Inspiration Porn and Fat Friend Therapy – THE SAME THING! 

I would like you to examine the following items: An In Living Color Skit about the “Lorie Davis Hair Care System,” and an Inspirational Poster featuring two Disabled people. 

 

inspirationporn

Now, don’t get me started on how savagely ugly this In Living Color skit is to fat people by itself. That is a whole other day. But, have you considered how similar the message is to most inspiration porn? “You look (act/will do) good…” “‘Cause I don’t,” is kind of the whole concept of disabled inspiration porn. That’s the problem.  

First of all, there are the people who are being compared. They are divided into two groups: the better and the worse. Obviously, “Cher” and her skinny friends are the “better” and “Lorie” is the “worse.” In the inspirational poster, the people running on springs are “worse.” Who’s the “better” in the poster? YOU. You are the “better” one, simply because you are evidently abled better than people with no legs. This is a comparison contest, with Cher/You the winner, and Lorie/the disabled as the loser.

Sure, you can make yourself feel better by comparing yourself to the disabled all day because you’ll win, apparently, but is that the measurement stick of your worth? How abled you are? Because that’s the textbook of ableism – measuring somebody’s worth by how well they can function in society. So, if a person needs help, they are worth a little less? So, how abled must a person be to be worthy enough to, I don’t know, live? Because many of the Nazi Holocaust practices were experimented on by the disabled. Now, I know that’s a long way from inspiration porn, but that is right up the road from it on Ableism Street. It’s not a place you want to travel down. I have already shown in previous musings that measuring a person’s worth by an unattainable standard leaves so many people out.

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No More Self Hate 

Recently, I’ve been going over some of my posts. I’ve noticed a pattern of pity and self-loathing. Will I die alone? Am I pretty enough for love? Am I too fat for love? It has come to me what I have been doing, and what drives these posts. I have been listening to what the haters say, and not what the people who love me say. It’s a vicious cycle. The haters scream and shout, while those who love you are drowned out. It’s vicious what I’ve been listening to. Well, it’s time to make a definite change. I’ve come here to say NO MORE. It’s time I reverse my ears and listen to those who really love me – those who say that love is there, even if it’s not in a partner.

Autistic people find love. I have known a chemist/inventor who has been in Time Magazine, and she has been married for years. Of course, no one has to marry their partner, but isn’t that sweet? I have decided this: If I am bound to find a soul mate, they will come at the right time. If not, oh well. Maybe I can look at the other ways people can be loved – you know, without partners.

I’m going to go off script and talk about this – it’s related: Ashley Graham – yes, the plus-size Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model – says she’s not ashamed of her body. Why should she be ashamed of it? She’s a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model! Even now, I can hear the cracking and crumbling of the plaster statue of broomstick beauty dictatorship. I’m not a broomstick, but why does that have to shut me out of love and acceptance? It’s sickening.

The worst part of it is this: It recurs almost every now and then. It’s like a pain that flares up with this trigger or that trigger, and I want it to stop. I want to stop feeling like I am inadequate to find and give/receive love. I’m tired of being disqualified because of things I can barely control, let alone things I can NOT control. I can’t control that I’m autistic. I can’t control that I’m short and stocky. I can’t control your attitude, either. So why lament about it?

Boxed Up

Now, for some strange reason, I get troubled by shows with fat women. Why is it, when a woman in particular is cast who has a little weight, that weight is her defining characteristic? What about her interests, her favorite teams or hobbies? Do they think fat people have no hobbies? That’s insane. I will give TV shows more credit in the 2016 viewing season. Katy Mixon and Chrissy Metz-two plus size women on TV, with more to name, I’m sure. Although I consider it a baby step, it’s a step in the right direction. It also looks like the viewing public likes women we, the American Public, can relate to. This does not trouble me. What troubles me, in fact, is the fact that weight is a major issue for their characters. I mean, not only is it a major issue, it seems to be the box that the person is put in has little room to move, or even breathe, except for the way the box defines.

I have always had trouble fitting into the boxes society has had for me. Short, white, autistic, fat…it seems that no matter what box you go in, there is only one way to fit inside the box. Most of the time, though, I cannot fit inside it. Take autistic, for example. For some reason, the box of autism’s rules are like this:

-No talking

-No popular special interests

-No relatability

-No girls (Yes, some girls miss out on their paper diagnosis due to the fact they are girls)

-No individuality

Do you see the problem here? According to most people, I stopped being “autistic” according to the box’s rules at various points in my life, maybe even at conception. That is not fair! That is not fair to talking autistics. That is not fair to autistics who like popular things, like Pokemon and NKOTB. It is not fair to autistics who can relate to non-autistics. It is definitely not fair to autistic girls. It is definitely not fair to autistic people, because they are very individual. I have not met one autistic who was too much like another autistic, or too much like anyone else.

This particular box-placing and box-busting can be applied to any particular “box” or “label” that people are put in. There are black people accused of not being “black enough” for various reasons. The various sexualities abounding have their own stereotypes and breakable “rules” that they must contend with. I don’t like boxes. Stop putting me in them.

“I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.”

I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” Is this what men want their women to think? For a long time, this is what I thought of myself. So I never went out, never gave a care about my weight and my hygiene, and never really smiled at men. I did not even follow my own standards and values, because…”I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” I am just now, almost 37, coming out of this self-hating fog. Why do I have a bunch of short-term boyfriends? This is an epidemic problem among women today, especially in the age of Photoshop.

Now we have completely unrealistic beauty standards, so unrealistic that most people would not recognize the model/actor in the photos when they walk on the street. I can hear now the statements like: “Nah, that’s not Christy Turlington (or whatever model is on the street). She’s skinnier.” I am four feet, eleven inches tall. I am a size 24. I am working on losing weight…and now here come the “credentials” and “qualifiers” for existing. Honestly, I did not even know that a woman could be my body type and be successful in the film industry until Melissa McCarthy came along. I did not realize this…even with Kathy Kinney, Delta Burke, Valerie Harper, Sophia Loren, and Marilyn Monroe existing. Do you think any of these bodies would get an acting job today? Google Tracey Gold while you’re at it. See what all that pressure did to her. But enough about Hollywood. This self-hating, “I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth” mentality permeates the regular woman, too.

Let me tell you about my dating life, in reverse. It will make sense to you that way. Currently, I live with my mother, whom I help take care of. I have only had one “relationship” in this time, but it was purely a series of booty calls. Here’s how it went: talks about marriage on Friday, the booty call on Saturday, then the breakup on Monday…and waiting for three weeks to do it all over again. Why did I do this? “I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.””I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” Before that, I was fairly promiscuous, not daring to really go into a real relationship for several years. Why? “I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” Then, I was in a relationship on and off for a year. Before that, another one for several years, then one for about a month. Maybe I was too young, but I never felt like I was a truly valuable individual. I was not going to keep him for long without being cheated on. And again…“I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” The last time I had a bikini on my body, I was six years old. I was constantly told I was too fat to have one from age seven on. I mean, in this day and age, fat=ugly. Strike one. So…“I’m so ugly, I can’t get a man if I was the last woman on Earth.” I am now turning 37 years old soon…which is apparently an age too old to be thinking about dating, unless you want a cheater or a beater. Besides, old=ugly, too, in this day and culture. Also, I have smarts. I speak my mind. That gives most women an air of being a “bitch.” And, so you all know, “bitch” is also a term for a female dog. “Dog” is also a term for an ugly woman. So, strong=ugly in our culture, too, though that is changing, gladly. Acting dumb or like a princess is now turning guys off these days, at least the younger ones. Hopefully, this will change too.

So, what is your _______=ugly trouble? Height? Weight? Breast size? Age? Being too smart, or being to masculine (getting called a bitch?) I’m not trying to start an ugly-off, just wanting you to think. What do you let keep holding you back from living and loving yourself? It’s perfectly okay to love yourself. It’s even necessary. Who is going to care for you if you’re not going to do it?