I know, from being thin and listening to thin people talk about fat people, that thin people often denigrate fat people. At best, they feel sorry for them. I know too that when a thin person looks at a fat person, the thin person considers the fat person less virtuous than he. The fat person lacks willpower, pride, this wretched attitude, “self-esteem,” and does not care about friends or family because if he or she did care about friends or family, he or she would not wander the earth looking like a repulsive sow, rhinoceros, hippo, elephant, general wide-mawed flesh-flopping flabby monster.
Despite the dichotomy created here (i.e., “fat person” vs. “thin person,”) Moore generally steers clear of politicizing the issue of weight. This is, more than anything, a personal story about one woman’s struggle with her emotions, her experiences, and her weight. But, Moore’s writing above provides a window into the socio-political context of fat: Why would thin people ascribe low willpower/self-esteem/pride to their heftier counterparts when, oftentimes, these are the very issues they’re struggling with themselves? It seems that projection is sometimes easier than introspection.
I am on a diet. I am almost always on a diet. I am trying to get rid of pounds of my waddling self. I am always trying to get rid of pounds of myself. . . . I hate myself. I have almost always hated myself, but it’s not for bad things I’ve done. I do not hate myself for betrayals, for going behind the back of someone who trusted me. I hate myself because I am not beautiful. I hate myself because I am fat.
Yes, Moore happens to be fat, but it wasn’t until I read this quote a second time (out of the context of the story itself), that I realized it could apply to anyone at any size. It really doesn’t matter what Moore weighs. This could be the lament of the fat or the thin, the grossly overweight or frighteningly underweight (whatever those terms mean, exactly). It could also be written by someone with a beautiful figure, because as you know, just as it’s not about someone else’s body, it’s also really not about yours.