'You're fat aren't you?'
I live in a small Welsh Village, the type of place where everyone knows all the people who reside there, most are inter-related, and it goes back generations.
Walking through the village one day, holding the hand of my then 8 year old son I heard someone shout from across the road. At first I thought it wasn’t directed at me until I heard the word ‘Fat’……
‘I said… YOU’RE fat aren’t you’?
He said out of his rolled down window.
He was parked in the bus stop across the road. I froze. My son pulled my hand.
‘You fat fucking cunt. You ugly fat bitch, you’re so fucking fat, you pig’
I couldn’t look at my son, the shame and embarrassment I felt for him, the horror of knowing everyone could hear him shout these words at me.
‘I can’t believe how fucking fat you are’, He laughed.
I can’t remember walking across that road, dragging my son behind me.
I DO remember knocking on his hastily wound-up window while he, white-faced, looked ahead.
I felt utterly humiliated, but for the first time really, REALLY, fucking angry.
WHAT gave him the right to ridicule me in the middle of a village?
He wouldn’t look at me, I stared at him, continue to bang his window and Shouting ‘FAT CUNT’ at me…… he drove off
(Named and shamed Robin Nash from North View, Rhosywaun).
This is a normal occurrence for fat people, it’s been happening to me since I was 6 years old.
A lot of people think it’s their ‘right’ to take the piss and be cruel, offensive and hateful to fat people.
One of the biggest challenges I think fat people face is not just the abusive, dismissive behaviour we experience, but the fact that it’s considered normal, funny even
Fatphobia is so ingrained, so widespread, common and pervasive that many of us don’t even realise we have these beliefs.
Most of the Doctors I’ve been unfortunate to see have utter distaste for us and, along with a lot of other people, believe we are lazy, deserve less respect, dignity, and love.
We are poor, we smell bad, we are stupid, we are OUT OF CONTROL, and we need to diet.
Because, as a health care worker at my local GPs told me;
‘It’s you that stuff’s the food into your mouth you just need to stop it’.
I suspect she would tell someone who had an anorexic eating disorder to eat more cake.
I am a fat woman. I was a fat kid and have never been slim, thin or svelte.
I call myself fat, not as self-punishment but as a truth.
I am aware of myself, I am overweight, obese, fat.
If I were offered a Magic pill right now that would make those kilos fall away, I’d take it.
To stop that look of disgust I get from a lot of people.
If people accepted that being fat isn’t as simple as stuffing your face (therein lies another 20 pages) perhaps this abusive behaviour would be seen as wrong?
How do YOU feel when you see an overweight person?
Does a well of bile rise in your throat?
Do you feel compelled to yell ‘FAT TWAT’ at them?
Oh but they’re just words….
So, you must shout ‘MONG’! at anyone with Down’s syndrome?
RETARD at someone with special educational needs and ‘SPAZZ’ at anyone in a wheelchair?
Are you stifling a giggle right now at those 70s names?
I suspect you’d reign yourself in because those words are bad, abusive and you’d probably get arrested for a hate crime.
They are not ‘just words’
All the words in the artwork have been directed at me over the years, I don’t wear them as a badge of pride, it makes me profoundly sad that some people can’t see who I am.
Let’s talk briefly about the making of ‘Some unkind words I’ve been called’.
These paintings are ‘practice’ at a planned BIGGER piece for a future project. Whether of to paint or collage the words.
I have made 2 pieces, one all drawn the other including collage made from printed Adjectives such as; FAT, CUNT, SLAG, TWAT, WHORE… need I go on? Yep – SHREW, PIG…. all the names over the years I’ve been called.
I’ve drawn, then painted in acrylic, myself as a ‘wild woman’ a beastly female, out of control, ripping and tearing the words until they bleed. Swallowing them whole, taking it inside my organs, making them a part of my very being.
Thick blood flows from my mouth and down onto the words.
I think collage works for the words.
Paint and medium for the blood, but do I make myself more monstrous? No, I need to make myself more FAT.
(Fat, woman, Size 28, 20 stone, BA Hons History. Bsc Hons Science. P.G.C.E, Artist, nice person, disabled, showers daily and wearer of Coco Chanel and deodorant).