Warning: this is pretty evil. You might not want to read this. (This is as close to a “trigger warning” as I get.)
So MikeJMyers (I refuse to protect the guilty) just wrote me this publicly on Fitocracy:
Size positive? Really? That’s a thing we have to deal with on FITOCRACY now? There is nothing positive about being fat. It’s not healthy. It’s not attractive. The only places it can benefit people are cold water swimming, being a lineman on a football team, or being a Sumo.
This really touches a nerve for me. You should no more accept being a fat person than one should accept being a drug addict or alcoholic. Fitocracy is supposed to be a place where we motivate each other TO GET BETTER.
1.) Attractiveness is an extremely subjective thing. (I just want to blow this guy’s mind with the entire FA and feederism thing. Seriously. I mean, if I end up replying to him, it will ONLY be about this point. I really would love to see his brain explode when he learns there are thousands, if not MILLIONS of people who find fat attractive. [He’d probably just call them sick perverts or something.])
2.) Being unhealthy is unhealthy. Sometimes unhealthy people are fat. Sometimes they’re skinny. Sometimes they’re inbetween. There is some correlation between fat and health, but it’s far from direct. There’s FAR more correlation between exercise and health, and even that isn’t 100% direct.
2.5) Whether or not someone is healthy or not is between them and their doctor. AND THAT’S IT.
3.) “You should no more accept being a fat person than one should accept being a drug addict or alcoholic.” WOW. SERIOUSLY? WOW. I wonder if all of your friends and family and coworkers are skinny. Do you feel the same way about them? Do you speak to them in that way?
4.) Fito is there to motivate people towards their fitness goals, whatever they be. Everyone gets to define for themselves what “better” is. (Fitocracy calls it “awesome”. Their motto is “Making you more awesome.” I like that a lot.)
5.) Skinny != better. Fat != worse.
I am officially making a “the stupid, it burns” tag JUST for this post. WOW. What a small little man who lives in a small little world.
(I don’t want you to think this person is representative of Fito at large. Fitocracy is one of the most awesome communities I’ve ever been on… supportive, welcoming, friendly. I love them so much. Most groups focus on the positive and on supporting people, regardless of their size or fitness goals. Some are intentionally size positive. This is just 1 of a few assholes who don’t seem to get that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.)
This happens to me constantly. Also, walking into things like doorknobs because I don’t realize my ass/hips/thighs are that wide. I always have at least 1 bruise from it. (What REALLY hurts is when I don’t know my clearance on the Metro and I sit down partially on the armrest of the seat.)
I have been fat for like 10 years now. You’d think I’d be used to it now and, you know, NOT walk into things.
"3: Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?", "21: Whats your least favorite movie?", "35: Best thing to eat for breakfast?"
3: I don’t sleep with sheets. I have a duvet w/ a cover I sleep under. If I’m sleeping in a strange bed, I untuck the sides (if they’re tucked in) and leave the bottom tucked in. Which inevitably becomes untucked.
21: Hmm… I’m not a big movie person, so for me to watch a movie, I pretty much want to make sure I’m going to enjoy it BEFORE I watch it. Withnail & I was ok. It had some great moments (“We’ve gone on holiday by mistake!” and “I want the finest wines known to humanity and I want them NOW!” and naked McGann) but other than that, I found it quite boring.
35: Hmm. It really depends on my mood. I’m not big on standard North American breakfast fare (but every now and then get the itch for a big breakfast of pancakes/waffles/French toast, eggs, sausage/bacon/corned beef hash and the like)… I did far better with breakfast in France (croissants? hard boiled eggs? Rolls with butter? YES.) and especially Germany (sliced cold wurst on dark brown bread? Nutella on bread? Yes please!). 8T got me into fuul for breakfast (or any meal… I think I’ll make some now) & beans ‘n’ greens (I prefer black beans) w/ a little hot sauce. I especially am not a cereal-for-breakfast fan… I’d have to eat like 5 bowls before I would be full. I’ve always been more of a savory person than sweet, which is why I think I prefer breakfast around the world more than breakfast in the US. And, of course, it’s hard to go wrong with dinner leftovers, especially if it’s cold pizza.
Last night I was video chatting with 8T, my “It’s Complicated”. We had been talking about videos of ourselves on YouTube, and he found a video of himself teaching how to make a Rorschach costume up that he forgot that he had made for his hackerspace. The other hackerspace videos had between 7 and 54 hits… his had 74,450. It was… well, it was ok. Even he admitted it wasn’t his finest work.
But the comments. OMG the comments. Some of them were pointing out the mediocrity of his work. Others were just dumb. But quite a few were downright abusive. Making fun of him and his looks. (Some of them were a bit astute and made me giggle a little, I must admit.) Calling him fat. Calling him an idiot. Calling him a failure. Questioning his sexual orientation. (As if being gay is an insult.) Questioning his mental competency. I could only read about a page of them before I had to stop. (I’ve gone back tonight to read more and gather more data for this post. It’s been very hard.) I was hurt. I was angry. I wanted to don the costume myself and go fuck some assholes up. Sneak into their houses and avenge him. (I’m loyal to the people I care about.)
These people don’t know him. They don’t know that I and others find him quite handsome. They don’t know that he’s kind and sweet and generous and funny and silly and a lot of fun. They don’t know that he likes nerdcore hiphop & video games & taking pictures of graffiti or that he loves to Kickstart things. They don’t know about his awesome collection of nerdy Tshirts, which, I swear, is almost half from w00t, almost half from Kickstarter, and the rest from donating to Off The Hook. They don’t know how much he means to me or how much he’s helped me in the past couple of months. They don’t know that sometimes he’s my lifeline to this crazy spinning rock we call Earth. They don’t know that he strives to be a better person in many different ways and beats himself up over it a little too much because he’s not doing as well as he hopes to. All they really know is that he took the time to put an ok video of how to make an ok Rorschach costume up on the Internet for his hackerspace 2 years ago. He took the time to create & share. They took the time to destroy.
To be fair, however, a commenter called MGTGR123 came to his defense and said the following:
A lot of the people commenting on here are such douches.
So it doesn’t move…Duh. You are also not Rorschach. The comic is fiction!
What does the guy’s weight have to do with anything? Just because you’re hiding behind a computer does not give you the right to be a jerk. Let have you upload a video of you doing anything besides talking crap. No regard for people’s feelings… terrible.
Keep doing what you’re doing <name of his hackerspace here>, I used this tutorial and I got many compliments on my mask. ;)
I asked 8T how he felt about it. He didn’t seem phased by it. I asked him how he did it… how he just didn’t care. How it could just not matter to him. I don’t exactly remember his answer, maybe because it was simply “I don’t. These people don’t matter.” He even mentioned that he trolled himself a little in one of the comments (using his personal username instead of the hackerspace’s username) and pointed it out to me. (I read it and laughed.) I told him that I can’t do that. I can’t just “not care”. And that I can’t abuse that way… I remember that it’s NOT “just the Internet”. I remember that at the end of every keyboard is a person with thoughts and feelings.
I was so shook up by this that I took the videos I made (that have been luckily ignored) and made the comments moderated. Sadly, this won’t actually stop people from being abusive. It won’t even stop me from seeing it. But maybe it’ll make someone think 2x. (Probably not.) I wonder if I could find someone to do my moderation for me.
So, yeah. I don’t get this bullying & abuse culture. But I know it absolutely must stop. And the only way we’re going to get it to stop is to make people genuinely feel and understand the inherent worth and dignity of all other human beings. (Which, BTW, is the First Principle of my religion.) How to make people stop and think and empathize, well, that’s the trick, isn’t it.
In the meantime, I think I might go watch Watchmen. And maybe afterwards I’ll make myself a neat costume. Thanks for the instructions, 8T.
This is actually a really interesting essay about the recent and fashionable upsurge in the idea of “disconnecting” which many of you may find relevant to your interests.
I enjoyed this and I might write a companion piece about disconnection, boredom, loneliness, and the experience of NOT owning a smartphone (through no choice of my own… I can’t afford one) and, in my case, the subsequent experience of owning an iPod Touch, which is like owning a smartphone but only where you can find an accessible wifi network (which, in and of itself, makes it a different experience).