I got derailed by stress, reading a hurtful comment on a vulnerable facebook post I made, the other day. I responded a few times, which is against my “don’t feed the trolls” policy. Oops.
Later, lying in bed at night hoping to sleep, I realized I should have just said, “This is a mansplaining-free zone. Please move along.”
Please imagine me as a construction worker, wearing a reflective tape vest and a yellow hardhat, speaking into a walkie talkie thing. “Roger that. Mansplaining-free zone. Your mansplaining violates policy. Please take it elsewhere. Move along.” That would have been enough response, for sure.
I don’t think he even read the post. He just read the facebook blurb and decided it was time to let loose his wild wisdom upon me. Yuck. I’d mentioned my fatness enough times that he decided to do me the favor of chiming in. Unsolicited weight loss advice is so harmful. And very strange, a near-stranger thinks he can tell me what to do. Uncaring what he’s doing to me, by treating me in exactly the way I’m saying I need not to be treated.
He clothed it in compliments, which was supposed to show he’s a compassionate, kind person. But that self-righteous “I’m caring for your health” bullshit is so commonplace. He missed the whole point, which is sad. That kind of behavior has derailed me many times.
“Oh yes, I have never heard the standard things culture has been telling me since I was four years old. Yes, I somehow missed that idea–how useful you are, telling me what to do! Thanks, random man!” I’m not usually sarcastic, but there we go.
He called me overweight and compared my weight struggle with his smoking cigarettes. But I’m not overweight–I’m the right size, every day, unconditionally. My mass is 100% valid.
Also, I don’t struggle with my weight–I struggle with assholes like him. Kind of like I don’t struggle with my mental health as much as I struggle with a world that requires a type of productivity I can’t give.
I quit smoking long ago. That was way easier than living in a failed culture that harms me over and over again, and I’m supposed to say thank you.
Oh well–live and learn, thank goodness. May be good to remember from time to time why I have the policy of not feeding trolls.
Explaining it here helps–thank you. Thank you, reader, for meeting me in this virtual space and loving me, somehow, in your usually silent way.
I made this art to help me complete the stress cycle. It helped me regulate after being derailed, to get out some energy and express a truth while recovering from the emotional pain. Grateful to my friend who brought up the idea to me. I reach for art making materials automatically, but the validation of its usefulness is a nice bonus.
The art’s topic is pertinent to the situation; the near-stranger’s fat shaming was not yelled from a pickup truck, but it was part of that phenomenon of unwanted commentary. And the gender aspect.
Ming also helped. His kindness cannot be measured. Thank you for listening to me, supporting my writing and my needs, and caring for me every day, sweetheart. You are amazing.
And what about this video of Kermit the frog singing a popular Talking Heads song?
That’s going to help too.