Samstag, 14. Mai 2016

The Body Politic: No 4 - Eating in Public

For those of you who want to know (I always want to know): pickled radishes and avocado, plus smoked mackarel and watercress and edamame salad. Yum. My favourite pair of chopsticks which I brought back from Tokyo.

I want this blog to be positive.

It's just that from time to time it will be necessary for me to go off on a rant - because one of my many daily conundrums is living as a fat woman in a fat-hating society. So this category, "The Body Politic", will provide a space for these (angry) musings. If you can't handle a bit of rage and disappointment - please stop reading right now.

Of course it is not all sunshine and flowers. I know that this blog is mostly about the beautiful places I visit or new ideas for various craft projects, that I haven't worked on the Body Politic series for years now, but that I really should. Because now that summer is almost upon us and much of life is taking place outside, this also means that I am much more in contact with people I do not know and who do not know me but who react to my body.

The bench I often sit on to eat my lunch is next to a very busy road and I can sense it. I haven't really thought of eating in public as a political act but as a fat woman eating her lunch in a public place I must say that it feels like a (mostly silent) protest. The people I get the most horrified looks from are usually women. I doesn't matter if I am eating crisps or carrot sticks. I get stared at. Someone that fat should just stop eating altogether, right? Or at least do it behind closed doors, in the dark? In their eyes I am committing a shameful act in public, and I am doing it most brazenly, not hunched over my lunchbox but usually with a sandwich in one hand and a book in the other. And sometimes I even bring a few biscuits along for afters!

I have started to think of my having lunch in public as making a political statement which seems a bit sad to me. Food sustains us but I deeply believe that it should be enjoyed, that it helps absolutely nobody to demonise the act of eating in this way. Food is not sinful or evil. I have lived in the ever-deepening spiral of self denial, ravenous binge-eating and numbing guilt for so many years that I can well understand how food becomes connected with such emotions - but I don't want to live like this anymore. And so I must protest. Every day. In the sunshine, if I am lucky.

I haven't found a new photo of me actually eating and haven't posted a photo of me in a long time. This is from a recent Sunday morning, I have been up since 6 and looking very bleary-eyed. No make-up, multiple chins. Hair is quite long now.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Hello Qaroline! I understand completely what you are saying here. Up until recently I was very self-conscious to eat in public, avoiding going out to dinner with friends and only choosing salads and never having dessert. I began to realise that people would peer at me and seem to judge me no matter what I ate, so isn't it better to eat what I want and be happy?
    Keep protesting! I read somewhere that the more people witness fat people doing ordinary things, the more normalised it will become for them and perhaps their prejudices will shift over time.
    And I love edamame!
    Love, Katie.