am i angry?

Recently some of my family has noticed and commented on my anger. This doesn’t bother me. they’re right. I am angry. why am i angry? why now? why wasn’t i like this 5 years ago? because 5 years ago i was too ashamed to acknowledge that I was fat (like somehow if i didn’t name it, then NO ONE would be able to tell! magic!). Instead, I just put my head down, moved forward through life, and didn’t take much time to listen to myself, my thoughts, my feelings, my fears, my concerns, or my strengths. Because perhaps as a fattie I didn’t deserve to take time for myself? I don’t know. but then it’s kind of like I woke up a little over a year ago. And often times when we “wake up” and become aware of some shitty and awful things going on, we get pissed. because, at the heart of it, it just isn’t fair. it’s not fair that some people are made to feel different, weird, gross, worse, unlovable. it’s not fair that websites are devoted to pictures of fat people with the most horrific and mean-spirited comments written. it’s not fair that i didn’t appreciate all of the wonderful things that I was (and am).

One of my favorite bloggers, Lesley, has this to say about her anger:

I’ve got anger, and anger is intrinsically neither good nor bad, but can be destructive or constructive depending on how you use it. Anger can make me throw things or get up in someone’s face, neither of which is particularly useful or wise, but it can also make me speak up and act out — it drives me to change the fucking world so that the bullies and harassers are the ones who are isolated and ostracized, and not congratulated on their wretched sense of humor.

I think the most important piece in all of it for me is recognizing exactly what Lesley says – anger can be destructive or constructive depending on how you decide to use it. I certainly don’t want to become some bitter and angry woman who is toxic to be around. But i also don’t want to lose my passion and general grrr-ness about the discrimination that us fatties face on a regular basis, about the subtle (and not so subtle) messages we get that tell us we don’t deserve happiness, that we are a pox on the health care system, that we’re not pretty enough to win the guy in movies, and on and on.

So yes, I’m angry. But I’m also hopeful that my anger will continue to ground me and give me my voice. And I know that anger is but one emotion that I have in my arsenal of fat acceptance. I also have humor, love, and kindness.

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3 responses to “am i angry?

  1. As someone who tries very hard to be nice, I feel like when I found my anger, it was the most liberating, grounding, inspiring, and powerful I’d felt in a long time. I feel like for me, we’re told (most specifically I see this “we” as most women) to be nice. Be nice. Act Nice. nice. nice. nice.

    And then, somehow, without our noticing, nice becomes code for a pushover.

    Well, nice can bite you in the ass sometimes. Anger can too. It can drag you down. Destroy you if you let it. But it can also make you rise up, say the things that you’ve swallowed for years (decades?) , fight for the things you need/want/expect/deserve, put yourself first and claim the fact that you have power in a situation. It is a hearty motivator. It clarifies things. It makes me feel like Xena Warrior Princess, all dressed up in her armoured corset and everything, who can take care of her own goddamn self, thank you very much!
    I think tempered with kindness, wit, humor, love and a little sprinkle of decorum, anger can be a very useful tool in yee olde toolbox. Using it as a tool to push through, around, into something (rather than a state of being that I wallow in) has proven very liberating and something that I welcome in and pay attention to whenever I see niceness as getting in my way of what I really want.

  2. “put yourself first and claim the fact that you have power in a situation.”

    this, absolutely. having power can be scary, so sometimes it’s just easier to sit back and be passive. keep it in. or ignore it all together.

  3. Pingback: a rite of passage – my first troll | the taking up of space

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