I was sitting outside, drinking my low-fat latte (proteinlicious!) and watching the people go by. People go by a lot in my neighborhood, and most of them are young and cute and have got leashes full of dogs and handfuls of children. I was about halfway through my delicious latte when one of the children stopped, a little angelic curly-haired blond boy of maybe four or five, and I smiled, and smiled at his dad, and waited for them to go away. His father, however, was all about respecting the little boy’s personhood, and did not rush him down the street. The little boy was squinting at me very intently, and I realized I was being judged.

"I know," the boy said to me. "I know that hair is not that color. That is not real hair!" "Oh!" I said. "You’re right! It is not my real hair color." He shook his head very gravely, and looked so disappointed. "What color is it," I said, to make conversation.

"Orange," he said. "It’s orange." And with that pronouncement of truth, as if he had discovered me in my terrible lie and unmasked me with a great righteousness, he walked away. And his father followed after, never having made eye contact with the crazy orange-haired person drinking her latte and feeling terribly judged.

It’s not my real hair! It’s true. And a four-year-old should not make me feel as if I am trying to pull something over on the world, going out and about with hair that is not real (and is definitely more red than orange. What in the world are they teaching in kindergarten these days?) as if I am trying to pull the wool over the world’s eyes, never ever letting anyone know that I am not nearly as cool as my hair, but am in fact a dishwater brown which would make you yawn and fall asleep immediately and at the very instant you clapped eyes upon it. I am a fake. I feel like a fake in a lot of ways, and generally, I try to not think about it, until a four-year-old unmasks me.

I feel like a fake every time I get out of the hairdresser’s chair. My wonderful guy, he makes me punk rock. He makes me short and spiky, and funky and cool and all wacky in the head, and he hands me the mirror and spins me around and inevitably, the first thing out of my mouth is "I am not cool enough for this hair." I love my haircut (which is currently an ex-haircut and now more a mess than anything else) but I do not feel real, in it. I do my best to live up to my hair, but I am fake-cool, and please don’t question me too closely for you will learn the truth of my dorkiness and be so ashamed. You will tell me, "Why do you have such awesome tattoos? Your tattoo artist is awesome, but those don’t belong on you. You are selling a lie." I feel so much, sometimes, like I am selling a lie, and I wonder when someone is going to figure that out.

Did the lie come first? Am I deliberately lying about who I am? Did I get tattoos to make myself look cool, to present a me to the world that I want to be? I am pretty sure I didn’t, because I just like them, and they are pretty, and I am totally sure they speak to a part of me inside which is totally cool and awesome and is just mostly sleeping all the time because it spends so many late nights guzzling tequila and passing out on pool tables. I am sure there is some truth to the kind of person my tattoos make me look like. Almost positive. Practically convinced. I am not as cool as my tattoos.

And here’s a million-dollar question for you–did I get weight loss surgery to lie? I am a small person, now, with small bones. I am a size I never thought I’d be, and had never even dared hope for. I have spent my fat life thinking if I were just, like, maybe a size 14, I’d be happy. All I need to be is a size 14. I am a size 12, and steadily moving downwards. My friend K.T., who knows about clothing and bodies, said, "Your doctor says you’ll lose 35 more pounds? You’re going to end up…a size 6, I think," and that sounds like a lie. I am not a size 6 person. I was not meant to be a 6. How is that even possible? I am a fat girl, with big bones. I have got big bones, with big meat wrapped around those bones. I am not this small person. If I were to have babies, genetics would out me. My babies will be roly-poly, because that is who I am, a fat girl, with fat genes, who is lying to the people who think she is small and has always been small. The people who find out she used to weigh 145 pounds more than this, and say "No way. That is not possible. You are so small."

My body is a lie. I look small in clothes, and some people would have me believe that I am hot, and they want to see me out of them, and maybe up on my knees. But that will not work, because naked, I am not hot. Naked, there is hanging skin and stretch marks. My thighs are melting and my breasts do not always have good breast days and my butt is weird. My body is a lie I cover up every day, and I have never been good at lying. Or being judged.

7 Replies to “judgy”

  1. First of all, you totally rock that hair and those tattoos and we can tell you are all kinds of cool so just shut up.

    As I’ve said here before, I’m a formerly fat person feeling like I’m living a lie in my current body. So I can really only speak to the second part of your post. (Because I do not have tattoos–I am *definitely* not cool enough, though I long to be–and my hair is the same dull brown with which I was born.) (Sidebar: why does it always sound so pretentious when you try to avoid ending a sentence with preposition?)

    I have been in my trimmer body for years now and it still feels weird sometimes, I still feel like a fraud. And I do feel judged, by different people and for different reasons. I meet some people and I’m desperate for them NOT to know I was ever really heavy, but at other times and with other people, I want to let them know, I want to…..apologize for having lost weight? To say, I wasn’t always like this, really, you should have seen me before. I can’t figure that out. There is still so much I’m trying to figure out, all these years later.

    I am sure others are not as consumed by such things as I am, truly, because my brain spends way too much time thinking and overanalyzing and obsessing about my weight and my body, and I hope years down the road you will look back and not find yourself in my position. It’s exhausting. May your weight story merely be a part of your interesting life history and not a heavy load that you continue to carry long after all the excess weight is gone.

    Oh, and I’m totally with you on the in clothes/out of clothes thing. All these pounds gone and I still work hard to hide certain parts in clothes, to contort my body in certain ways during, um, certain activities to try to minimize certain aspects of it. (There’s a visual you just didn’t need, eh?)

  2. I have a lot of ink and occasionally rock a cool hair style, but I can totally relate to living a lie. I hate that as a fat person I could only afford to dress like someone’s soccer mom. i won’t ever dress like that again. i won’t live the lie anymore. i don’t know what size i’ll end up, but as Douglas Adams said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”

    so you are cool and clever and I envy your writing style and wit, and rock the hair and wtf that is so not orange and your future size six body is the truth, not the lie.

    go out and rock that RED hair silly girl :)

  3. And I have a disgust for parents who allow their children to run wild and won’t teach them any manners.

    So there. Nyah.


    PS: Your hair totally works with your face.

  4. I CANNOT stand people who let their kids interact with strangers and then refuse to acknowledge the person. It’s like their kid has spent the last few minutes admiring an inanimate object. And that little shit needs to expand his vocabulary. Orange? Pfft! Parents, let this be a lesson: buy your kids the 64-crayon box of Crayolas.

    But who cares about that because size six? Size six?! Billy Dee Williams! Grrl, go ON! Are you excited? I’m excited! At the rate you’re going, it’ll take you, what, another 36 to 48 hours to lose 35 pounds? Please, please, PLEASE post a picture? Like a head to toe shot even though I love it when you post a pic with your posts. And yes, yes, yes, it’s not how you look that’s important, and thank god you have a three-digit IQ and have a talent for writing but size six! Damn.

    By the way, this post is totally making me think of Parker Posey’s character in Adam & Steve, who was a formerly fat comedienne and all her jokes were about how fat she was except, y’know, she’s Parker Posey. That’s you.

  5. Um, yeah. Occasionally, I feel like a poseur or an imposter in someone else’s borrowed finery. I feel like I’m “passing,” and not legitimately small. And then, there are the glorious days like today, where I wore a brand new skirt and blouse combo with hose and heels, and completely ROCKED it. And the skirt? A size six.

    It’s possible. And sometimes it feels pretty good. And sometimes it still feels like I’m a fat person wearing a thin suit.

    I’m getting used to it, though. You will too.

  6. You are way awesomer than you think you are. Remember, the tequila and sleeping on pool tables thing? In real life, it is not so fun. And you have no job, so never have money, so only have shitty tattoos your friends who are tattoo artists give you. Or guys who tattoo you to get in your pants. And your hair is at-home Manic Panic-ed. If you have a home, which is doubtless, since you have been “crashing” on the same flea-ridden couch in a roach-infested crack house for 3 weeks now, since your car (in which you used to live) got towed.

    Okay, that’s probably going too far, that whole scenario there. Suffice to say that you are cool.

  7. I might have said “Can you PROVE it is not real hair? With, like, Aristotelian logic?” or “My hair color matches my glasses, and that is cool by default.” (Which, IMHO, it is. I’m just sayin’.)

    But then I am perhaps a bit of a smarta**.

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