[10/15/2016 – I got mixed feedback on this post. I used a lot of crass language originally that I felt drove home the point I was trying to make – the pain, the shame, the visceral. I think that language lost some readers. And so I repost with compromise. And since I originally posted this, Donald Trump has reiterated my message – nothing that his accusers are too ugly to predate upon.]
And god help you if you are an ugly girl
I am entirely ugly. Feel free to stop reading, but do not give me your objections. I have more experiences in my life than pounds of extra flesh that let me know I am ugly. Boys at spring break, teachers, friends, family members, and total random fucking strangers have reiterated to me (unbidden) how entirely ugly I am.
I would love to tell the stories over and over again… “Who invited the fat girl?”, “Why would he grab your ass?”, “We need to walk Kate across campus so she doesn’t get raped. See you tomorrow, Ginger”, male friends and family dissecting the hotness of a woman while I am right there, the high school calc teacher who ogled a girls’ bottom with the boys in the class and then shrugged when he saw I saw him, getting punched in the boob… I can pull up the choking pain and embarrassment in an instant. I can beg for you to imagine 10 steps in my extra wide shoes. But there is no point to that. Let me just say, I am ugly. There are not enough words or breaths in your body to convince me otherwise.
In my lifetime I have built a life – husband, career, house, flesh – to protect me from the pain of not being pretty. I can completely, entirely, honestly say I don’t give a shit if you think I am ugly.
And so when I heard that video released with Donald Trump talking about grabbing pussy. I inexplicably felt all of my ugly-girl pain triggered. Why??? He was talking about irresistible women – I live in a different universe.
Course too pretty is also your doom
‘Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
For the prettiest girl in the room
I have always had a complicated relationship with pretty girls. They have this superpower they can wield with men – to be protected, to be adored, to be listened to, to have things purchased for them. Jealousy – dark, slimy green jealousy overcomes me. A few years ago in therapy I said, “I just wish I was pretty enough to deserve to be taken care of.”
My therapist looked at me and said that sounded like absolute bullshit. And she was right. Being ugly, unadored, invisible gave me space and tools to be who I am. And I am great – I stealthily reveal my humor, my intelligence, my worth. And I can always recognize that moment when somebody realizes I am pretty fly for a fat girl. And I can take care of myself.
I’m not trying to give my life meaning
By demeaning you
Being invisible and being gorgeous have one thing in common. They don’t expect much. And at least I was mostly left alone. That seems easier than being valued only for your looks – all other attributes ignored.
In short, it is complicated. As we focus on getting rid of rape culture in our schools and society, there is progress in that male authority figures are no longer allowed to talk or act like sexual predators. Definitely not the case when I was growing up. Donald Trump’s comments have been seen as totally outside of acceptability – not just boys being boys. Except by Rudy Giuliani, who (if you ask me) is entirely ugly Watching male Republican leaders have to disavow gross comments from their presidential candidate cracks my flat fat ass up !!
And god help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying past
All of this is self-indulgent navel gazing, because if I was a minority, Mexican, disabled, or a muslim, I would be pissed that all of a sudden we find Trump’s words too much. As a fat and ugly girl, I can only begin to empathize with how people in those groups must feel invisible and unprotected – not worthy of outrage.
Let’s end this national nightmare.
p.s. all song lyrics from the song 32 flavors by the totally fuckable Ani Difranco
p.p.s don’t worry, my marriage is happy and healthy. But one of the reasons I love my husband so hard is that he absolutely judges everybody by their intelligence – men, women, newts… not a perfect system, but refreshing.