“Whale. Whale. Whale. What do we have here?” – Australian Blog Troll / Poet
Dear Australian Poet Troll – I see what you did there. And to be honest of all the bonkers things people have said in my blog comments, you sir probably win the prize for comment that has made me laugh the most. I’m big enough to admit that (see what I did there . . . there is plenty of wit to spare here). When I originally posted my “So You’re Feeling Too Fat to be Photographed” blog last January I had no idea it would produce such witty repartee. I believe you’ve got to give proper credit, and that one was funny.
The original post was written over the course of a few days and posted rather quietly for friends and clients to consider. Within 48hrs the post had received 500,000 hits. Within the weekend there were over a million. Less than a year later and I’m at over 3 million hits on my blog as well as being syndicated on Huffington Post and BlogHer. And you know what happened? The girl who always has something to say suddenly came up blank. It was a bit like singing karaoke with a group, only to have them all stop and leave you belting out “Dancing Queen” all by yourself. On the high notes.
But now I’ve decided I really do have a few things to say.
1. To those who have written in nice ways and harsh ways, and occasionally inarticulate ways some variation of the statement: “Well what you need to do is lose weight. Put down the fork and go for a walk. Honestly all I see is fat people in this picture. You will probably die from your grotesque bigness . . . or at least lose a foot to diabetes.”
Listen dude (yup, usually a guy). I hear what you’re saying. Here’s the thing. Did you read the blog post? Or did you just see “fat” in the title, skim that shit, and think “I’m going to tell this fat girl something she has probably never considered?” Like that I should lose weight. I want you to know I’m OK with what you’ve said. I survived middle school, am a grown ass woman, and think it is alright you were online and having a lot of ‘feelings’ on the topic you needed to let out. But for the record, the post never mentioned that being fat was healthy / totally okay / something to be celebrated. It said that everyone should accept who they are in whatever state they’re currently in and not be scared to document it. That goes for people who feel too fat, too old, too skinny, too loose necked, too cross-eyed, or just generally blah about themselves. Here is a hug into my big girl bosom . . . don’t pretend you didn’t like it.
2. To those that have written stories of especially cruel families that don’t want their picture or don’t look at them with the love I speak of. I am so sorry. The family you describe is cruel and hurtful. Please consider the friends, or non-cruel family members, or children you have in your life who will look at your picture with love. Or just do it for yourself.
3. To those who wrote they don’t have kids or that I should redefine my article to include other parameters of “yay you’re a successful woman”. Or that I should have mentioned men in this article. My bad.
4. And to the overwhelming majority of you who have written such sweet and personal comments, emails, and Facebook messages – thank you so much. I’ve read every single one of your comments and messages. I’m so glad to hear how many of you are going to get in the picture more often and allow those that treasure you to have such a great record of your lives. I’d like to share just one comment I received that made me cry big ugly tears and puts everything in to perspective.“I first read this article in January 2013. I sent it to my significant other hoping he would read it and agree to have pictures made. At first he said ‘you know I do not like pictures’. I did not push as I knew that would only make him resist me more. On Valentine’s Day he told me to contact the photographer and he would agree to have pictures made. I could not have gotten a better Valentine’s present. I chose a location to his liking thinking he would be more relaxed. We had a great photographer who took our pictures with a bunch of older model cars. It was an awesome day. He was even able to have a few unexpected pics made with his son and daughter in law. Little did we know that March day that he would pass away just a couple of months later in May of this year. These pictures are a priceless treasure! Just evidence of what this article is talking about. Take pictures … you never know when they might be your last ones of your dearly loved ones. I am so glad I read it!”
And to that I say . . . Well. Well. Well.