Archive for the ‘Shame’ Category

Headless “Fat People Pictures” are worth their weight in gold.

Headless “Fat People Pictures” are worth big bucks and that’s sad.

I’ve been wanting to do this post for some time.  As I researched the subject matter a little more in depth I came across a story about headless pictures of the obese. “Sources at the BDN said offering the photos for sale might have already resulted in enough revenue to subsidize the print version for another six months.” *Note* the story was from a satirical news site but still brings up the reality of this problem. 

One of my most vivid memories about these pictures came from a woman that said “God please don’t let me be one of those people they use for video in news or print publications”.  They are known in the industry as the headless fat people pictures.

Have you ever noticed they show a veritable smorgasbord of people allowed to be photographed due to the rules of  public domain but only one type seems to exclude the faces?    Murderers, rapists, poor people, scam artists, homeless people, literally people from all walks of life have their faces shown.  Is it because the image of being obese is so incredibly shameful and appalling that faces are not to be included?

Obesity is the last acceptable prejudice.  We have become so desensitized to seeing one of those headless “fat people” photographs we forget there is a real person carrying the shame for many.  Fortunately I escaped that walk of shame until I posted my own photograph for purposes of this blog.

Last week I posted a link to a story about a man that supposedly had to stand for a seven hour flight because he couldn’t sit next to an obese man.  The article used a Photo Shopped picture that surfaced in 2006 so not only did they use a “photograph” that had nothing to with the story but used a fake image to make the story more sensational.  I wrote the reporter and the editor and they agreed to include the truth about that photograph.  Never assume you can’t make a difference.  Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the brutal comments (and they were BRUTAL) but you can ask for truth.

Since writing this draft I have become even more aware of how many of these pictures are  printed every single day in nearly every single story about obesity….and it still makes me very sad.


I cried for an obese man

Tear for ObesityA couple of weeks ago I was driving to an appointment and I saw a really large man walking down the street.  Because of his size and the near 100 degree temperature, I knew he had to be extremely uncomfortable.  As I pulled into my parking place I glanced in my rear view mirror and watched this man trip with a force that propelled him like a rocket to the concrete.  I bolted from my car and ran to him…his arm was already bloody.

“Let me help you up”.  He had salt and pepper hair and perhaps the kindest sky blue eyes I have ever seen.

With a perfect Texas drawl he said “Little lady you’re gonna have to pack a little more lead in the rear to help me up!”  My heart was breaking for him.  I grabbed him by his good arm and we rocked….1, 2, 3, and I pulled with everything I had.  No matter how much I wanted to help this man, I couldn’t get him off the ground.  He explained he was walking to work and I at first got the impression he was trying to get some exercise.  I asked him to stay put and I’d get some help and as I ran into the building, there were just a few tiny women and elderly people that could be of no help.  By the time I got back out, a man had stopped to help him up.  He was hurt….I told him there was a doctor inside, would he please come in? I know he was both surprised and ashamed that I would help him.  He chuckled and said he was alright (he wasn’t).  As he walked out of my sight he said “It’s time to go on that diet”.

Of course I knew he’d been on hundreds of diets, just like I had.  It was the perfect time to have shared my story but yet it wasn’t.  I wish I had at least gotten his contact information so that maybe my signature on my email would perhaps spark a conversation.

Maybe he didn’t have a car and had to go into work anyway for fear of losing his job because of his size.  Maybe he couldn’t afford to call for an ambulance.  So many maybes.  Every day since then I have considered waiting at that parking space to see if I could locate him again.  He felt so much embarrassment and I wanted to tell him that I knew there was a perfectly loving man inside trying to get out.  I wanted to tell him so many things but most of all that I didn’t see him as just a morbidly obese man….that he was just as valid and worthy as anybody and the shell he lived in did not make him “less than”.

I fell a few weeks before that and was in extreme pain so I could only imagine what he was dealing with.  Tears ran down my face for the rest of the day.  Call me silly for wanting to do this but I’m going back to try to find him.  I want him to know why I didn’t judge him that day.

And why I cried.


Be done with shame!

Bariatric Girl ShameI was reading from “The Language of Letting Go” and this particular passage stood out.  As obese people we carry so much shame.  So much shame! Shame literally sucks the life out of us and there are days that it hangs over me like a dark cloud. I have lived in it for so long that it starts to feel normal and it never should.  Shame on me for feeling so much shame!  Here is what Melody Beattie says.

If we participate in shame-based behaviors such as over eating or chemical abuse, we will feel ashamed.  It’s inevitable.  We need to watch out for addictive and other compulsive behaviors because they will immerse us in shame.

Our past, and the brainwashing we may have had that imposed “original shame” upon us, may try to put shame on us.  This can happen when we’re all alone, walking through the grocery store or just quietly going about living our life.  Don’t think….Don’t feel….Don’t grow or change…Don’t be alive…Don’t live life…Be ashamed!

Be done with shame.  Attack shame.  Go to war with it.  Learn to recognize it and avoid it like the plague.

Today, I will deliberately refuse to get caught up in the shame floating around in the world.  If I cannot resist it, I will feel it, accept it, then be done with it as quickly as possible.  Help me know that it’s okay to love myself and help me to refuse to submit to shame.  If I get off course, help me learn to change shame into guilt, correct the behavior and move forward with my life in immediate self-love.

Be mindful of your thoughts.  Are they loaded with shame???  Tell shame it has been living in your head long enough…serve the eviction notice and tell shame to hit the road Jack!