Fattie Fattie Fattie Oi Oi Oi

A few moments ago I was having a scroll through instagram, embracing a little downtime after doing a metric tonne of laundry and ironing a bundle of things too. As I sat down for a little break in the early evening sunshine, my notifications popped up. As I clicked through, I spotted that a comment had been left on the picture above. The picture’s over a month old, which is why I think I even noticed – most of my recent notifications have been on the slew of pretty Italian scenes I’ve been sharing. Man, Italy is gorgeous. 

Before I continue with the tale, a little aside on the image above.

I happen to love the picture, not because I look good, or it’s especially clever, or even a great insta-shot. I look a bit mad, to be fair – I’d been up since 4.45am to get on the Eurostar, my hair is clearly having a moment, I’m grinning like a loon and the Arc de Triomphe shot I was aiming for has just been obscured by a van. However, I also look happy…because I was. And because I am.

So back to the comment. The comment left, coincidentally, by someone who had followed and then promptly found a selfie to leave his oh-so-special and important tuppence worth of opinion on. The comment? Fattie Fattie Fattie Oi Oi Oi.

I mean. What critique. What wit. What a way to get straight to the point and present me with some brand new information. Because obviously, being the size and weight I am, this fact had never been brought to my attention. I mean, when you’re larger than the average/ fat/ obese/ plump/ voluptuous (pick your flavour – I’ve been called them all and I am them all) heaven knows this is never pointed out to you! The culture and time we live in never objectifies people, let alone women.

This is where I should note that the username that left the comment rang a bell. It may be a coincidence on the name front, but if not let’s just say that someone I once encountered at a distance would be better off paying attention to his grammar and spelling (it’s ‘fatty’, for the love of plurals, not ‘fattie’!), rather than spending time trolling a woman who he barely knew, several years ago.

Clearly, I blocked the guy straight away. And sat down to write this post while my feelings were fresh – I’m on Easter break and the time to write is delightful.

I’m always amazed when people throw out ‘fat’ as the go-to insult. It’s the most poisonous thing people can think of at times, but to me it’s just so benign and frankly, a little dull. I’ve been larger than the average/ fat/ obese/ plump/ voluptuous (pick your flavour – I’ve been called them all and I am them all)  for two-thirds of my life, and I’ve been called fat so often that it now barely even registers. Because I am fat. It’s not something you can hide. It’s not something you can escape. It’s not even something you can disguise. It’s something that can change, and something I’m trying to change, but I also know that to many I’m just fat.

For the longest time that’s how I saw myself too. I’m grateful for growing up and realising that while I am fat, there are also many, many other things I am too. Some are good (straight teeth, mad but infectious laugh, crazy amounts of trivia/song lyrics to share). Some are bad (I can be impatient, I’m far too fond of sleep, and I can carry hurts around for too long). People rarely leave comments about that on my instagram though.

I made peace with my fatness a few years ago, when I had to have surgery. After years of hating my body, those weeks and months of recovery made me more willing to respect my body for what it can do as well as wanting it to be slimmer. That’s also the point where I looked deeper into my relationship with food, with fatness and with being different.

I didn’t grow up fat as a child. I was active and busy and healthy. I was also really, really lonely. When I went away to boarding school aged eleven, the class bullies picked up on the latter part of my character like a beacon and I became a target. Their word of choice? Fat. At that point I was anything but (actually a fairer describer would have been tall. Yep, I was once tall), but miles from home, dressed in hand-me-downs and just hitting puberty, it was the perfect storm. My eating became disordered, and I spent the next five years eating too much, eating too little, bingeing, purging, and generally starting to hate my body. By the end of Year 11 I was overweight, but miles from obese.

Sixth form was a healthier time. My inner tomboy kicked into gear when I return to Scotland for the last two years of school and while I still ate too much at times my body was strong and useful. I thrived on a regular schedule of walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and aquafit with the older ladies on our base. At the time I thought I was fat, but now I look back at my size 14/16 frame and want to go back and hug myself/slap myself silly for thinking that, depending on the day.

University brought with it the freshman fifteen. Living on a very strict budget meant a lot of pasta, bread and chips. I then lost thirty pounds on a steady diet of one meal a day and three hours plus of exercise. I can barely remember that term. My waist was so skinny, but I was also grey of skin and sleep-deprived from too much caffeine and stomach pain. Of course, once I actually started eating again it all came back, with interest, and that was probably the first time I really was obese. Comfort eating after some horrid times, snacking while cramming, and the numbers kept creeping upwards.

In my twenties, I kind of stayed around the same 16/18 place, right between overweight and obese. Until I fell in love, and then I put on the comfortable pounds. You know, the ones you gain from cooking, and snacking, and going out for dinners. Which brings us to now, when I’m a size 22 (well, actually nearly back down to a 20, in the year where I’m working on my whole relationship with food and my body. So actually the nasty comment arrived just when I was in the mood for a weight post).

So that’s my ramble for this evening. The comment didn’t upset me as such – I know I’m fat. More than anything it made me cross (because ultimately what a random thinks of my size is none of their business), made me bored (really, again?) and made me want to write an opinion post. Something I haven’t done in a while.

So Mr Commenter, eff you. And shame on you for not choosing the shot where I’m daring to eat a gelato – would have been even more apt, no?


  1. Good Egg Foodie
    5th April 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Yeah eff off nobber ­čśáHonestly I love your positivity and not allowing one prat to pull you down. I too was once tall (2nd tallest in class in 4th year junior) and now I love food too much and am 5 ft2. If you are strong and healthy and happy then that tag on your clothing is simply a meaningless number.id rather be fat and happy than so sad that I have to attack people online to feel something. Love ya x

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:25 am

      Thank you so much for this sweetie. Absolutely agree – strong and healthy and happy is the way to be!

  2. Emma Julia
    5th April 2017 / 7:49 pm

    What the hell is wrong with people?

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:26 am

      I honestly don't know. In all fairness, now my ego-bruise has healed, I just feel a bit sorry for them!

  3. Angie Silver
    5th April 2017 / 8:03 pm

    What a nasty rude person that commenter is! We love you Claire!!!

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:26 am

      Love you too hon, yay for blog-friends!

  4. Amanda
    5th April 2017 / 8:13 pm

    We all love you! What a dick! x

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:26 am

      Thanks, sweetie, really appreciate your sweet comment.

  5. Emma Copland
    6th April 2017 / 8:29 am

    What an absolute turd, he must be so insecure to have to go to the effort of being so unnecessarily hateful. You are a babe always and forever

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:26 am

      Amen to the insecure comment! You're a star, gorgeous.

  6. charlienin
    6th April 2017 / 9:39 am

    Oh lordddddddd my protective buddy instincts have kicked in and I want to hunt this person down and ram their head down a toilet. You are BEAUTY, both inside and out, and that may sound like a cliche, but it's 100% true. I'm so proud of you for not letting comments like this get to you. I wrote a post years ago about how a random stranger commented on my skin when I wasn't wearing make-up and it followed me around for so long. I know now that I'm stronger than that (because she got me at a time where my skin was particularly bad) and I'm more confident in myself, but still. Who the hell do people think they are?! I love you, Mrs Roper! xxxxxxxx

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:27 am

      Oh bless you, hon. I'm exactl;y the same when friends are mean to my buddies. If I saw the woman who commented on your skin like that, there'd be a moment, let me tell ya!

  7. Rebecca PurleyGirly
    6th April 2017 / 10:01 am

    I don't think I'll ever understand people who write such nastiness on people's posts. I can only assume that the guy in question must have way too much time on his hands, and living a very pathetic life, he's certainly not travelling around Europe and enjoying his life, stuck at home behind a phone screen seething with jealousy that other people are out there having fun and having things to smile at. My friend's Dad has a wonderful phrase: "you can't reason with morons" and I think this definitely applies to this guy. I can't wait to see more of your posts from your travels, and hear about your adventures.

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:28 am

      Thanks so much, hon. Love your dad's phrase, I couldn't agree with it more!

  8. Anna International
    6th April 2017 / 10:33 am

    Oh wow, what an A-hole. Be comforted in the fact that at least you are intelligent enough to know how to spell, and that trolling people in such a manner is not cool. That comment aside, I could have written this. Exactly the same story – quiet shy girl goes to boarding school, tallest in the class at nearly 5ft2 and normal-sized, bullied for being fat, so of course I became fat (and remained 5ft2 while everyone else overtook me). It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. So many struggles with my weight over the years, got down to a 12 a few years ago through WW (after ballooning during 4 years of much chianti and pasta and gelato whilst living in Florence) but then met my now husband and it all went on again. I tried to get that small again for my wedding last year but failed, and now I am pregnant so I have the baby-weight loss challenge ahead too. I am resigned to never being truly content with my weight, but pregnancy has changed my view of my body – it is strong and capable even if I don't see it like that sometimes. Thanks for writing this, and for being you! ­čÖé x

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:29 am

      Anna, thank you so much – eerie how similar our stories are. Here's to strong, capable, loved bodies, whatever shape we may be.

  9. Angela Shek
    6th April 2017 / 11:46 am

    The number of people who have leapt up to sing your praises goes to show how much love and positivity you have in your life, and what a sad one that twatty troll must have. I share the same sentiment as Amanda- what a dick! I've taken a body confidence hit this past year- one fertility doctor saying I was too big to start treatment and my new one saying it was a load of nonsense. My friend Iskra makes a point that EVERYbody is beautiful and I agree!

    • Claire
      10th April 2017 / 10:30 am

      Amen to that. Body confidence is such a journey – I'm so glad you have a new doctor who's on side.

  10. Ms Leanne Fraser
    20th April 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Who even has the time to do stuff like this?! Ridiculous! x

  11. Payal Mitra
    2nd September 2017 / 2:13 pm

    It's the most unimaginative insult – I think the word 'fatty' was put out there to allow us to immediately be able to identify the most boring humans on the planet..

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