hellorousseau

an eloquently warped point of view from the tongue of a cartoon character.

Tag: personal experience

Self-Destruct Sequence

sadnessssss

“With the taste of dust in your mouth all day but no need to know. Like sadness, you just sail away.” – I don’t do Sadness, Spring Awakening

I’ll count down the minutes to the moment I feel it’s officially over.

I’ve kept track of them since I was 10; since my parents peeled off each other. Since I’ve actually felt like something that wasn’t a mirror image of a cartoon character, or a TV show persona, or a midnight action movie with an audience of seven or eight.

When I was in elementary school, a loud talking Italian girl with glasses (and curly hair so thick you’d lose your rings in it) showed me a book about Greek mythology. She would read this little yellow book of stories every lunch hour, and I’d listen from time to time when I wasn’t rolling in the snow or losing my teeth falling off the play structure or explaining cannibalistic serial killer documentaries to my classmates.

“Sirens,” she started one day, “are beautiful yet dangerous women that lure men to their death with their songs.”

“So,” I replied, picking grass in pinched bundles from the knees of my uniform, “they kill men with singing?”

“Yeah,” she responded. “Probably.”

I decided I would be a siren. I’d sing to draw the attention of all that I could, and drown them in my uneven sea of half-assed emotions. As I got older, I couldn’t find the time to be a siren so I stuck to it on weekends, but anger formed like sticky, hardening concrete.

I’d rip people apart with my hands when I could, and if couldn’t muster the strength to shred them into ribbon, I’d cut them off and burn them down despite the guilt that overwhelmed me afterwards. “May the bridges I burn light my way” I say, but if nothing, burning bridges has resulted in piles soot and ash I’m not willing to clean up or acknowledge.

I’m not ready to fix my broken windows or stop throwing tantrums, and I’m not ready to stop crying in restaurants over falafel plates or buzzing around the downtown guts of my city on an electric scooter I can’t afford. I’m not ready to move forward or willing to reverse. A sensitive gridlock of my constant bullshit.

But I am ready to self-destruct; I’ve kept track of that since I was 10, and I want to start anew. To piece together little broken shards with my burned, chewed up fingernails. To stitch together what I ripped apart and cut away with so much anger. To finally throw away your pink, rusted razor and bottle of shower gel you left in my bathroom over a year ago. To stop inhaling self-pity and exercise caution,

because those who self-destruct get a chance at being put back together

(if they don’t burn away completely).

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Fat

Image

A friend called me a fat bitch during some anticlimactic battle when we were sixteen. It was the worst thing anyone had called me. I hung up the phone on her immediately.

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Pretty sure I looked exactly this fabulous around the time of the incident.

You know that feeling you get in your diaphragm? Like someone’s decided that THAT specific point on your body is now a massive black hole, and the rest of you is going to get sucked inside? Well when she called me fat, it felt like that, times three billion. I was only sixteen, and the idea of someone thinking I wasn’t skinny was the worst thing that could ever happen ever. I remember crying to my boyfriend at the time, and he reassured me that I wasn’t fat. I was beautiful and gorgeous and a shining example of stunning cuteness  (I’m milking it now, but you get the point).

As I matured, I looked for constant validation from other people to reassure myself that I wasn’t actually fat. I remember refusing to wear the knee-high socks with my uniform during high school because I was afraid of people judging my legs. I’d ask my parents if I was fat and they’d say just ‘chubby’, or ‘curvy’. Those words hurt me too, but as long as people weren’t blatantly calling me fat, I was cool with it.

A few years after the incident, something life-changing happened. I watched a documentary called The Fat Body (In)visible. It was a self acceptance piece directed by PhD student Margitte Kristjansson. My big epiphany occurred when both Jessica and Keena made it obvious that you can in fact be fat and beautiful.

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Actual photograph of my mind being blown.

Fat and beautiful? No. Never. Every time I asked people if I was fat, or when I referred to myself as fat, they would immediately dismiss the word and tell me I was pretty. I could never be both. After delving further into the body-positive world, I discovered that the word fat is not an insult. Fat is something on your body, it does not make up the entirety of your being, and plus, using fat as an insult is lazy. If you want to let someone know how disgusting they are to you, try something more creative, like grisly, grotesque, hideous, horrid, unseemly, or unsightly. There! I’ve already got you started. Now, whenever someone calls me fat, I try and retort with my favourite quote from American Dad– “Don’t lob factual statements at me as if they’re insults.”

The word fat has a bad reputation. People often assume that if you’re fat, you’re automatically lethargic and unhealthy, but you cannot judge, or know the actual state of someones heath, unless you are that person. I see a lot of people playing doctor, and posting comments similar to this nature, on Tess Munster’s Instagram. For those of you who do not know who Tess Munster is, she is an incredibly talented makeup artist, self love activist, and drop dead gorgeous, plus-size model. Tess also created the #effyourbeautystandards movement, which is aimed to, “help women show society that being fabulous isn’t limited to the size you wear!” On Tess’s Instagram, she often posts beautiful photographs of herself wearing whatever the hell she wants, and for some reason, people think it’s okay to jump in with their concern for her health, their opinion on her body shape, or just to express their disgust. Supporters always jump to Miss Munster’s defence, but the ignorance is never-ending. It perplexes me that people think it’s okay to comment and pass judgment on a body that is not their own. It is never helpful to tell someone how to lose weight or what to eat. It is never alright to let someone know that you think they’re unhealthy. And it is absolutely never-ever-in-a-million-billion-trillion years okay to tell someone how their body makes you feel.

 

I suggest channeling your inner Dude if faced with other people’s unnecessary opinion.

The really cool thing is a lot of people have also started to ‘take back the word’ fat. Fancy Lady Industries creates and sells fabulous fat necklaces that aim at taking the sting out of the three-letter word. Chubby Cartwheels, another online shop, not only sells beautiful plus size clothing, but also ‘big body hottie’ buttons. There’re now stores online that have started producing jewlery, clothing, and just about anything else you can think of that is aimed to take back the word fat.

I often think about the time my friend called me a fat bitch. I also often think about how I would react if someone called me that now. I’d like to think I would laugh and dismiss the comment. I can only hope that one day, that three-letter word can be reclaimed and used positively. Whether thin or fat, we all have the right to find ourselves attractive.

Until then, I can happily say that this fat bitch is doing alright.