, has the temerity to not respond at all. Like…how did we go from “Can I call you sometime?” to “I didn’t want your ugly ass anyway” in 12 seconds? Please advise.

But I digress. My mans followed up with a meltdown which included assertions that Tess didn’t “know how to take a compliment,” was “probably miserable,” and “should be grateful” for his attempt at being ~*encouraging*~.

Her response? “bUt i WAs gIvInG yOU a coMpLImEnT tHo.”

A quality clapback, ok? Mostly because of how short it was. Like, “I have time for you and your ignorance; but not that much, because time is money and I’m not going to waste much of it here.”

That’s the space/mood I’ve found myself in over the last 7-8ish years, as my body weight has changed drastically. From my heaviest, I’ve come down a little over 100 pounds; all the ins and outs of that journey are a whole different post, honestly. But the common responses from people to my weight loss, have been an obnoxious constant amidst substantial change.

“You look great!”

“Looking good!”

“Have you lost more weight? You look awesome!”

And my favorite, from people I’ve not seen (outside of social media) since my heaviest days: “Oh my God, you’ve lost so much weight; you look amazing!”

Another post all its own are people–especially men who are attracted to/interested in me–who find it necessary to remind me not to lose too much weight. Because the level of “thick” you desire is obviously what guides the goals I have related to my body and health. But I digress, again.

Let me take some time (without invoicing; you’re welcome) to be clear about a thing, so that we don’t have to do this again: I have looked great, good, awesome, amazing, all of that, since October 19, 1987 at 11:47pm (if you’re using that to figure out our chart compatibility, wow we go together now). And I have known that for myself, from the moment that I could know what it meant to look good in the first place.

I have been beautiful–as fuck–for 31 years.

While fresh out the womb and covered in amniotic fluid. While home with a stopped up nose and the chicken pox. While smiling through the pain of braces. While sneaking to roll my school uniform skirt and undo an extra button on a freshly-ironed Oxford, because I had become aware of the power of my stacked-ness (sorry, Dad). While gaining weight. While losing weight. While fielding ~*concern*~ from family and friends who wound up with the diagnoses they were sure I’d have. While at the size I was 8 years ago, and at the size I am now.

And if your affirmation of said beauty is primarily tied to noticing that I’ve gotten a bit smaller? Keep it.

My efforts to lose weight have been intentional. A lot of the adventures and experiences on my life’s bucket list have limitations based on weight; wanting to skydive is my primary driver. But not everyone’s weight loss is desired. This is why shutting your mouth, or asking questions (if you have that kind of relationship), is important. Otherwise, you may have fixed your mouth to “OMG YES MY BABY YA LOOK SNATCHED” to a person who has been binging and purging; or has an illness which has caused rapid weight loss; or has no appetite because of depression and/or anxiety.

With me, you’re fixing your mouth to say something–well-intentioned or not–that is couched in sizeist trash that I don’t have time for. There are ways to acknowledge that I am doing a thing with my body that I want to do, without making my attractiveness–or worse yet, elevating its level–based on proximity to thinness or socially acceptable “thick”-ness.

If you don’t know how, do the work of learning how to give that type of acknowledgement or compliment. And for the love of God, please don’t heavily rely on the emotional/intellectual labor of Your Fat Friend™️ while doing your learning, unless it is offered or you are compensating.

In the meantime, here’s a freebie example: “B. Marie you been SQUATTING squatting, huh? Booty is sitting.”

Heh. Thanks for noticing, boo.

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