I was at a party last weekend and one of my friends pointed to an overweight girl and said “I bet I can get that fat chick to f**k me.” Should I say something or should I let it go as a “guy thing?”
– Disgusted on Driggs
Just as I was reading this I came across an article in which a blogger for CBS publicly lambasted the above cheerleader for being too fat for her uniform. That’s right, a cheerleader, AKA someone who exercises for a living and probably looks a hell of a lot better than the columnist whose picture was, of course, “not available.”
That’s when I knew I had to take on this question on for this week’s column. Things have simply gone way too far in the fat-shaming, fat-hating and, might I add, misogynistic universe. I know that as a fake shrink I’m supposed to be impartial and nonjudgmental and I do try my best, but I’m feeling a little feisty this morning. That said, I’m not here to complain about your friend’s hateful behavior, I’m here to help. So I’m going to use my own brand of cognitive/behavioral exposure therapy and send you both online for the day.
Your job is to strap your friend to a chair and force-feed him what’s known as “fat acceptance” blogs written by fat chicks for thin people until he gets with the f**king program of being a human being with common decency and respect towards others.
After that he’s going to spend an hour on the “fat acceptance” board on Pinterest. That might change his mind about fat chicks being needy, horny girls who will take what they can get. I’d like to hear him verbalize his fat-shaming in front of those obviously self-confident and lovely ladies.
And as for you good, after you untie him, go out and find yourself some new friends ASAP. Remember, when your friend says he can get “that fat chick to f**k him,” what he actually means is: I need someone to look down on because I am a sad and lonely person who can’t feel good about myself. On top of that, I’m mean and need to put other people down. I like picking on fat chicks because shaming them is rewarding and makes me feel so much better about myself. Is that the kind of friend you want? Be yourself and don’t give in to your misogynoridiculous fat-phobic friend.
My girlfriend and I have been dating for a few months. I adore her and she’s beautiful but damaged. We had a fight and she disappeared into the bathroom and when she came out, she had cut herself. I felt like it was my fault and when I asked her why, she couldn’t explain her behavior. I don’t want to hurt her again. I’ve never dated a cutter. Do you have any advice here?
– ACE in Brooklyn
This one is a bit out of my league but I’ll give it a shot. I went ahead and took the liberty of asking a real shrink friend who explained that this type of behavior is called self-injurious behavior and is often, but not always, displayed by someone with borderline personality. Her cutting is not your fault in any way. She is trying to release pain she feels inside that she cannot put into words. She may also use cutting as a distraction from difficult situations in life. Or she might feel numb and simply be trying to feel something/anything. Cutting might make your girlfriend feel better for a little while, but it’s a bit like putting a band-aid on a broken bone, so she will probably find herself doing it again when painful feelings return. The best way for you to help is to deal with your own feelings of shock or disgust or guilt without blaming her.
Try to learn about her problem so that it does not feel so foreign. Don’t judge, threaten, or deliver ultimatums to make her stop. Instead, offer support and encourage her to communicate as often as possible, with words.
I guess the best advice I can give you is to help her find a therapist. A trained professional can offer pain management strategies so she can stop self-harming. If any readers out there have a name or number to offer, please do.
And don’t blame yourself. This behavior is a coping mechanism that most likely began way before she met you.