Recently I’ve put on a little bit of weight. My face is fatter, my ass has grown and my stomach has gotten bigger.
Reasons for this probably include my new hormone treatment, the fact that I’m actually eating properly for the first time in years and all the fine dining I’ve been lucky enough to experience.
I notice it when I look in the mirror, I notice it when I have to wrestle my jeans on and I notice it when I see pictures and videos of myself. I’ve noticed it and I’ve mentioned it to people.
But people’s reactions have been immensely disturbing.
Not once have I pinched some of my flab and demanded that people agree that I’ve put on weight. Not once have I relentlessly squeezed myself into my jeans in front of someone so they’d admit that my ass is bigger than it was. Not once have I ate a large meal and told my friends off for letting me do so.
But still, people scrunch up their nose and look doubtful before saying something along the lines of “don’t be so stupid. You’re really skinny.”
I’m not denying that I’m a skinny person. I am. I’m very skinny.
That’s not a big deal for me. I don’t really care about weight. I know that’s probably a silly thing for me to say when I’ve always been skinny, but I really don’t think people’s size should be something that we’re concerned about.
Every time I’ve mentioned my weight gain has been in a matter of fact tone. The same way I’d tell you “my nails look so much healthier since I started taking those supplements,” or “my mood has definitely been different since beginning my hormone treatment.”
The appropriate response to either of those observations wouldn’t be denial.
I don’t make a secret of the fact that I once suffered from an eating disorder. I don’t rub it in people’s faces, but I don’t hide it either. I was severely underweight for a portion of my life and I’m still dealing with the repercussions from that.
So when I talk about my weight gain, I can’t help but feel a little proud. For me, weight gain is progress. Weight gain is health. Weight gain is happiness.
So please don’t project your negative associations with weight gain on me.
Stop assuming that weight gain is a negative thing. Stop assuming that I’m devastated by it. Stop adding to the culture that says a fat person is worth less than a skinny person.
And that next time that I tell you my ass has gotten bigger, give me an appreciative wolf whistle.
I’ve never had a big ass.
For more about fat-shaming, listen to my feminist podcast in which we discuss Lindy West: