Until I did that interview with Hack, I had no idea that so many people out there were so heavily invested in my wellbeing. This is just a sample of the ~500 comments the story got on Triple J’s facebook page:
“Can she run 5km?… What are her cholesterol levels?… Does she still get a period (many obese women do not due to their size and are unable to conceive)?”
“Id like to hear what her diet and exercise regime is if she feels so healthy.”
“Frances needs to wait until she’s a bit older and suffering from osteathritis, unable to move due to the risk of her excessive body weight shattering her bones”
“Are Frances’ parents happy with her health/size? Are they happy with their own?”
“While Frances may not feel unhealthy, she is not doing herself any favours long term.”
“imagine how good she would feel if she was healthy and not obese then!”
“If she is technically obese then the reality is she is unhealthy wether she feels that way or not.”
“Being a fattie for 10 years till last year I lost my 14kgs of weight and feel great! Maybe Frances should do the same.”
“Frances may not feel unhealthy, but unfortunately, if she’s obese because of excessive fat mass and too little muscle mass, then the reality is that her body is not healthy.”
“she can feel fine with her body if she wants to but she’s not going to live past 50”
YOU GUYS. I AM SO TOUCHED.
Under normal circumstances I would be totally creeped out if a strange man living in another country was thinking about my untimely death, or if an unknown woman was speculating about the regularity of my menstrual cycle. But this is different. This is borne from an unselfish and unwavering concern for my precious, precious health.
After all my ranting about weight stigma and thin privilege, it never occurred to me that these people actually loved me. Why else would they care about my parents’ approval of me? Or the details of my food intake and physical activity? Why else would they ignore my lived experience to insist that I am not living my life to the fullest? Their concern is not a general ‘I care about my community’ sort of thing; they genuinely want to know microscopic details about my life.
Some cynical folk may try to say that comments like these are intrusive and offensive. And maybe that’s true of some, as Triple J did have to explicitly state that personal attacks on me would not be tolerated. Fortunately, however, others have been able to recognise that it’s all just a bit of tough love:
“[H]ave any of you ‘no fat chicks’-type commenters (excluding anyone who is genuinely concerned about people like Frances) thought about the impact of your comments?” (emphasis mine)
See? That woman knows that most were just being cruel to be kind.
Please know, random facebook folk, that I truly appreciate your concern. Unfortunately, I’m pretty busy and I don’t think that I have room for all of you in my life. I have a full-time job, a relationship, a great circle of friends I don’t see nearly enough, a family, a social life and an internet life. I just don’t have the energy to constantly reassure a few hundred people that I’m doing alright. But it is clear to me that, without this reassurance, you are going to keep fussing over whether my femur has shattered into a million pieces due to the sheer bulk of my arse.
To put everyone at ease, I have created a twitter: @IsFrancesOK. That way, no matter where you are or how little you actually know me, you can see daily updates about how I am faring. No longer will you have to spend sleepless nights worrying about whether I’ve developed Type II diabetes or if I’ve suddenly died as the result of a massive heart attack.
You’re welcome, babies. I love you too.