I see my psychiatrist now and then. Mostly just to check in to make sure the meds are working properly. (Good news, they are.)
Today, she got to see me being a “delight” – something she had not seen to date (she’s fairly new; and let’s face it, I’m not often a “delight”.).
She asked if I had heard of recent studies showing quite a bit of medical bias against fat people.
And we were off to the races.
I ended up giving her quite a bit of info about fat people, the fat community, NAAFA (National Association of Fat Acceptance) and HAES (Health at Every Size).
All of which she had no real knowledge.
And to all appearances, she was fascinated to hear there was a civil rights organization for fat people (although, she did laugh at the name and was shocked when she realized I was not joking); but then she thought about how fat people are discriminated against (she didn’t even know there were weight discrimination laws).
She understood the HAES concept better, and really liked it.
We also talked about the “obesity paradox”, and I told her about some of the new studies that show while fat people are at risk for certain conditions, we often have better survival rates than our not-fat peers.
Again, surprised and uninformed about any of this. She actually apologized for being so uninformed, and I told her it’s okay, nobody can know everything. I was just happy that she was so interested and willing to listen.
She did ask how I felt about terms like overweight (over whose weight?) and obese (nobody likes the “O” word).
I told her I am “fat” and that is how I choose to identify myself. That I understand for some people the word is too triggering.
We also discussed The Ugly Conference a bit, and I explained how I don’t identify as “ugly,” but why I can embrace the term “monster.”
Fat is just a non-subjective descriptor; but “ugly” is subjective and negative in and of itself. When you say something or someone is “ugly” you are making a negative judgment. I don’t see any positive way to embrace that term; but monster is a subjective term, and it does not have to be necessarily negative.
So I felt like I did some good advocating for my “peeps” (although I was paying for the honor of doing it).
She acknowledged that the time was spent with me enlightening her, and she also said she could just talk with me for hours; which was really nice to hear.
You know, because it’s always nice to hear from your psychiatrist that you’re interesting – and not just in a f*cked up way.