Say What?

I just came across thisand feel it deserves some attention.

So this fellow posts his picture (above) and says

“I’m fat,” reads the title of the photo. And the photo description says: “I’m terrified. Putting up this image is the single most horrible thing I’ve done to myself … but it’s for a purpose. I’m fat. I’ve been fat for a while. I have a belly and manboobs. I have a 38″ waist. Starting today, I’m making a change. It’s time to hit the gym. Maybe telling the world that I’m doing it will force me to keep going.”

Let’s break it down, because something isn’t registering. Terrified? Of what? Does that picture terrify you? Because, if it does, I’m not feeling it. You know what I’m feeling? A huge surge of pity. Because anyone who is terrified of a little pot belly is being fed a huge line of bullshit from the media, and is doing their health far more disservice with their terror than they are with their body types or their diets.

I agree it’s a horrible thing to do to oneself – not posting a picture of a little potbelly, mind you, but hating yourself that much. I’m not a big preacher of self-love but that doesn’t mean self-loathing should take its place! How about thinking of other people for a little while? Sometimes that takes your mind off irrational fears, like how much your waist measures.

Speaking of which, 38 inches? THIRTY-EIGHT INCHES? Pshaw – meet my left thigh, suckers!

Haha. I don’t really know what my thighs measure, I’ve got better things to do with my time. But honestly, 38 inches is “terrifying”? Are you joking? Does he think they’re going to have to cut a hole in the wall and hoist him out with cranes or something? (Not that that would make him a bad person.)

The link above posts the picture and the caption/info, and then some pearls of “widsom” about it.

1. Fat is serious business and calls for serious measures.

Does it indeed? I’ll keep that in mind.

2. Sometimes you’ve got to bare your bulge to realize you need a change.


A little public humiliation can help in the accountability department.

Humiliation? Terror? Can help? With accountability? Would it help you be “accountable” or would it “motivate” you to anything? Because I find those methods a bit less than helpful.

3. Support can be a powerful motivator — even when it comes from strangers on the Internet.

If you were talking about something else, I guess that would be true, but what does he need support for? I don’t see how people supporting your erroneous terror and self-loathing is a positive thing. Enlighten me.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s fat is another’s cuddly bear.

True, but this positive message is buried under 20 layers of terror, loathing, humiliation and despair. Had they instead put up his message and picture, stated the bit about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and built from there a positive way for this man to start looking at himself, to stop being terrified (possibly by bringing up some good solid information as to why he’s not doomed to die tomorrow because of his little paunch, this could have been a wonderful message.

4. Photographing yourself through the weight loss process is not a bad idea.

Well, I really don’t know what to say about that. The weight loss process generally consists of week after week, month after month of deprivation, weigh-ins, lamentations at the piddling 2 ounces that came off one week and gnashing of teeth the week you *gained* two pounds, followed by redoubling of gym efforts, slashing calories far below any recommended healthy levels, cutting all the joy out of the process of cooking and eating, making disgusting substitutions for things you like and crave in favor of cardboard rice cakes until you can’t take it anymore and go on a binge because you’ve been starving for the last 8 weeks; followed by a shame spiral and a redoubling of starvation efforts, starting the vicious circle all over again. End result? Fatter than ever. And a much harder time losing any weight or inches next time you make the attempt – you’ve fucked up your metabolism now.

What do you think about this shot? And what are the chances you’d publish your own gut for the whole world to see?

I think I’ll leave that one open-ended. While I don’t particularly want to post my face online, I don’t think I would mind posting a picture of my belly. I know Melissa of Shakesville posts pictures of hers and to hell with any negative opinion, rightly so. Maybe we all ought to do it to help this fellow realize there is nothing weird or terrifying or disgusting about him, and to tell these fitness people that there is nothing at all positive about humiliation and terror as a “support” mechanism. If anyone can think of a way to gather such pictures and send get the message through to this man, who looks perfectly normal to me, I’m all ears.


5 comments on “Say What?

  1. gabfly says:

    Hey, I think he looks hot, but if he’s feeling so bad, maybe it’s because he needs to go buy another pair of pants. They seem way too tight.

    What’s this about photographing his belly only. Is that all he is — one big ravenous belly? Poor fella.

  2. anniemcphee says:

    I thought so too – looks like a rather sexy belly to me. But I’ve never been a fan of hardbodies especially.

    A better fitting pair of pants sounds like a good idea 🙂 I really want to talk to this guy.

  3. richie79 says:

    Re #4, maybe he should take himself over to Flickr, where there are plenty of self-loathing fatties using the place as a weight-loss support group to keep him company. As for the 38″ waist, I can possibly see why that’s served as the ‘trigger’ / ‘wake-up call’, since a 38″ waist is about the biggest that ordinary clothes shops generally carry, and after that you’re into the realms of the online menswear ghetto and whatever crumbs they throw you. Probably also the reason behind the too-tight pants (it always annoys me immensely when someone asks in all seriousness on a forum why fat people always wear clothes that are too tight – just *think about it* for a mo and you’ll probably find your answer!)

  4. madfashionista says:

    Dahlings – the man in my life is tall and almost annoyingly svelte, and he has a 38″ waist. Fortunately for moi, he doesn’t think about it one way or the other. But at least he is vain enough to wear pants that fit properly.

    This poor soul definitely needs professional help to get over his body dysmorphic disorder…but then, so does the rest of society nowadays, don’t you think? I’ve commented on that in my blog,, particularly my recent rundowns of the Grammys and the Golden Globes. Talk about terrifyingly gaunt!

    And by the way, my clothes fit perfectly as well. Being luxuriously plus-sized is no reason not to look gorgeous.

  5. pudgemonster says:

    Squee! That looks just like my boyfriend’s tummy!

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