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Invisible fatties

I’m always amazed by how strongly people’s minds can hold on to an idea in the face of all available evidence. Even when their own eyes tell them it ain’t so they cling to what they’ve been told with all the desperation of a canny shopper in a mega sale.

Here in New Zealand – just like the rest of the Western World – we are constantly being told of the rise of the Flabby Horde. The obese are out to get us, apparently; they lurk around every corner (probably squishing out a bit, though) and they skulk around malls, supermarkets, and schools. These days, we are told, half of us live on takeaways alone and in playgrounds children don’t fall – they bounce. It is serious, darn it… most of us are fat and most of us are dying.

Oh won’t someone please think of the poor bouncing children!!

I’m being flippant but I do think it is a laughing matter. Because the Advance of the Fat Army is a product of people’s collective imagination. I’m obese, about 130 kilos of woman. I have lived in one of the country’s largest cities, one of our top tourist destinations, small towns, bigger towns, and even our capital. But I rarely see other people my size, or even approaching my size. And believe me I am looking out for them. It’s kind of like gaydar, but for fatties 🙂  Trouble is there are few of them out there. The kids started back at school this week, and while making conversation with the other parents waiting outside the class I began chatting to another mother who was about my size.

She’s the only person this size I’ve seen in the last month.

Now sure, I am not a social butterfly and there is a slight chance the rest of the fatties are hiding somewhere I don’t get to go – like KFC. But I doubt it. I haven’t seen them in the malls buying school stationery and new lunchboxes. I haven’t seen them buying groceries at the supermarket. And despite an extensive summertime tour of the local playgrounds I have yet to see any bouncing children. And even if my observations were to be dismissed out of hand the questions still begs itself – how exactly does the Government (as it is always some official body bolstering this nonsense) know what we weigh? I’ve heard/seen references to being routinely weighed in American books and movies at school and in regular GP checks but these are not things that happen here. And our weights are not listed on our drivers licences either.

So when someone makes a comment about the obesity crisis I just want to tell them to open their eyes. Because either they’re wrong… or the fatties are invisible.


14 Responses

  1. Wow! beautiful post and so well written! Cant wait for more!

    lol…flabby horde…

  2. But if we admit that most “fatties” aren’t very fat then it’s not as scary! 🙂

    • That’s exactly it, I think; and yet it amazes me how people don’t *see* it! I’m an anomaly out there and when I point out that there are people making big money from the ‘obesity epidemic’ people shake their heads and say “oh come now – I don’t think it’s some kind of conspiracy!”

  3. I am living the same experience. I am about 175 kilos (from what the pounds to kilos convertor I found tells me!). I do not see many people that look like me. I see thin people and chubby people and sometimes I see a big fatty like me. When I go into a restaurant, I do not see a lot of fatties like me shoveling food in their mouths. When I go shopping, none of the women that work in the plus-size clothing store are anywhere near as big as me and some are downright tiny. Where, exactly, are the hordes of headless fatties I hear about on the news all the time?

  4. Oh also, I loved “won’t someone please think of the poor bouncing children!” Fantastic!

  5. Oh yes, the great obesity tsunami raising to cover the land and destroy us all! Ha-ha! Just happened upon your blog for the first time today. Love your style. Rock on!

  6. Oops! Also meant to add that yes, I’m one of the death fats among us, I agree that I often come across very thin ladies working in fat clothing. I have no idea what would make them want to work there or even think that they understand, but it is a bit frustrating. Well, that and the endless diet talk any time I walk into a clothing store. Oh well.

  7. Bouncing children HEE! My 84 year old mother, who is a walking fool and goes by several schools on her routes wonders ” where are they all? I don’t see any fat kids, in fact I think there were more when you were giong to school”

  8. It is frustrating about thin women working with fat clothing especially when you know you’d never see the reverse.

    Where have all the really fat people gone? Glad you asked. First, we take off our heads in case we get photographed. Then we hide under children’s beds (yes, it’s a tight fit) so we can seduce them into eating sweet, fatty foods instead of the tofu and brussels sprouts that they would normally crave. Then we sneak home, put our heads back on and dump an enormous amount of food into a giant blender set to puree. We mainline it directly into our veins and stomachs so we won’t waste valuable food consumption time while we sleep.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put on my orange polyester shirt with the horizontal purple stripes and tight lime green sweatpants – there’s a photographer coming by today.

  9. Right?! I always see comments on news articles about obesity claiming fat people are everywhere these days, and when they were a young’un they never saw them.

    This always confuses me because, since being involved in fat acceptance, I’m hyper aware of the fatties around me. There are a few around my size (I’m a small fat in the ‘obese’ section of the BMI) and even fewer very fat people around. As you would expect, given that weights are generally distributed in a bell curve.

    Are they seeing something I’m not?

  10. Well i left nz a few years back so that’s one gone! I noticed the same thing in dunners when i lived there and in my part of the uk im bigger than most at 140 kgs.

    just discovered your blog. brilliant stuff!

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