It’s something I’ve said often, I guess to comfort myself: “Hey, I’m not even so fat that I’m stare-worthy. I’m not like, freak show fat.”
I’ve always said this because I honestly don’t notice a lot of people staring at me, but maybe that says something too. I’ve heard that the fatter you are the more invisible to the people around you. So maybe the fact that people are deliberately not looking at me should tell me something.
I went to a carnival recently and got on the big, swinging boat ride with my son and a friend. It caused two abject moments of horror. The first was before the ride began, when we had to pull the lap bar down and secure it – it wouldn’t lock in place because I was in the way. The ride attendant came over and forced the thing into proper position with a loud ‘click’, painfully crushing me. Although it hurt, I was extremely grateful that he didn’t just tell me to get my fat ass off the damned ride in front of forty some odd 90 lb. high school teenagers.
I enjoyed the ride, and then it ended and the second part of the horror began – in order to release the restraint bar, you have to push it down even further to release it’s lock, and then swing it upward.
I’m sure it wasn’t more than two to five seconds we sat there, trapped by my fat, while those around us got up and left the ride – before I took matters into my own hands (I’m a pretty strong Scotswoman) and forced the bar down on myself until it released.
I was bruised the next day.
But the pain to my body wasn’t nearly so bad as the pain to my spirit. This is what I’ve done to myself. If this isn’t the very definition of “freak show fat” – then I don’t know what is.
I am that person.