Mean Girl Atonement Tour

I’ve thought about doing this for a while and thought it was time. It was never going to become less discomforting or less naked-feeling. But also, this isn’t about me.

It’s about you. And how I one time said some pretty mean, ignorant, toxic shit, inadvertently, about you. You called me out hard in front of everyone at a friend’s wedding and no one could figure out why things were suddenly hostile. But I absolutely knew why.

So I’m explaining it now.

Over a decade ago (guestimating here), I kept a satirical blog (does not exist anymore) that would take popular children’s books for deep analysis and I would editorialize how the author had actually subliminally woven their adult political agenda into their stories (again, satirical, this wasn’t real. I think I was watching a lot of Colbert Report at the time and his verve was contagious and unavoidably influential on me). The Paperbag Princess was really about classism and free market economics, Frog and Toad was really about open homosexuality, The Giving Tree was about deforestation, aaaaaand— The Very Hungry Caterpillar was about fat acceptance culture. And I had certain thoughts about fat acceptance culture at the time, which made their way into that piece.

[Not that I’m making excuses or creating outs for myself, but just so you all have the best understanding of where I was coming from; I was also dating a dude at the time who was unabashedly “weightist”, which I didn’t even know was a thing anyone could be. But I somehow felt like this gave me permission to be “weightist” myself, behind the ignorant defense that being of a certain size is not good for the person bearing the size/weight and it negatively impacts our healthcare system in the way that smoking does. This was rooted in n o t h i n g, I had nothing to back my claims except for bratty millennial pomp (I was a know-nothing 24-year-old at the time, it might’ve been my stupidest, most horrible age) and pseudo-science].

So— you read the blog. You didn’t say you did, but I’m sure enough that you did. And rightfully so, you wrote me off as a person who was fat-phobic/hated fat people. I was. I used to judge fat people, plain and simple. I was really fucking terrible.

You called me out at a wedding we were both invited to, you did it in front of people, took a knock at my own size even, and I absolutely deserved it.

So I’d like to say this:

Thank you for calling me out and putting me in my place. I’m sorry for writing my ill-informed views about fat acceptance culture. I’m sorry for having attacked you and your body. I’m sorry for politicizing and objectifying your body and dehumanzing you. I’m sorry for being a bully, a mean girl, a bitch in this specific realm. I created barely-read content with no reach, at the expense of you and your feelings, and it was neither funny nor smart, just hurtful, toxic, and ignorant. It came from a place of assuming that people of a certain size didn’t care for their health and were full of self-hate and self-destruction, nihilistic even, and that was condemnable to me. Feeling as though society was moving towards accepting this was condemnable to me. What I learn later is that size doesn’t necessarily signal the condition of one’s health. Morever, whatever your body is and whatever you do to it isn’t any of my business nor mine to judge. I’m sorry for my ignorance. It was awful of me, unfeminist even, and that’s on my record and that is forever and shaming and it’s a part of my personal history that I have to live with. After having done a ton of reading and self-education over the last decade, I have a good idea of how you exist, how you navigate through a biased and cruel society, and what your day-to-day experience is. I know that you are you and you just want to be left alone by everyone already. I’m not a fair judge of whether I’ve learned enough, that’s for you to determine, but I now hold different and far more empathetic, far more compassionate views towards people of any size. I jump to anyone’s defence who are being body-shamed, I call out people with shitty, ignorant views whenever I see or hear them, I’m intolerant of traditional beauty standards being held as the only standard, I recognize what things stem from a patriarchal system that specifically oppress you. Please know that I’m your ally.

I’m not asking for your forgiveness, I’m not asking you to accept this, I’m not asking that you meet me with kindness one day, but I wanted you to know that I’m truly sorry for hurting you and I’m a changed and better human today.

Thanks for reading this.

With love,

K.