Hey, guys – welcome back to TNTH!
Let’s get straight into the post: During my TAship this past semester, I usually sat outside in the lounge area before the class started, minding my business, eating some sort of snack because ya girl was hungry af. Every time someone passed by, they either didn’t pay no mind to me or just glanced at me and kept it pushing. Me? I got very self-conscious and thought they were looking at me eat. I would try to hide the fact that I was eating in public, thinking that people who passed by me thought it was a crime for a girl my size to be eating in public. Then, I had to ask myself, “well, who gives a shit if people see me eat in public? I’m a human being that gets hungry too?” Hence, this post came about.
I feel like many of our full-figured folks have an insecurity of eating in public and even in front of people that we call our friends. It’s cool and quirky when a skinny person can eat like Jughead Jones in the original Archie Comics, but it’s a sin for a fat person to eat for the sake of eating in public? Why do we believe that the act of eating determines just how fat we are when in reality, most people aren’t fat because of eating in the first place. Why do we starve ourselves in public for the sake of saving us embarrassment or shame for being fat when eating is just a basic human activity and need to do?
How did this idea become so common for fat people in the first place?
While it’s hard to break old habits and ideologies and think more progressively, please remind yourself that you are human and you’re allowed to perform basic human needs in public. Yes, say that you are hungry and should stop at a place to eat. Yes, get something that you want and not opt out for a “salad” or something that you know isn’t going to fill you up for the rest of the day. Yes, eat your food and feed that body of yours because you’re fucking allowed to.
Personally, I know how hard it could be breaking that toxic cycle. It took me a couple of years after meeting my partner to finally feel comfortable eating how I want and what I want in front of him; prior to that, I used to lie and say I wasn’t hungry when clearly you were able to hear my stomach growl for food. It’s not easy to not automatically say no to eating in public when you’ve been that way so long, but it’s so important to break out of that mindset. Continuing to live your life in fear of eating in public is only going to develop into possibly not eating at all/purging behind closed doors. In a nutshell, an eating disorder can begin to develop.
So, for your own safety and health: listen to your body. Listen to its signs of when you need to eat; don’t let social anxiety or shame seep in the way of your basic human needs, especially during the holiday season. Remember, fat people are humans, and we are entitled to fulfill that need of food when hunger strikes. You’re not fat for eating in public, you’re taking care of yourself by eating when its necessary!
Best to believe another snack was eaten every single Thursday night until the end of the semester!