Friday, August 04, 2006

Attention and the Fat Girl

Attention. That's not something fat girls are supposed to have to deal with. We are supposed to be invisible. Ignored. Passed over. Passed by.

Lately I have been feeling very visible and it is a bit unnerving. Doors are being opened for me. People are allowing me to cut in front of them in line. Boys are asking me for my phone number. They are asking me to dance. It feels strange.

I know what I look like. I've seen enough photographic proof lately to scar any slightly insecure person. I'm the biggest girl in the room. I check. I admit it. When I walk into a room, or walk past people on the street, I am constantly checking to see if I'm bigger or smaller than they are. For the past year or so I am invariably the bigger person. Every once in a while I see someone bigger and I say to myself - I won't get that big. But I'm sure just as I'm thinking that someone behind me is looking at my ass and saying the same thing to themselves.

But at the same time as I have been hyper-aware of what I look like, I have been getting all this polite, respectful attention from men. It seems incongruous to me. I have been thinner and I have felt more invisible than I do now. Is it because I no longer live in New York - the one place I feel both at home and like an outcast because it is filled with the vapid and the vacuous? Is it because I am surrounded by more mature men? Which I doubt because I go to school with 27-year olds who have created 'hot lists' of the women in our class. (And please don't say I have been attracting those kind of men - the kind that 'like' fat women - or I will have to do you personal bodily harm.)

This kind of attention makes me forget what I look like, if for just a moment. I don't feel fat when it is happening. And then I catch a glimpse of myself and I remember my place in the world. In the back, behind the crowd, out of sight, not too proud, part of the scenery. That's where I tell myself I belong. That's where I feel comfortable. That's where I feel safe. Attention just casts a strong light that I'm not ready to handle for more than a fleeting moment. And thank God they are only fleeting moments.


Jen said...

I could have written this post myself. How are you feeling lately? Confidence can do wonders for you. It's about personality..or at least it should be.

You don't belong in the back girl. No way, no how.

Mom Williams said...

Trixie - You can do this! We are counting on you.


Anonymous said...

Jen is right!! Trixie doesn't belong in the back. No way, no how.

Anonymous said...

Jen is right!! Trixie doesn't belong in the back. No way, no how.