For me, weight is the fight of a lifetime, it’s an obsession. I belonged to a bit of all the spectrums of the eating disorder. I experienced in my youth the fact of depriving myself and being in the extremes. I also experienced hyperphagia, which is this idea of stuffing yourself with secrets and then punishing yourself. That’s an important message from my show, by the way: you never know the relationship to people’s weight, body, or eating disorder at a glance. It’s important to talk about it, to play it down too, because even the word “fat” can sometimes be scary.
In my opinion, the question is how we use it. On this set, there was something magical. All the speakers were plus size. The stylist dressed us wonderfully, colorfully, with sizes that were the right ones. Everyone felt comfortable, which is kind of the opposite experience you can have on set when you’re a fat person. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t fit, we get half a sweater put on our backs and we’re told, “Be funny, be confident.” On the set of the BIG talk show, there was this exception. The word “fat” isn’t negative, because we’re all in this together. We assume the word and say it without judgment. On the other hand, I think the word “big” can still be harmful when it is used maliciously or with the intention of hurting. It is the context that is important.
Fat people are not healthy. Often, in the debate on grossophobia, we will be extremely discredited. No one is going to listen to our arguments. This myth is interesting because we bring in a doctor who tells us that, in her experience, fat people are not necessarily unhealthy and thin people are not necessarily healthy. It’s extremely difficult to get into people’s heads. This is without counting the medical violence that overweight people can experience. Sometimes, we do not have the diagnosis because we have been judged too much on the weight. Even for me, hearing this myth dismantled by a professional is validating. I was raised with the importance of thinness. At home, we bet on our weight. This is a topic that comes up constantly. I would like not only that people take the time to listen to this capsule, but also that those around me see it. I also want everyone to take care of their health by relying on all the parameters other than weight: physical activity, diet, not smoking, not being stressed, taking time to sleep well. The list is huge. We have to get away from the idea that weight is the only indicator of health.