I'm So Special A Black Man Made A 51-Minute Video So People Can Talk About How Disgustingly Fat
Tonight I randomly googled myself and to my dismay I came across a video made by a podcast that calls itself "the VOICE of the Everyday Brotha" that was made for the sole purpose of discussing how fat I am. No, I didn't bother to listen, but the title, which referred to me as "Patty McFatty," pretty much gave the gist of the conversation away. There were also the 236 comments beneath it that referred to me as a "big black whale" which warned me the commentary wasn't necessary for my psyche. I only looked through them because I thought, surely, someone would see what a pathetic display of negritude this was. Sadly, I only found one commenter who I think found the conversation equally disturbing, though I can't be totally sure that's what he meant by, "Man I tried I can't do it and it's one thing to get on these man-hating writers but you came and dissing The Sisters like that bro."
Either way, it took me a second to process what was happening. On one hand I was baffled. Someone who has never met me in person and seemingly only knows me from one article I wrote about people making me feel like shit when I'm out minding my big ass business took 51 minutes and 35 seconds out of his day to talk about me? And then another 200-plus men felt compelled to join in? I guess I'm kind of a big deal (no pun intended). But then I thought about the article MadameNoire's (MN) Culture Editor wrote about considering calling Black men terrorists and I surmised that (A) since this video was published the day after that was probably the impetus for this nonsense and (B) he just proved her point in full.
When my best friend called to talk to me about the MN article the other day, she was gravely concerned about the perception that MadameNoire is a Black man-hating site and that I, too, might be seen as guilty by association. I told her I really didn't give a fuck because our site doesn't exist to uplift Black men and if the stories women are writing about their experiences with Black men are mostly negative who's responsible for that reality? I also told her what men fail to realize is that they go out of their way to impose destruction and insert negativity in womens' lives and I don't think the same can be said in reverse. You'll find "ain't shit" people among every gender; however there is a clear pattern of behavior among men to involve themselves with women when they don't have pure intentions. It's funny when it's a meme about men wasting our time; it's disturbing when a man on the street is calling you out of your name or sexually harassing you or creating a video about you for the sole purpose of making you feel less than. It's even more concerning that the feelings I'd already expressed about how people terrorize me -- yes, that is the correct term -- for simply being a big body in a world that's supposed to be small didn't make him pause a second to think about how his words might affect me.
I'm not ashamed to admit for all of 60 seconds I thought back to that day and how I hated the way I looked in that Yahoo video. Some 25 of the 92 pounds I'd lost in the year prior had returned to my frame and it showed; I felt it. I also couldn't get beyond the fact that the shit was just mean and I couldn't even fathom how something as personal and inconsequential to someone else's life as an individual's body size could invoke such callous remarks. I also thought about the fact that when people Google me and hit the video tab, this is the first thing they'll see. But then I realized, who should be more ashamed about that, him or me?
Honestly, once I stepped outside of my feelings for that brief period I was most offended that this imbecile, whom I'd be remiss not to note is nowhere near healthy on the weight spectrum, didn't link to my article so I could get some traffic. Still, the fact that he found my piece on this little website that I created just 10 months ago with my little 2,000 Instagram followers tells me I need to keep going. If me simply sharing my personal journey and expressing my feelings inspires someone to rant about me for almost an hour and exposes men's terrorizing and sexist beliefs like, "Brande Victorian WISHES she was gettin' 'NYC street harassed,'" then I am doing something right. At the end of the day, I mind my fat little business. I talk about my shit, not other people's, and when my experiences lead people to make inferences like, "I don't feel sorry women like her because women like her don't have empathy towards men who are under 6 ft and are not making six figures and don't look like a male model," I can't do anything but laugh because what this is really about is what these individuals lack as men, and for some reason I represent some fat girl in somebody's past who probably had the nerve to reject one of these clowns and they are actually the ones still "butthurt" about it. Also, why would a man under 6ft, not making six figures, and who doesn't look like a male model need empathy? Is that not the average man in America? Who said that was something to pity? Not I.
While the obvious conclusion here is these men are projecting ("Something valuable I learned in high school," another man wrote, "was, if a woman mocks your status (male currency) you mock her appearance (female currency)," the bigger takeaway is I'm pretty damn special to warrant this much attention. And if I can get this many men who think I "barely get paid from these so-called jobs" to drag me on the Internet, think about what else I could do if I stick to the path I'm on? I just so happened to find another commenter who gave me an inkling.
"After looking at her instagram, I got to give it to her," someone wrote. "She is making a huge effort and not ashamed of showing her progress. Yes, she is very obese, but I believe not for long. She may become huge role model for others."
If achieving that goal means I have to get terrorized by the very men I'm supposed to pledge unyielding loyalty to without expecting anything in return, I'll be that.
*Video purposely not linked to, though you can easily find it if you so choose.