Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is That a Fat Joke? & The Invisible Fattie.

I went to the movies today. Saw Iron Man 2, again, because it's fun, and also because my family hadn't seen it. (I went to see it with my friend Rocky on the night it came out.)

So, anyway, we do what we usually do: Buy some candy at the store and stuff it into purses, get one large popcorn to share and two medium drinks to share between the four of us. My brother and I share a soda like always but because he tends to suck down soda like air (and I love my fountain drinks too, don't get me wrong), it's empty about half-way through the movie and I grope my way down the theater steps to get it re-filled.

Now, I don't really mind doing this, especially when I've seen the movie before, so I'm in a good mood (partially because I find Mickey Rourke extremely attractive in this movie). Unfortunately people can unwittingly (or wittingly) kick that mood in the teeth very easily simply by assuming things. I get to the counter, the girl serving folks is about my age- early 20's. The man in front of me gets a Coke and a bag of popcorn and everything goes off without a hitch.

I get to the counter and smile and say "Coke, please" and push the cup towards her, lid already off.

"Diet coke?" she asks, taking the cup and positioning it under the diet Coke dispenser.

Here's where my face goes from expressing vague Russian-accent-gasm joy to "do you have rocks for brains?" My mind chattered away in my head: "Did I say diet Coke? I'm pretty sure I didn't say diet Coke."

"No. Coke," I repeated plainly and she filled up my cup, slid it back to me and I scuttled away with my brain still talking wildly to me. "I wonder if it's because I'm fat."

Now, I understand that the incident could have been a misunderstanding. Perhaps she didn't hear me (though I doubt it as I am not the soft-spoken type), or maybe she was distracted and didn't hear what I said correctly. But, when you live your life with people taking shots at you right and left, you assume that when someone pulls a gun, there'll be a bullet to follow.

So why do people assume things about fatties? Even when you tell them exactly what you want, they question you. As if you're obviously misstating your wants. The fattie must want diet Coke because she's fat and therefore must be on a diet.

Of course it can go the other way. I've asked for a smaller slice of cake and had the server go "Oh, that's too small for you."

Let me state it plainly... I know what I want. Do not question me when I say I want a small piece of cake or regular Coke. I am not stupid. Do not guess at my lifestyle because you have biases. Period.

Another event happened at the movie theater, this time while I was in line for the restroom. I stood behind a young brunette who was, for the record, thin. I was the last in a line that went out the door (I was holding the door open) until a tall blonde lady strode past me and tapped the brunette on the shoulder.

"Are you in line?" the blonde asked. The brunette nodded and the blonde slid herself between me and the brunette.


"I'm in line." I said, quickly and the blonde spun around.

"I'm behind you" she said. Well, of course, she obviously wasn't but she got behind me as the line moved up.

My question is a simple one: Why was I not asked if I was in line? She had to walk past me to get to the girl ahead of me. It seems like an obvious thing- when a person is standing behind a person who is standing behind another person who is standing behind another person, et cetera, that is a line, right? Right. I mean, dressed in shorts, a tunic top, and beaded sandals, I'm clearly not the door-woman so why was I invisible to this lady? Why was I ignored, or not seen, or seen but only as someone who wouldn't argue if she took cuts in line? Did she have to pee that bad?

Anyone else have experiences like these?

Big Smiles!


  1. I get the "*Diet* Coke?" question on and off. In a restaurant I've even had them just BRING me the diet version of what I asked for without asking. I'm fat and female. I actually think that this may be more of a "woman" thing than a fat thing, or a combo of the two. Most likely they have had many dieting women (whether fat or "average") ask for diet or complain if regular soda is brought when they wanted diet. It may be something they automatically do. OR they may have many of their larger women clients ask for diet. They don't do it to my husband, that I've ever noticed. He detests diet soda.

    On the other hand, it could be a subconscious "oh, she MUST be dieting, at her size" or a more overt "she SHOULD be dieting, at her size". The problem with that is, even if you WERE dieting, you might have been feeling like splurging at this particular instant. So it's not ever really a GOOD assumption.

    So were they going with experience in thinking that might be what you meant? Or are they simply obliviously bigoted against fat people? Does it matter?

    I've not been able to decide on that one.

  2. Sucqbus: I think it totally has something to do with being female. I think it even has most to do with being female. Men don't HAVE to diet, though that idea is slowly changing. Women, in society's views, always have to be moderating their bodies. It's their job as women to do so.

    I doubt men get the "Diet?" question a lot.

    One would hope that people are simply bigots... but in the end, it makes you feel the same.

  3. Yes, I think it has to be with being a female. It is like all the girls I know are o have been following a diet (even very thin girls).

    At work there is a restaurant but I prefer to take my own food because the cooker is really really bad.
    A colleague asked why I was cooking my own food instead of having lunch at the restaurant. I explained that I didnt like the food and he asnwered: "you know? they have a diet menu..."
    Once I was eating some pieces of home made pizza (whole wheat and with vegetables, by the way) and another colleage said: "Well, you shouldnt be eating that! I dont think pizza is good for dieting".

    There are some male colleages fat. Some of them dieting, some of them do not care. But the interesting thing is that people dont give a shit about what they eat. They only talk about what I eat.

  4. Unfortunately fat is a woman's issue most of the time. We are expected to be what society deems beautiful. We are seen as things to look at. We're not. We're women, strong, brave, hard-working, intelligent, and yes, beautiful! But we are beautiful for ourselves, not for anyone else. Long live your individual beauty!

    And, on a side note... O my goodness, that home-made pizza sounds good!


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