So Kate Clinton in her first book talked about how she took insults from the right wing as compliments. Because when a nutjob calls you a ball-busting feminazi bitch, the best response is "why thank you!"
I think about this because Beth from Sothefishsaid posted a few pictures of her baby celebrating said baby's chubby little thighs. It made me sad that as an adult, those chubby little thighs would be deplored as signs of gluttony. They would be held against her and she would feel self conscious of them. I hate that. When I spent Thanksgiving with my little cousins, one of them giggled and said that my belly was big. I had this little clench in my stomach at being judged by an 8 year old. She finished her statement by saying, "I like putting my head on it." The assessment of the bigness of my belly wasn't an indictment. It wasn't a judgement. It was an observation. A compliment. But every other social signal I get from society tells me that big belly = shame.
I find this totally crazy I've internalized this, since the men that make me hot are men with some meat on their bones (i.e. J!). I had a boyfriend who was thin as a rail. We'd cuddle and I'd wake up with bruises because of his hipbones sticking out of his waist. Why would I feel bad about having a belly then?
Growing up I got (and still get) all types of crap for having a healthy appetite. My sister always used to damn me with the phrases "I eat to live. You live to eat." With that in mind, I was out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend and she remarked "I love how you eat." This sent me into a tizzy and I had to defend myself by saying "Nooooo, I don't love to eat. Eating sucks. Blech. Boo food." How effing wrong is that? Someone went to the trouble of making me a meal, plating it, and serving it to me. I SHOULD enjoy it. It SHOULD register on my face that I enjoy it and I SHOULD eat the damn thing with gusto. Food isn't just about nourishment. It's about pleasure. It's about socializing. It's about family. If it WAS just about nourishment, then there's no need for restaurants. There would be no need for THANKSGIVING. But once again, what was a compliment about my enjoyment of food, was taken as an insult, because heaven forbid in this society you should enjoy food.
So the next time someone decides to call me fat, my response with be THANK YOU.