Chubby Baby and Struggling from Lehurutshe in North West writes:
I am a 25-year-old farmer with weight problems. There. i said it. I have always been on the hefty side and I am obese, but not morbidly so.
Being back home this festive season has honestly given me so much anxiety because of the small jabs about my weight. It will be a “sdudla” (“fatty”) here and a “cooler box” there, and it hurts, if I am being honest. Every time I reach for anything filled with carbohydrates, it is met with a raised eyebrow or probing questions of how many magwinyas I have had in one day.
It makes me want to crawl out of my skin! It is not like I have not tried to lose the weight. I make it a habit to get as much activity into my routine as I can – and we all know that those of us in agriculture are physically active!
I understand women bear the brunt of fat shaming in society, but I have not been immune to this stigma. I am single and run a vegetable market that assists other small-scale producers in accessing markets for their produce. While I am successful, my mom constantly reminds me that if I wanted to attract a wife, I would have to lose a little bit of weight.
I have never had any romantic relationships that stuck or lasted because I am always scared I will be rejected because of my size. What advice do you have for me and other men who are struggling with their weight?
My dearest Chubby Baby and Struggling…
So, it is illegal to smack a “concern troll” in their yuck mouths for shaming you into submission. Right? *Disclaimer* I am not inciting violence; Liewe Lulu is merely asking a question.
The problem is not your weight, my baby. The problem is this culture we have cultivated as a very superficial society that shames you because you have been gifted with the physique you have.
God forbid you have the cheek to live outside the normalised beauty standards spectrum.
“You are so fat and pig-like!”
“You would look so much better if you shed a few kilos.”
Fat-shamers make these “just lose the weight” statements so freely like it will melt away the fat that they are so disturbed by. I mean, you know you are overweight and then this troll just wants to steal your joy? (Soz mom, you included.)
But at what cost?
Will it make you miraculously lose the weight that is so unappealing to their basic standards of beauty? No.
Body positivity campaigns have rallied behind the heavy set citizens of the world, but cultural values regarding your big a** are so deeply embedded in our society you would need a freaking big bottle of Jik to erase the stigma associated with fatness.
As if it never occurred to you that your life might be easier as a thin person, now you must be made to feel unwanted by street healthcare providers.
Unsolicited dietary advice is an all too familiar exhaustion that courses through Liewe Lulu’s veins and marrow. And “nna ke boregile“ (“I am bored”) at this point.
Here is a solid, BS-ducking guide to ignore the shamers:
- We unfriend, un-family, une-verything. Block! Create space between you and people who hurt you even if they are close. Mama is immune though, but nip her unruly and unnecessary comments in the bud.
- Bo, fat shamers are insecure AF. Not an excuse for the bullying, but being the big guy you must be this jolly, understanding clown. Maybe their own insecurities are the reasoning behind their behaviour. Why do bullies bully? They were bullied or whatever.
- Ne réagis pas. Do not react. Let us not give them the satisfaction of a reaction. Ignore those nasty comments and move on. An insult-hurling contest should not be a thing for you, it robs you of your peace.
Liewe Lulu is irked, babes! Can we just abandon earth? And live out our wonderfully large lives in peace on a meteorite or a new planet where we can let all our lush goodies hang loose without fear? Jeewiz!
Also, any woman would be lucky to have you, no matter what size! Let’s also go see a psychologist in the new year to deal with that anxiety and unweave years of social trauma, neh.
Liewe Lulu is Food For Mzansi’s no-holds-barred agri agony aunty. While she receives many letters from across South Africa, preference is given to those who are working in the agricultural sector. Yes, farmers have issues too, and Liewe Lulu’s got the tissues.