This story was originally told as part of a live storytelling event entitled Stories From The Heart, by Lisa Evans. Click here to view the video.
What if Jay forgets her entire story?
No, that’s not happening.
So, I don’t know if you noticed as I walked up here, and maybe you didn’t. Maybe you thought, “I know that girl from the interwebs,” or “Look, there’s Jay. She washed her hair and she got out of her pyjama-like writing clothes,” or “That is the most fly jumpsuit I have ever seen,” and you would be right. Wish Pele was here.
Maybe you won’t notice until after. Maybe you go home and someone will say, “Who was the most awkward speaker at that live storytelling thing you went to?” and this is how you’ll classify me.
So, I don’t know if you’ve realised yet, but I’m kind of fat. So, awkward.
You’re not supposed to talk about it, right?
You’re not supposed to point it out. It’s not like I have two different colored eyes or I have an extra finger that I can go, “Look at my weird and quirky thing,” and you kind of go, “Wooh.”
No, and so why would I point it out to you?
I’ll tell you why.
Fat is one of the weaknesses that you can notice about somebody straight up, and I have been avoiding it my entire life, pretending that maybe I’m not. From the time that I have been 11, I have been avoiding being fat, trying not to be fat because fat is disgusting, and fat is lazy, and fat is not clever. Fat is not smart. Fat is not successful. Fat is not sexy or beautiful.
I have been an active enemy of fat my entire life, and I have been trying to be all of those things perfectly polished, very, very prepared in the case that maybe you will realise or not notice that I am.
This one word has had so much of impact over my entire life that even when I hear other people talking about it, I have a physical reaction if they talk about their dress size, if they talk about how much they ate today. It doesn’t really matter.
It affects me physically.
So, my what if story is not about “what if I wasn’t fat?”
My “what if” story is a little bit different, because I have a double-door fridge and both of those doors have mirrors on it. It’s crazy, and it’s where everybody in my house once they get ready, goes and kinds of checks themselves out and make sure that they’re all right. So, the amount of times that I had stood in front of that fridge and bemoaned the fat, that I am so fat.
If I just had a dollar for every time I did it, that fridge would pay me back for itself.
So, my “what if” story on my “what if” day, goes that I’m standing in front of the fridge in my 14th outfit and I’m saying, “Oh my God, I’m so fat.” My husband, God bless him, comes up behind me and he plants one of those kisses on my neck. You know, the ones that make you realise why I married him in the first place and he says this, “You’re not fat. You’re beautiful,” which is the exact wrong thing to say because, “Dude, I have eyes, and if you are lying about the me not being fat thing, then you’re probably also lying about all the other nice things you said about me.”
So, I’m wailing. I’m wailing in front of the fridge, and my son walks past and he’s right in-between that age of childhood and man, and he’s all angles, and abs, and swagger. He’s kind of like swaggering past the kitchen, and he says to me, “For God’s sake, mum,” because we take the Lord’s name in vain a lot in our house.
“For God’s sake, mum, why can’t you be both?”
As the much-maligned God is my witness, I had never even considered it.
I had never considered that I could be both.
What if I was both fat and beautiful? What if I was both fat and sexy, fat and smart, fat and successful, fat and fly, fat and fierce? This one word that has had such a hold over me my entire life, ceased to be anything more than a describing word. So, that is my what if story. It’s not what if I wasn’t fat because that’s like asking what if the sky is not blue, or what if I don’t have children? What if I’m married to Jason Momoa? That’s not my what if story, and this is not a story of body positivity. It’s not a story that glorifies obesity like some charmer on the internet said last week. This is not even fat activism, although maybe it is because maybe thinking that you can be both fat and beautiful is radical.
This is just my what if story.
What if I’m both fat and beautiful?
What if I’m both?
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name