That time I got fat-shamed on Facebook

31 January 2016 - 02:00 By Aspasia Karras
Aspasia Karras
Aspasia Karras
Image: Supplied

I was minding my own Facebook business when I saw myself tagged. Rather, myself as represented by my bum. There it was in all its orotund glory as I bent over somebody at a table to say hello at an event.

The photographer was obviously seated at the perfect angle to take the Kim K shot and posted my posterior on their Facebook page. Beneath it somebody had commented: "Whose big bottom is that?"

I felt the warm rush of shame and disbelief wash over me. Could people really be that cruel? Oh, wait, yes they could. Take the outrageous bunch of bigots in London calling themselves Overweight Haters Ltd, who have been handing out fat-shaming pamphlets to people they deem too large for the London Underground. In comparison, this little salvo was practically amateurish. My first thought was: "Ignore it. They just want to get a rise out of you. Don't respond."

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But fat-shaming is insidious like that. It preyed on me. I got introspective, or rather retrospective. I did a lot of bum gazing per mirror trying to establish just how big this bottom situation was/is.

Was it a case of a bad angle or should I go on a liquid diet? Could I fat-freeze the bum right off? Is that even possible? On a scale of Beyoncé to Nicki Minaj, where exactly does my bottom fall? Was I just getting a bum rap? Then I got angry. Who the hell are these people to shame me and my bum?

And then I got writing. I mean, at least social media gives you a right of reply, dammit. Here, then, is my parting shot on the bottom-feeding question: "Dear (insert name of Facebook commentator here), that is my big bottom, thanks for asking. I'll admit that when I first saw it displayed at such a dramatic angle in this post, I felt slightly alarmed and thought I should ask the photographer to edit her post. Obviously not my best angle! But then I read your charming question. Whose big bottom indeed? That big bottom is mine because I am heartily sick of women having to deal with other people's ideas of what their bodies should look like. It is my big bottom because mean-spirited fat-shaming sucks. It is my big bottom and I like to display it in hot leather pants. It is my big bottom and I am proud of it because it works hard to support my strong legs when I run marathons. It is my big bottom and I own it. So thanks for that question. I have indeed taken it to heart. The very bottom of my heart."

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