Curvy Conversations

I’m in the Fat Girl Closet

July 7 2008 | CeCe Olisa

The other day, I witnessed someone ask an effeminate acquaintance of mine if he had a “boyfriend”. While this man triggers my gaydar each time I see him, I know that he lives his life as if he is straight. The look on his face was a mix of emotions. It was as if for a moment, he was startled into the reality he constantly works to ignore. The odd thing was that I understood.

I understood because, I am in the Fat Girl Closet.

It is a rare occasion that I acknowledge the fact that I am larger than most of the people I know. I don’t talk about my weight, instead, I ignore it. I’ve convinced myself that if I pretend its not there, people wont notice it.

But every once in a while I will get startled into the reality that even if I say nothing about it, the size of my body speaks for its self.

Its not that I’m ashamed. I know that I am attractive, I just don’t want to be defined by my weight.

Like a few weeks ago, I decided to go swimming at my gym. I had recently purchased a black vintage inspired halter-top bathing suit and as I slipped on my pink sequined flip flops and walked to grab a towel a woman stopped me and said, “You have confidence!” I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just smiled. She took this as a cue to continue, “I love seeing a woman of your size who isn’t embarrassed!”

Though I was in a Manhattan gym locker-room with women who were a size 10 or smaller, it wasn’t until she made her comments that I became self conscious.

She had outed me as Fat.

I even keep the BBW scene a secret from my skinny friends. Although they’ve all been out with me at mainstream clubs and see that I don’t get much “action” I don’t want to admit that I have to go to a special club to meet guys. (I don’t think I have to make the comparison between me secretly going to BBW parties and person secretly going to gay bars… I’m in the Fat Girl Closet!)

Until I started writing this blog, my weight was something that was reserved for quiet conversations with my Mother and sisters. While I love sharing my experiences here, I often wonder if I do it because its more or less anonymous.

Dana is my only friend who knows about thebiggirlblog, I don’t share it with my skinny friends (who all know that I write and pester me about blogging often). Sometimes I want to tell them, but having them read my experiences would pull the curtain down from the facade I’ve been maintaining that my weight has no effect on my life.

My weight does not define me.

…Okay, maybe it does.

Perhaps the person I really don’t want to know how much being an overweight person in New York City defines me is… me.

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36 responses on “I’m in the Fat Girl Closet

  1. Jess

    I just discovered your blog, and I’m so glad that I did. Your posts are fascinating, and I can totally relate, particularly to this one. I never discussed my weight or anything pertaining to it until I went on Weight Watchers and lost a lot of weight. I’m still overweight, and still on WW, but now that I’ve done something proactive about my size, it makes me feel like I have a leg to stand on discussing it. As opposed to before, when I felt that if it came up in conversation, it would be in a context of blame and judgment, and I so did not want to deal with that, so I avoided the topic altogether. Even now, I still have to force myself to discuss it when someone asks.

  2. Anonymous

    I too just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! I can 100% relate to how you feel in a club with all your skinny friends and how you do not discuss weight with them. I wonder if and when I will find the guy who is interested in me and loves the way I look, am, etc. I feel like I’m not my type’s, “type.”

  3. ShoeGirl

    I love this!! I loved your BBW club entry. How cool is that?? I wish we’d had clubs like that in Houston when I was single. I know what you mean. I can SO relate. I remember when I was telling a friend that I needed to lose weight for health reasons and she told me that she never thought my weight bothered me. She said that I carried myself like I was fine with it. It reminded me of what that woman said to you at the gym.

  4. Mamma

    Thank you BlogHer for putting this post up on their ads today.

    Those confidence comments do sting. I try to ignore my weight too, but then I see myself in the mirror–and I’m shocked.

    Terrific writing.

  5. Shari

    I too found you through a BlogHer ad, which is odd, because for some reason I usually avoid anything to do with that scene.

    Looks like I need to reevaluate my BlogHer hate, though, because your writing is delightful! As for the Fat Girl Closet, well, I’m out of it, but only because I’m so fat that I think people define me by it whether I like it or not. “Owning it” gives me some control… or so I like to think.

  6. simon

    “You have confidence” would earn my righteous indignation (which is a common topic for me these days).

    I have a loooong history of not knowing when to keep my mouth shut, and it sounds like locker-room lady has the same problem.

    What a turd.

    On the other hand, from the attitude you exude, she may be on to something.

  7. Klick Here

    Ditto from the others. I found your blog through the ad and I’m so glad I did. It makes me laugh when my coworkers complain about their weight. They all range between sizes 0-6. Yet I don’t have the confidence to call them out on it or make a comment about the fact that I’m very obviously bigger than them. I too am in the fat girl closet.

  8. Dating Trooper

    Everyone should read your blog – especially men! And I suspect you will get quite a following with your honesty. I am both heartbroken reading some of your entries (the “drive by” in particular) and full of admiration. And not in the condescending “you have confidence” sort of way from your unfortunate locker room incident. Look forward to reading more.

  9. Bayard

    I like well built women and I liked your add and picture and comment from Eunice. You should give the well built ones a chance at what they are GOOD AT ( MODELING the Plus sizes MORE ). Thanks Bayard

  10. A.

    Yes, the fat girl closet! Sometimes when I'm around a boy I like and a situation that's tricky because of my size pops up, I catch myself thinking "I can't do that; he doesn't know I'm fat." Uh….yes he does.

  11. IntrigueMe

    I know exactly how you feel. Several friends over the years have said to me "You're not the 'fat girl'. You don't act any different than the rest of us" and I always responded that "I don't let my weight define me". For a long time, that was true. Sure, I didn't get as many dates as my skinny friends and I knew I was bigger than them, but I was still confident… Until recently. 2 years ago I was in a really bad relationship, and I put on a lot more weight. Since then I do find it affecting my life more, definitely my confidence, and it is beginning to define me. A couple months ago I felt the need to blog about my weight, but as I was about to I realized that I had never done that before. My blog friends don't know I'm a bigger girl… and then I started feeling self concious about my "blog life" which is the the most honest space I have. I never blogged about it before, because I never felt the need to… and now that I do, I'm too embarassed. I'm trying to come around to it slowly, but for some stupid reason I'm afraid they'll think I'm not the person they thought I was- when in reality they probably know my (other) inner thoughts more than some of my own friends.

    Sorry this comment was so long- your post really hit the spot!

  12. Megs

    I was just thinking this today as I ran around central park running past people who kept trying hard to re pass me. They were breathing heavy and probably wouldn't be able to hold a conversation. I however was in the zone happily running at a comfortable pace. I don't know why it bothers me. I just get annoyed with the fact that people expect me to be slow. I have worked hard to get to this point in my life. I am not fat but I am not thin. Anywhere other then New York I think I would be considered normal. However, here when I go out I don't always feel pretty. I feel self conscious about my weight and when I meet a guy I think how could he really like me. I am inspired by your confidence. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

  13. FatGirlSkinny

    Thank you so much for writing this. I relate so much. I feel the same in lots of ways. I’ve said so many times, and this is a direct quote from myself, “I forget I’m fat until a bad picture or an idiot reminds me.” I feel small when I walk around. I feel confident when I’m wearing my favorite outift in public. I feel just as likely to be hit on as the next girl, and my weight feels no different than my eye color or hair color. But inside it’s different ONLY because of others. I’m okay with who I am physically and know I’m worthy and beautiful and will make a great wife. It’s the reality (that I’m well aware of and willing to accept) that many look down on “us” and that most men are no attracted to big girls. That’s where I struggle with the line of confidence, no confidence. I am confident, I’m just realistic and I have to accept the fact that most men are not attracted to me. It holds me back but in so many ways it doesn’t. If others didn’t remind me I don’t think I’d notice I was different. I desire to be smaller for health reason and things like clothes shopping but I don’t for men. I get hit on, I’m complimented, and have dates as often as I want them (which I’m not a huge dater anyway) and it is what it is. I absolutely as a country think we should push to end obesity but ONLY for health reasons. Aesthetically, I’m tired of hearing about it. If you don’t like it, turn away. If you don’t like that your friend DOES like it, stfu and move along and find a new friend. I respect that some men like small girls and I want others to respect that some like big girls. After all, we do need lovin’ too.

  14. FatGirlSkinny

    Thank you so much for writing this. I relate so much. I feel the same in lots of ways. I’ve said so many times, and this is a direct quote from myself, “I forget I’m fat until a bad picture or an idiot reminds me.” I feel small when I walk around. I feel confident when I’m wearing my favorite outift in public. I feel just as likely to be hit on as the next girl, and my weight feels no different than my eye color or hair color. But inside it’s different ONLY because of others. I’m okay with who I am physically and know I’m worthy and beautiful and will make a great wife. It’s the reality (that I’m well aware of and willing to accept) that many look down on “us” and that most men are no attracted to big girls. That’s where I struggle with the line of confidence, no confidence. I am confident, I’m just realistic and I have to accept the fact that most men are not attracted to me. It holds me back but in so many ways it doesn’t. If others didn’t remind me I don’t think I’d notice I was different. I desire to be smaller for health reason and things like clothes shopping but I don’t for men. I get hit on, I’m complimented, and have dates as often as I want them (which I’m not a huge dater anyway) and it is what it is. I absolutely as a country think we should push to end obesity but ONLY for health reasons. Aesthetically, I’m tired of hearing about it. If you don’t like it, turn away. If you don’t like that your friend DOES like it, stfu and move along and find a new friend. I respect that some men like small girls and I want others to respect that some like big girls. After all, we do need lovin’ too.

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