Monday, January 31, 2011


Can I be completely honest here?

The next time somebody throws an unsolicited comment that goes something like, "My goodness, you have grown fat ..." (or something synonymous in theme and context), let me remind said entity that:

a) It is impolite to call anyone "growing fat."  Such terminology is reserved for farm animals including some beasts of burden or other specimens associated with swine and cattle.

b) Such comments are usually given not out of concern for the corpulent person's health or welfare. Usually flaunting a statement about the alleged obesity of another individual is to emphasize that the commentator is svelte, better-looking and of better physical disposition.  Chances are this is not necessarily so. The critic is merely exercising his or her power to be cruel out of sheer tactlessness (which is a notch higher than stupidity but a point lower than cruelty) or social awkwardness.  Some even say it out of having nothing better to say ... which is the best justification for the importance of shutting your mouth when you are an idiot at small-talk.

c) Nobody ever asked anybody to give any comment or critique about waistlines, double chins, cellulite or even thighs so bloated that they rub on each other when one walks. It is nobody's business except that of the person accused of being bloated and gross in proportions. If a person is shaped like an avocado and happy about it, then it is nobody's business to remind him that he is a candidate for aneurysm, a stroke, a heart attack or a threat to elevators, escalators and even little children.

To put this more bluntly, I do not appreciate people going out of their way telling me that I am fat. 

Having spent so much time in the gym and practically going paranoid counting calories ("Is there a substantial difference between Coke Light and Coke Zero?", "How many calories does a slice of triple cheese pizza carry?", "Oh, no! Is it true that watermelons are the most calorie filled fruits in the whole wide universe?"), I am not exactly overjoyed when somebody (who is not even close to me, who does not even have my cell number and who I have not had sex with) tells me that I am f---g fat!

Let me not be so gentle about this: Screw You!

Maybe I can make references to Rembrandt or Botero or even certain cultures in the East (let us point to certain regions in India) where fat is beautiful.  

For one thing, fat signifies somebody well-fed. Well-fed does not necessarily mean he is well but chances are he is well-off, right?  And besides, it is more interesting to cling onto some extra pounds of flesh than to be deal with jutting bones and ribs in moments of passion.  How shall I put it?  That it can be more exciting to drown on a sea of flesh rather than to deal with skin and bones?

No, let me put it even more bluntly: it is nobody's business as to how fat one decides to get ... not unless you are competing in a reality show where losing weight means hitting the jackpot ... or you have long-range plans to be anorexic or bulimic.  I will get as thin as I want if and when I decide to do so and not because some self-righteous nincompoop accuses me of looking like a cantaloupe.

It is simply in the name of very bad taste to tell anyone he is fat ... especially when the speaker is not exactly a reinterpretation of Piolo Pascual or Anne Curtis or any specimen coming close to those physical ideals.

One of my favorite Tweeters is PinoyHeckler.  He came out with a listing of witty and vicious replies to people who feel entitled to call another fat. His list had me laughing and storing some of these precious retorts the next time another insensitive, self-righteous, feeling-beautiful rectum personified decides to pass judgment on waistline.

And maybe one day somebody will also develop an entire language of insulting thin people. "My goodness, are you on a diet or carcinogenic?"  Or "You haven't stopped your hunger strike?" Or "Is that South Beach or Diabetes?"  Oh, I wouldn't throw away the possibility that such forms of cruelty are still possible even in polite societies populating Bonifacio High Street and Serendra.

In the meantime, I know I look good. I have looked worse but now I look good and I am happy with it. And you can call me fat if you can learn to move quickly to avoid a flying kick aimed right at your mouth.

Enough said.



  1. Why do I always get to write the first comment? And why do I always read something you wrote that sounds like it is me talking?

  2. Well, Direk Joey, now that you have allowed yourself on social media, you have got to be ready with different comments.

    And, I don't think comments on social media require solicitation. Unless, you are blogging for yourself or for a few people only.

    But believe me when I say I hate people calling me fat, insulting me that being fat is a disability.

  3. I believe that being fat is nothing like being thin. To be called either way affects the person, in one way or another. But you know, you look good in any way as long as you know in yourself that you do. :)

  4. Very well said, Direk Joey. Bobong bobo ko sa mga nage-effort pa para sabihing, hoy tumaba ka. And in 1 terrible case, a "friend" posted on my FB wall, "don't get offended ha, I just have to ask you this, are you pregnant? If not then forget it." DUH!

  5. Amen, amen, amen!! I really needed this article and you put all the perfect words. I've been the prime target of this out of the blue, spur of the moment "You're fat" comments. Sadly, they come from fellow Filipinos, too often that some of my non-Filipino friends assumed that it is part of our culture to talk about other people's body like how people talk about the weather! Grrr.

    I wrote about bad customer service that involved the "fat" comment here:

  6. You can always take a leaf out of Winston Churchill's book and say something in the way of:

    "I may be fat, Madam, but tomorrow I will be thinner, and you will still be a jerk"

    (he said "I may be drunk Madam, but tomorrow I will be sober, and you will still be ugly")