I give him an intentionally-pathetic expression and ask, "Honey, do I look fat in this?"
He laughs and says, "Yep!" then grabs my ass for good measure. I smack his hand away in faux horror. We almost fall off the couch, laughing at our roommate's shocked expression. He thinks that my husband will be sleeping on that couch tonight, for sure. But there was no such thing.
My husband and I have an openly fat relationship.
My fattness is not this bizarre unspoken-about characteristic that will cause instant strife when mentioned. My husband is not obligated to pretend that I'm not fat. And, if he did, it would annoy the crap out of me. So we have an openly fat relationship.
What do I mean by that? I mean that I acknowledge that I'm a fat woman. And not a fat woman with thin woman inside waiting to break free.* I am fat and will probably always be fat. And Mr. Shoshie doesn't sit around, hoping that some day I'll lose weight. He acknowledges my fat, as part of my sexy awesome self. Most of the time it's meaningless. Sometimes it's important, like when I'm on top during sex, or when we're carpooling (I almost always sit in front if there's people squishing into the back).
As I took the first cautious steps into the fat acceptance pool (Come in! The water's great!) it became more and more important for me to be openly fat. The assumption in the US, is if you're fat, you are not OK with your body. Which is somewhat understandable, given that even so-called body acceptance advocates often decide to become spokespeople for weight loss and start doing a lot of speaking about how awesome it'll be when they lose weight because fat people are gross and unhappy and unhealthy, amirite? (I'll admit that it kills a small piece of me whenever this happens, though I've mostly gotten used to it). So I started using fat as a self-descriptor. I started arguing with people who protest when I use it as a self-descriptor. I'm still wrestling with how I refer to other fat individuals, since most people won't use fat as a self-descriptor. I'm honest about where I purchase my clothing. I've even spoken about my specific weight a couple of times (this is what 250 or so lbs looks like on a 5'2"-ish person).
And so, I've gradually come out of the fat closet. I mean, to a certain extent, fat people are forced into the open. There's not really possible to hide that you're fat, at least IRL. Except there still are things. People don't know how fat you have to be to be forced out of straight-size stores. People don't know how fat you have to be to have to buy all your clothes online, because not even Lane Bryant fits. People don't know what morbidly obese looks like, and they throw around this term like it's nothing. (Oh I don't mean yoooooou. I mean those really fat people. You know, morbidly obese. *headdesk*) People don't know what kinds of oppression fat people face.
So, if you're fat, I encourage you to dip your toes in. Start talking about your experience as a fat person. Like so many axes of oppression (all of them?), marginalization is built around dehumanizing us. They chop off our heads so we can serve better as demons and scapegoats.
Well, fuck that. I'm a person. And I build openly fat relationships.
*OK, this metaphor has started seriously wigging me out. I mean, did I eat a thin woman? Because I'm a fat chick and fat chicks eat everything? Or has she been growing inside me like some alien spawn and suddenly she's going to burst through my chest all sci-fi like and fat Shoshie will just be left there like some hollow skin shell thing? Urhgle. This is how my brain works.