How the Fuck-Off Fairy helped me fight fat-shaming

Guest post by Rebecca

Seriously, fuck off. (Photo by: Cate_DartfingerCC BY 2.0)
I am a member of a high-end gym near my work. It was the only one that worked for me, as far as location, and, let’s face it, I’m a sucker for the Aveda products in the locker room. When I go to the gym, I usually lift heavy, do some cardio, and stick to myself. It is “me time” at its best.

Recently, a personal trainer has been trying to recruit me as a client. When we first met, I told her my goal was to do a pull-up. I’ve been taking some aerial classes, but had plateaued, so decided to lift for a while and build some strength before going back. I told her what I’d been doing, and she was supportive. She made minor noises about how “slimming down” might help me lift my body weight easier. I understand physics well enough to know she is right, and mostly ignored the fat-shaming that was also present in the conversation.

Then this week, she sent an email about a group meeting. It was filled with assumptions about how we were all striving to lose weight and how she wanted a three-day food journal from us so she could help us to eat better. I sent her a note back indicating that I didn’t think I was a good match for her training. I thought I was letting her down gently.

This morning, at the gym, she asked me to talk about the small group training and why I wasn’t sure about it. I mentioned that I didn’t really want to be in a group that was focused on weight loss. She made another comment about how “trimming up” would help with my goal of doing a pull-up. That’s when the Fuck-Off Fairy showed up.

The Fuck-Off Fairy is a special kind of fairy. She shows up on the night of your 30th birthday, while you are sleeping, and waves a magic wand over you.

She comes to release you from the expectations that you should always be nice and polite and say yes to what other people want from you. She helps you see your authentic self, and how beautiful and fabulous that self is, and how the world will not end if you are true to you, rather than to others’ expectations of you.

The Fuck-Off Fairy teaches you to stand up for yourself and believe in your value. She gets that sometimes “fuck off” needs to be said politely and with a smile, but while delivering the message clearly. She is an important part of the coming-of-age process.

Although she typically comes at 30, some people are lucky to get their Fuck-Off Fairy visit at a younger age, others may have to wait a bit longer. It is worthy of note, however, that it is never too late for you to invite her to visit you!

Although she likes to serve women, the Fuck-Off Fairy does not discriminate on the basis of gender.

The Fuck-Off Fairy was sitting on my shoulder during my conversation with the trainer. I was able to stand up for myself and my body. To tell her that my goals were what mattered, not some socio-cultural perception about what my body should be. I explained how exercise, for me, is about enjoying my body and appreciating it — not beating it up or shaming it. I told her that I love what I can do, how strong I’ve become, and how I see improvement every day. I told her that my muscles are amazing, and what I can do with my body is incredible. And I said that I’m not working with someone who doesn’t think my body is perfect and beautiful as it is.

In the trainer’s defense, when I called her out on this matter, she immediately agreed with me. She sees that my strength is impressive and that her job is to help me meet my goals, not to make assumptions about what they are.

As I walked away from this interaction, I offered a little prayer of thanks to the Fuck-Off Fairy. I’m glad she’s part of my life!

Comments on How the Fuck-Off Fairy helped me fight fat-shaming

  1. I think I have always had a fuck-off fairy. Is that weird? I’ve never been afraid of saying exactly what I think (most of the time tactfully, and when the situation calls for it, of course). I have been called blunt before, but I’m proud of that. I have never put up with that crap, and I think most people respect me for it because they know they will always get an honest answer from me.

  2. I happen to be working to lose weight, but because I feel that it’s what I need to do to get to where I want to be in life, not social stigma. The fact that my primary forms of exercise are ballroom dancing and going for walks are bonuses, and I have completed a 5k! The FoF first showed up for me in limited encounters when I was a high school senior, when I realized I actually don’t care if anyone knows I like anime and am a big ol’ geek. I’m still working on vocalizing the Fairy’s suggestions regularly, despite being 31, though. One time in early college I went on a family vacation to Disney World and, while at Epcot, spotted a kimono shop. Being that I’d always wanted a kimono, I went in and started trying some on. As a shop assistant was helping me try on a lavender one, some random tourist lady basically told me not to bother because I’m fat. I was shocked into silence and she walked away, but inside the FoF was screaming bloody murder about how my clothing choices/purchases were none of the business of some stupid stranger. I still regret not having said something that would have reminded that lady that no, she doesn’t have a right to comment on me and/or my life.

  3. I love this so, so hard. The Fuck-Off Fairy and I have been BFFs since about my 30th, too. She’s been right there with me for almost 14 years now, throwing shade on and sprinking I-give-zero-fucks pixie dust on haters who act like I shouldn’t even be seen in public enjoying a meal or flying on a plane because I’m fat.

    Also, as a doll collector, I love the accompanying pic: looks like a “Monster High” fairy repaint. Most cool.

  4. I don’t really see how the trainer was “fat-shaming” you. Pestering you to get you to sign up for her sessions like every other trainer does, sure. Making the obvious point about your weight and being able to do certain strength exercises with ease and possibly in a safer manner, maybe. Maybe you didn’t give the entire story but that’s kind of on you as the writer of this entry.

    I love the fuck-off fairy – that’s why I can write this comment to your article. My fuck-off fairy wants me to say this idea is great but your supporting story to use as an example is weak. Fat-shaming is a serious thing and I just don’t see it here.

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