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fat-shaming

shaming, fat shaming, slut shaming, mom shaming, embarrassing mom moments

Ever been the victim of shaming? There are so many ways of embarrassing women, fat shaming, slut shaming and mom shaming to name a few. But I experienced an entirely new kind of shaming; one I never expected… straight up, thong panty, red-in-the-face…” are these yours?” shaming. Was I ever embarrassed?

You’ve heard the term “airing your dirty laundry”? We’ve all heard it and most of us have done it. Though, I really try hard not to. Well, as much as you can when you’re a blogger and telling my business is sort of my business. Ironically enough, I grew up hearing my father tell me constantly, “Don’t tell everyone your business.”

It’s never been my nature to have a filter and mostly there is nothing off limits, as you know from reading this blog, however, it’s different in my real life. Meaning that I do actually think before I speak to someone face to face. I weigh the consequences of my words. I don’t particularly like being embarrassed.

My threshold for embarrassment is pretty high. After all, I grew up with 6 brothers and sisters, you develop a thick skin but I do still embarrass over a few things and this is where the next thing that I’m about to tell you comes in.

This is how the shaming happened.

Last month, suddenly, our washer started behaving very badly. Like seriously, it needed a timeout in a corner by itself. It’s a fairly new washer, still under warranty, but it decided that it was going to stop spinning and draining and began passively aggressively blinking a warning code at me.

We looked the code up and it meant there was too much suds. What? I’ve been doing laundry since I was about 9-years-old and I never recall putting too much detergent in the laundry. In fact, it was drilled pretty hard into my head not to after a sitcom showed us just what could happen if too much soap got in the washer. Suds everywhere. My mom was very vigilant that never happen because,6 kids, she had no time for cleaning up extraneous messes.

Yet, here we are. We ran the cleaning cycle about 30 times. We stopped using the liquid detergent and switched back to powder. We measured every single bit of soap that went into the machine. Still, the code continued to aggressively blink and beep at me, each time I opened the lid to find the washer with about 7 inches of water in the drum. Then, the washer began screaming another code at us. This one meant that there was a drainage issue.

Do you know what happens when the washer doesn’t drain? I’ll tell you, I had to revert to the ways of my ancestors, I had to wring the entire load out by hand and it was hard. Every load for almost a month (as I waited for the manufacturer to sort out when they could send a technician) I had to wring by hand. It was a hard month. My entire body hurt.

Remember people, I am a writer. I don’t do a lot of manual labor aside from housework and normally, housework does not include hand-wringing sopping wet fleeces and jeans. I ached all over my body. Just as I was finally starting to develop some muscle tone, a technician was sent to my house to try to figure out what was causing the problem.

The technician was a very nice middle-aged man. Very talkative. We developed a friendly rapport as he disassembled my washer in search of the root of all evil. I cracked jokes. He laughed. Then, I went on about my morning work. That’s when it happened. A moment that I will never forget. My face is turning red just thinking about it.

He calls me from the laundry room, “Mrs. Can you come here. I think I found the problem.”

In my mind, I was like, “Hell yeah, I’ll pay anything just please don’t make me wring out another load of bath towels by hand!” I came bouncing into the laundry room like a puppy about to get a treat; smiling my crazy mom smile from ear to ear. There he was surrounded by all the disassembled parts of my washing machine

“Well, ma’am I think I found the culprit of all your washing machine woes.”

And with that, he pulls from the washing machine with the help of his trusted pliers, a pair of my panties. Not just any panties, but a pair of my G-string panties that had somehow gotten themselves over the side of the drum and in between the drum and shell of the machine, where the drain is located.

Apparently, my thong panties were clogging the drain and with that, he handed me my sopping wet panties ( and not in a good way) while he told me that the warranty didn’t cover it and I would owe him just over a $100.

Aside from being embarrassed that a strange man was handing me my panties that clogged a drain, he insulted me further by charging me for doing so. How embarrassing.

So, I took my soaked thong, threw them into the garbage, wrote him a check and never made eye contact ever again. I finally get the saying, don’t air your dirty laundry. It apparently goes for your clean laundry too, if they’re panties. Thus goes my public panty shaming.

Have you ever had an unexpected public shaming?

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Nicole Arbour, Dear Fat People, Obesity, Fat Shaming, Youtube, Censorship

I watched the video of youtuber, Nicole Arbour, going off on a tangent in her video, Dear Fat People. Since being posted, the video has amassed more than 17 million views on Facebook and more than half a million views on YouTube. Could it be considered offensive? Sure, but anything can be. She has her right to voice her opinion and she wasn’t making up statistics. She was making a commentary on the state of obesity.

Soon after being uploaded, Arbour’s YouTube channel, as well as the video she’d created, was suspended. She was censored, which I find ironic since Donald Trump and Ann Coulter are still allowed to speak in public.

I was not offended. I am a fat person. I got that way all on my own. I can’t blame her for pointing it out. Besides, I agree with her, 99% of the time being fat is not a disability but something we have done to ourselves.

Is it fun? Hell, no. Are there extenuating circumstances? Hell, yeah. Hello, years of eating disorders can actually cause your metabolism to say, “Fuck you, Big mama. You tried to cheat the system. Chew on that!” And then bam! It stops working. Can you still lose weight? YES! Is it super, duper ridiculously hard. YES!

Are there people with pituitary tumors? Yes. People with thyroid problems? Yes! People who gain weight on medications or from autoimmune disorders? Yes! Are there people who get fat by absolutely no doing of their own? YES!!! I am not one of those people. I am fat because, while yes my metabolism is on protest after years of unhealthy eating disorders, I also eat a lot of bad foods and don’t move nearly enough.

That woman, Nicole Arbour, who everyone is pissed off at for “fat shaming” is merely telling the truth. And yes, fat shaming is awful and mean. Was she a bit harsh? Yes. Maybe harsh is what we need sometimes to shock us enough to wake us up from our food coma, our denial and our assisted suicide.

I hate to say it but she had some good points. Some points most of America, especially the food industry, needs to hear. Look, I don’t ride carts in the grocery store or let my fat spill over onto others when I ride in a plane (or at least I hope not, if I do…sorry.) I do sweat like a whore in church when I try to run through the airport. It’s not pretty but I never cut the line, even when my knees do hurt at the airport.

Being fat is not a disability, it is a state of being. Usually, one we can change with diet and exercise. It’s not easy. If it were, we’d all be looking like models and feeling great, living to 107-years-old. But, honestly, put down the Mountain Dew, the once a day Starbucks, the Mega sized French fries and the $5 pizzas. Make better choices and park a little further, walk a little more. Love your body and love yourself and make sure that you are around for the people who love you most, especially the little ones.

As for Nicole Arbour, I feel like taking her video down is censorship. Put it back up. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to watch it. Just because we don’t like what we hear doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t have the right to say it. I might not agree with everything Nicole Arbour said and it’s certainly not politically correct but it is true in some circumstances. Honestly, I’d prefer that if we’re going to censor something, let’s please take away public speaking privileges to bigots like Trump and Coulter.

Sticks and Stones people. Arbour has no power over you, unless you give it to her. If you don’t approve, just ignore her.

 

What did you think of Nicole Arbour and her Dear Fat People video?

 

 

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maria kang, fitness mom, fat shaming, what's your excuse?, weight loss, mom

In the past week, I have seen the photo below of fitness mom, Maria Kang, being circulated around the Internet and even on the news. The general consensus seems to be a knee jerk reaction to the “What’s your excuse?” caption that accompanied the photo of a very fit Kang alongside her three little boys. I wonder why the photo above didn’t got viral? Maybe because it was harder to misconstrue.

When I saw the photo below, I was not offended. I wasn’t motivated to workout either but she made me think. Think about what my excuses were and turns out that yes, losing weight is hard and time-consuming but my reasons for still being overweight is just that; an excuse. Well, that and the fact that I screwed my metabolism up with 8 years of eating disorders but I could still definitely be in better shape; probably not Maria Kang shape but definitely the best version of me. I saw a mother who has made sacrifices and has a kick ass body to show for it. Maybe I’m just not willing to make those same sacrifices?

Then I heard the words “fat-shaming” and ”bullying” being thrown around. People like to abuse the word “bullying”. Bullying is an epidemic but unless she was sending this photo to people’s inboxes, spamming them on social media with the photo and the caption, mailing it directly to them habitually or standing outside the McDonald’s taunting “What’s your excuse?” how was she bullying anyone?

It was a photo on her FB page that went viral. People really hate this woman based on this one photo. I don’t like to judge a book solely by its cover so I did a little digging. Plus, I still wasn’t sure if I hated her for being condescending or loved her for being inspirational. I did know one thing, if a stranger yelled that at me, I’d be pissed but if a friend did the same thing and worked her ass off while being a mom and looked like that, I’d be a little bit jealous but mostly, I’d be all “You GO GIRL!”

Maria Kang, What's Your Excuse, fitness, weight loss

I went to her FB page and hey, guess what? The photo links to her blog and her entire story that led up to that photo. I read her story. Imagine that. Turns out our stories are very similar. She’s been heavy. She’s suffered through eating disorders. She gained a lot of weight during pregnancy. She had a metabolism that seemed to have quit. She’d tried every diet under the sun but she kept at it. Kept trying to find a way to get healthy. Then she made the decision to bust her ass and dedicate her life to being physically fit by any means possible. I have no idea where she find’s the time in the day with three small boys but she does.This is something she enjoys. It’s a passion for her.

And that caption “What’s Your Excuse?” She wasn’t fat shaming at all. In fact, she is one of the admins of a closed FB group called the 2013 –No Excuse Mom Challenge and they are participating in the No Excuse program. The tagline? We will achieve our goals…No Excuses! The photo was a progression photo related directly to that. In context, it makes sense. It was actually meant as a motivational tool for a very specific group of women who were in this group and wanted to lose the weight. To them, her photo is inspirational because she is one of them, one of us, and she has done it and if she can do it, maybe they can to?

Maria Kang is just a mom like you and I. Just a normal person who wanted to get into shape. She wanted accountability and support so she started a program and a challenge. She did it. She deserves to show off what all her hard work has gotten her. I’m jealous and after reading her story I.Am.Inspired. Hell, I even signed up to join her group. I want that kind of support. I want to be able to post my own progression photo. She looks happy. Her kids look happy. As long as she doesn’t run up in my face and cruelly taunt me with , ” Look at me! What’s Your Excuse, Fatty?” Live and let live. All I can really say after doing all the research is, “Maria Kang, You GO GIRL!” I have no excuse.

***Update : Yes, I read Ms. Kang’s “apology”. It comes off as assholey but what came first the assholey behavior or was it being attacked that made her react in a defensive way?

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