Wednesday, 17 April 2013

An Open Letter To The Girl Who Oinked At Me

[Content note: fat shaming, self-harm, anxiety, disordered eating]

To "the girl who oinked at me in South Kensington tube station",

I'm sorry for the impersonal greeting there, but obviously, I don't know your name. I suppose I could call you "the vicious, spiteful little fucker", but that hardly narrows it down, does it? Still, it's more polite than the way you greeted me yesterday - by walking right up to me, oinking in my face and laughing with your friends as you walked off.

I get it, I'm fat. Fat people are stereotyped as pigs. Ha ha.

Did you happen to notice that I had my husband and four year old son with me? You may not have done because they were a little bit in front of me, and you no doubt had your hands full trying to manage walking and preparing for your hilarious joke at the same time. I know, these things are hard when you have the intellect of a gnat. Anyway, when we had our oh-so-funny run-in, I was on my way home from spending an afternoon out at a museum with my husband and our youngest son. It was the first time in six months that I'd felt brave enough to go anywhere on a train, and it was the first time in more than a year that I'd been able to take my son somewhere like that.

I find these things hard to do because of arseholes like you. To you, it's just a quick joke, "Ha ha, let's make fun of the fatty!", but to me it's another three weeks stuck at home because I don't want to risk getting similar abuse.

Did you happen to notice the scars on my arms? They're from cutting myself; I started at the age of 12 because of bullies like you.

Did you see that I was staring at the ground, not daring to look up in case I saw someone looking disgusted at me? I kinda think you did. It would explain why you got so close, just so I would be sure to realise that it was me you were directing your abuse towards.

I'm sure you're thinking "It was just a joke, how could I know any of this stuff? I was just messing around!" You couldn't have known that I frequently have days of starving myself, of not eating for 36 hours at a time, as a punishment for anything and everything. You couldn't have known that your 'silly little joke' would cause me to have a panic attack on the train. And that's entirely the fucking point. When you do things like this, you don't know what the other person is going through; you don't know what your little joke might do to someone, SO DON'T DO IT.

The thing is though, the fact that I'm fat was the only thing that you knew about me, and it is by far the least important. I am also an excellent baker. I enjoy crocheting, even if I'm not very good yet. I watch It's A Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve with my husband and I cry like a baby every time. I have several first edition Stephen King books. I am a wife, and a mother, and I am loved. I am human.

And now, you obnoxious privileged brat, I'm going to let go. I refuse to give you any more space in my head, and I won't let you push me into staying home for weeks. I am entitled to exist in a public space even though I am fat.

I hope one day you look back on what you did with shame.

Yours sincerely,

Feminist Cupcakes


  1. I wish there was a way to make these girls realize that deflecting misogyny onto fat women works only temporarily to elevate their own status in a woman-hating society, and that someday their fuckability will decline far enough that they won't be able to deflect the misogyny any longer and it will eat them alive.

    It is a sad fact that many women have to stray far beyond our culture's ideal of fuckability before they begin to understand the need for feminism.

  2. You know what? People like her live are punished every single day of their lives for actions they commit like this: they suffer a form of soul cancer. Can you imagine going through your whole life with such a disgusting stain on your personality that you think it is okay to abuse people?

    Trust me, she pays for it CONSTANTLY. When she is forever stuck in a dead-end job because people can't stand her, she pays for it. When she wonders why she can't find a partner who will treat her well, she pays for it. When all of her so-called friends turn on her at her first sign of weakness, she pays for it. She never realizes that her own hideous personality is the reason for her failure.

    You are so far ahead of her, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.