Okay, so, perhaps you, like myself, are not fat. Maybe you're not even chubby. "That's a shame, but this isn't my fight" you say. "It doesn't effect me."
I'll put my money on it that it did effect you. I'll bet that you had at least three of the following experiences.

As a child, your mom didn't want you to have an extra cookie at dinner, and didn't say why.
You snuck a cookie and felt very naughty.

You went out to the playground and were harrassed for being fat, or witnessed a classmate being degraded.
You might have been the one throwing the punches or the particularly cruel remarks, hating him or her more than was reasonable, because they were the embodiment of your fears of exclusion.

Your mom worried about her weight, dieted, or ate less than the rest of the family.
You followed her lead because you thought that was grown up behavior.

If you're a baby boomer, your Mom might have purchased your first girdle.
You felt pretty the next day at school, but at home when you took it off the red lines it left on your skin hurt terribly.

You overheard some boys in the cafeteria talking about the fat girl. You were very glad you weren't her. Or you were her and wished to God you weren't.
You took measures to make sure you never became her.

You flipped through magazines with your girlfriends, critiquing the model's bodies, trying to find flaws, lamenting your own, comparing yourself to image after image.
You pinned up some pictures of the particularly pretty models as an incentive to lose weight.

The Valentine's dance was coming up. You went on an all water-diet, just like all your other friends. You went to the dance, and all the fat girls were left sitting on the sidelines during the slow songs.
You went on a binge when you got home. Or perhaps you never went at all.

You discovered that horizontal stripes were a sin against nature.
You threw away everything in your closet that had horizontal stripes.

You heard in health class about bulimia or anorexia, or you heard the prettiest girl in school purged.
You tried gagging yourself, but it didn't work, and you were unable to starve yourself. Or maybe, far worse, you suceeded.

If you're a man, you admired a lovely fat girl... and if anyone ever knew it, you would have died of shame, or said "She's got a nice face..."
You never asked her out.

You watched TV. Fat people ate so much - they were slovenly, unhygenic, perhaps jolly, perhaps mean, but always gluttonous.
Whenever a fat person showed up on the screen, you learned to anticipate the fat joke or the donut making its way to the actor's mouth.

You found that fat girls have far more difficulty being accepted to college. Or perhaps you were completely unaware of this form of apartheid.

You fell in love with a boy. You knew, either because he told you or because you could sense it, that he wanted you thin.
You struggled to wear clothes that made you appear thinner, and sucked in your stomach when you made love for the first time.

You went out eating with him often.
You ordered the salad, or picked at your food daintily, although your stomach was gnawing at you.

He proposed. You planned the wedding. You bought a dress.
You went on a diet so you'd look better in your wedding gown.

You watched infomercials with excercise equipment. The people looked so happy and beautiful and sexy.
You currently have three pieces of excercise equipment that have been used a grand collective total of 10 times for a few minutes sitting in your basement.

You had a baby.
You stressed almost as much about the weight you were gaining being pregnant as you did about the thought of the pain of labor.

Your little girl grew. When you drove her to school one morning, you saw a fat child being teased on the playground.
That night, when she asked for another cookie, you said no.

Email: ericaherron@hotmail.com