Ugly. Fat. Woman.
Yesterday I read an article written by a woman called Anke Wauters called ‘Ugly. Fat. Woman'. I didn't hesitate for a moment to read what she had to say. I'm glad I did, because the article is so fierce and full of emotion. She wrote about the public's expectations of ‘real women'. ‘Real women never age'. 'Real women fit into the smallest size of clothes'. But Anke doesn't agree.
The introduction is about Anke saying that ‘real women' can have love handles. They feel so self-conscious sometimes that they would rather disappear. There's always something ‘wrong' with our looks. If a woman is small, she wants to be bigger. If she's blond, she wants to be a brunette. There are only a few women who are completely satisfied with their looks. As if we have to please other people by trying to look like supermodels! If you're small, you're small. If you're blond, you're blond. SO WHAT.
Anke thinks the same way. "Let me clarify one thing," she says, "I am fat". She starts to explain that when she was 5 years old she felt OK with her body, "Because when you're 5 you can't possibly imagine something's wrong about the way you look." Hours before a presentation she sits in front of her closet crying because not one of her pieces of clothing can hide how much body there is and people will probably only remember ‘that fat person' from the presentation.
One day she went to the swimming pool and had to convince herself before going. "Nobody cares what you look like," Anke said to herself, "People admire you for trying." When she arrived at the swimming pool, a few boys were just leaving. The leader of the gang stopped, stared at her and said three words: "Fat. Ugly. Woman". After hearing those words, Anke fled to the toilet and cried for a long time. That evening, she cried herself to sleep for the first time in her life, just because she exists. When I read this I could only think "How can people hate each other so much? Is it fun to judge? To make other people feel bad so you can make yourself feel good?" Sadly, many people think like this.
Anke talks about this issue so fiercely it's almost as if she doesn't care about what people say about her. She talks about her body and doesn't seem to care about what people think. But she does. Everyone does. And just like this strong woman says: "Real women are sick of it. Fat. Ugly. Woman. As if that's the only thing I am, defined by three things: weight, beauty and gender. I don't have to defend myself or apologize. I may have a bigger size, but that doesn't make me inferior. And I won't allow it any more. Real women are sick of it".
If you understand Dutch, I strongly advise you to read Anke's article on http://ankeschrijfthetneer.com/2015/02/26/dik-lelijk-wijf/