I’m a very touchy person. I use to blame it on my Latin heritage, but I’m starting to accept that its just me. I like hugs and cuddles and often touch a persons shoulder during conversations to show them I’m listening.
I like to hug people. I don’t let them hug me.
I first noticed that with guys. I often wondered if something was wrong with me. It made me wonder if I was gay. Which is true. Then I noticed it with girls and wondered if it was because they made me nervous. Which is very true. Then I noticed it with my parents. Why didn’t I like to be hugged by my parents?
For the same reason I hated going to the Doctors.
For the same reason I hated pictures.
The world that is constantly telling women to not take up space and I defy that with merely existing, because I am human. I am a fat human.
When you are fat, you are constantly aware of that fact. Your doctors remind you, your parents remind you, everyone else reminds you. Even shopping reminds you with every store you enter. You feel like you’re violating the basic rule for woman – take up as little space as possible.
I take up too much space. Sometimes it is hard to take pictures with friends when you are easily twice their size. Everything reminds you.
No one has told you, that you should monitor the space you take specifically. But you can see the clues around you . Women cross their legs on the train, hunching over their bags while men spread out into two or three seats. Models are expected to be so thin that they put their health at risk. Small is desirable.
Friends lovingly told me that I’m fluffy and a perfect teddy bear as I embraced them. Sometimes I could grasp my opposite elbow because they were so small. When my dad hugged me his fingertips clung to each other, straining to complete our embrace. When my mom hugged me her fingertips were miles apart.
And then last week they weren’t that far apart. My dad held his wrists as he hugged me. My moms fingers could touch. I even made a video about it because it cause me so off guard. I was excited. Then, I started to feel guilty.
I wondered how many other people felt like that? Untouchable because of their weight and size? How many people deprive themselves of what may very well be a necessary form of comfort? Why did I pull away from the comfort that I’d love to give?
I don’t think losing the weight or the inches is breaking down the walls of who I am. But it is forcing me to reflect on how I interact with the space around me. It is changing me. When you can find your size of clothing in a normal size you get happy. When your skin starts to clear up, you get happy. When people judge you less harshly upon meeting you, you feel relieved.
Maybe I’m trying to be too deep or maybe I’m being too critical on my personality as I get healthier.
All I can say is that today I woke up, put on my favorite dress and went to work. As I type this post I can hear Trump swearing into office. I can feel disappointment wafting from the room where the TV is showing images of what America has chosen. I feel bad, many people do. So I let someone hug me. I let many people hug me. Not only as an act of self-acceptance but as a rebellion.
If I gain the weight again, I will let people hug me. If I lose all the weight I want too, I’ll let people hug me. If a shirt doesn’t fit me, I’ll go to a store where it does and not feel bad. I will not let myself feel bad for the space that I take up. I will not let my size stop me from pursuing what I want to pursue. I do not need to apologize for the weight I carry and the space I take up. And you shouldn’t either. There’s more than enough room.
So hey, hug me…I’m fat.