OT: Shapeling Em, Please Contact Me!

Hey, there might be more than one Em out there now, but I’m looking for the one who left this comment several months ago:

Back when I first saw pictures of you, in your personal history entry, I felt so cheated and disappointed. “So that’s her? The poster child of fat bloggers? Just another thin girl with body dysmorphia? Big deal for HER to accept her body.” I could just barely restrain myself from writing a righteously enraged comment about that.

[Then recently], I finally found the courage to step on a scale after several years. I was so scared, sweating and shivering like it was a bloody Bungee jump. And I found that I’m almost exactly your size. That makes my initial feelings wrong on so many levels, I don’t even want to start on it.

If that was you, will you please e-mail me a.s.a.p.? (katesblog@gmail.com) I’d like to use that comment in an essay for an anthology, but I need your permission. Thanks!

28 thoughts on “OT: Shapeling Em, Please Contact Me!”

  1. I think those comments speak volumes about the self-judgmental indoctrination at which western culture so excels. Most of us are vastly more critical of ourselves than we are of others, and treat ourselves with a disdain that we would never in a million years direct at someone else.

  2. I worry sometimes when I start talking with my friends about FA, because most of them don’t see me as overweight (though I am, according to science, “morbidly obese” to which I usually say “Thanks, I like being morbid”) as I’m around 6 feet tall. Apparently, tall people can’t be fat… when I say “Oh, yeah, I weight 265” people tend to tell me I’m lying.

    EDIT: Which, apparently I am lying when I say that, since I apparently weigh 261 now.

    In other words, the veiw that people have of me vs the one I have of myself (which I feel is more accurate) is problematic because my friends refuse to believe that I’m heavier than they are, or that we wear the same clothes (sz 22 in bottoms) until I prove it to them.

    Did any of that make sense of seem relevant(ish) to the post at hand?

  3. I love this blog and all who speak here. I just had to click on comments for this post since I couldn’t figure out how there could be comments at all on a “Please Call Home” post. Was everyone commenting that they weren’t Em? But instead we’re having another great discussion proving once again that we can join together over anything.

    And I’m morbid too, sometimes morbidly so. I’m also morbidly snarky and morbidly irritable.

  4. Janis, I’m 5’8″ and the same weight as you, making me “morbid” as well. I also draw disbelief.

    I didn’t know where else to pose this question so I’ll ask it here: is there a way to get my “unbelievable” weight-y picture added to a BMI project?

  5. obesely morbid.

    That might have to become a tag line.

    Janis, Victoria, who was speaking to Janis, not being her, I’m not taking new pics right now, because I’m insanely busy. But once I’m not, I might open it up again, in which case I’ll post.

  6. Hey, I have nothing to say about this, but look at me commenting because you’re no longer behind a firewall. This is me all commenty. Commenty goodness!

  7. Oh, I see that the Shapeling Em is not the same Shapeling as littlem, whom I would have a total blog crush on, except that littlem seems not to have a blog. However, I see her comments *everywhere* I frequent, and they are always so smart. littlem, if you’re reading this, I hereby confess my comment-luv!

    (And regular Em, you’re great too, of course.) :)

  8. Re: judging ourselves. I think I’ve seen Gloria Steniem credited with the line that most women need a golden rule in reverse: I will treat myself as I treat others. I’ve found this one really helps.

  9. Did you see the thing on CNN earlier this week about the Japanese government cracking down on “obesity”? Like, threatening to fine corporations if their workforce is too “obese.” They show this guy eating his lunch and he looks and sounds really calm, but then they say, “Are you scared about what might happen to you if you don’t lose weight?” And he says, “Oh yes, I’m terrified.”

    I dunno, the entire piece was pretty shocking. You should check it out if you get a chance.

  10. When I first came to this site, I was only sort of familiar with Fat Acceptance, and the only FA people I knew by name (like Marilyn Wann, Daniel Pinkwater, Camryn Manheim and Wendy Shanker) were much fatter than I’d ever be*. I felt like I’d be insulting the REALLY fat people if I joined the movement with my piddly midsize concerns.

    Then along came Kate Harding. Seeing someone my size advocating Fat Acceptance was huge (har) for me because it helped me realize that FA has no minimum size requirement.

    *Just so we’re clear here, I am in no way saying that I’d ZOMG sooner die than let myself get THAT fat. I know the body I have now probably won’t be the body I have forever, but since it’s been more or less the same size since puberty, I don’t see my body getting too much bigger than it is now. If I’m wrong… well, there are worse things than looking like Marilyn Wann when I grow up.

  11. Janis, I just wanted to tell you how right you are. And also, omg, hi, we are very similar weights/heights! I’m 6’1 and right at 265, and yeah, no one believes me. When I identify as a fat person, not only do I get the ‘No, you’re not fat’ in the more general ‘But you’re not gross, lazy, ugly, etc. that usually goes with being “fat”‘, but I think some genuine disbelief at my size when I tell people what size pants I wear (20), or how much I weigh.

    It can really mess with my mind, because when I have been thinking of myself as fat for so long, it is a part of me, a big part. And then when people are so disbelieving, or dismissive, it’s like… denying a whole part of ME. Anyway. Heh. That’s all.

  12. Kate: Thanks, will keep an eye out.

    Sharn: I feel you. When I first became aware of the fat acceptance movement in 2006, one of the first things I stumbled across were pictures from, I believe, a naafa meeting. I figured, oh, another group I can’t join because I’m not ___ enough. (I’ve always felt awkward because of my height, but I’m not 5’10” so I’m excluded from the tall people club) But, come to find out, size acceptance and h.a.e.s. is the real name of the game. And it’s awesome when people post pictures. The variety and acceptance is quite nice!

  13. Hi Kate,

    Reading you asking for Em’s consent to use her comment on a publication encouraged me to one more attempt. I know you get tons of emails daily and I wrote to you and Filyjonk before, that’s why I decided to place my request here. Please delete it if you feel it’s not appropriate.

    I am a PhD student at York University in Toronto,Canada. I am studying the “fatosphere” for a research project on Consumer Culture and I would like to have your consent to use the content from Shapely Prose as research data.

    This is an academic research and the data will be used for this purpose only . The expected outcome of the project is a conference paper. The information from the blog will be aggregated to content from other blogs and I all names, pseudonyms, personal information and private references will be deleted to assure confidentiality and anonymity to the people involved.



  14. Wow, look what happens when I don’t check the fatosphere for two days. *blush*
    Mail is on it’s way!

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