Fatty Drive-bys

We’ve all heard of Mommy* Drive-bys**, right? You know, perfect strangers who feel compelled to comment on your parenting skills (or lack of them) or offer unsolicited parenting advice.

There has been an abundance of trollitude flying around the Fatosphere in the wake of the NYT and ABC articles (and no doubt we are seeing only a small fraction of the tromments thanks to well managed moderation at the affected sites). But the predictable sledging and fat-hate bingo got me thinking.

What about Fatty Drive-bys? Whether it comes from Aunty Fran who weighs 50kg soaking wet or from the concerned citizen peering disapprovingly into your trolley at the supermarket, we’ve all had them; unsolicited comments on your body, your diet, your health or your clothing.

So I want to know who has done it to you and how? And what are some great comebacks that you’ve delivered (or wish you had delivered in hindsight).

A couple of my most memorable drive-bys are below, though of course there have been countless others.

2 years ago, walking down the street to the bus, wearing my suede patch mini-skirt.
A truckdriver leant out the driver window and yelled “Look at the size of that arse! Jesus, it’s the size of a bus” and to which I replied”Look at the size of your dick. Jesus, it’s the size of my pinky.” A predictable response perhaps, but you have to admit that he practically handed my come-back to me on a platter.

Around [CENSORED]years ago when I was 19 or 20, travelling home from uni by train in a mostly empty carriage.
An old man sat beside me (strange, I thought) and proceeded to tell me in the most concerned tone of voice possible “You know, you’re a BIG girl. Yes, you are. But you are VERY pretty. And you could be STUNNING if you lost a bit of weight” (how creepy, right?). And I managed “Oh, shit! Really? But I was a size eight just this morning? What the hell happened?”. The poor guy looked mortally offended that his ‘concern’ had produced such a strong reaction.


* It feels REALLY weird, as an Australian, to type ‘mommy’ rather than ‘mummy’.

** ‘Drive-bys’ has to be the plural of ‘drive-by’, right? Help! At least I don’t have a stray apostrophe.

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19 Responses to “Fatty Drive-bys”


  1. 1 moonchild Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve had plenty of fatty drive bys. My problem is that I never, ever can think of a snappy reply. I’d suck at “yo mama…”

  2. 2 starlitfae Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Hi from one of those people who read the mentioned articles…

    I remember walking to work when I was maybe 16 or 17 (Im 22 now and just got my licence this year) wearing a pair of black pants and a white t-shirt. Said t-shirt was somewhat tight on me but I I felt like I was hot!

    Until someone drove by me and yelled “Why don’t you go lose some weight, you fat f*ck!”

    I was also once asked if I was “expecting”, but I dont think that counts as a Fatty Drive-By.

  3. 3 littlem Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 5:48 pm

    “And I managed “Oh, shit! Really? But I was a size eight just this morning? What the hell happened?””

    This? Is HYSTERICAL. With your permission I will use it.

    And trade you one if you like.

    It must be the animal skins that bring out the trolls. (I hadn’t thought about this for some time.)

    I was on my way to a frat party in high heels, seamed stockings, and a rather snug leather skirt. (I know, I know.) A troll — rather skinny, wart-ish face — passing on the opposite sidewalk remarked to his friend (why do they always travel in packs?),”She has some big legs.” His friend weakly chimed in, “Yes, those are some big pretty legs.” (What am I, a Tyson’s Chicken?) The troll retorted, “I didn’t say they were pretty, I said they were big.”

    I am known for being somewhat, well, confrontational. Some might even go so far as to call it crazy. :D I stopped dead, turned toward them, and gave them the best Anjelica-Houston-as-Morticia-Addams look I could muster and said, “And if you talk about them too much they SNAP!” and stamped my heel as loud as I could.

    They jumped and ran down the sidewalk.

    I laughed so hard I almost had to go home and change.

  4. 4 fashionablenerd Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 6:55 pm

    My drive-by is pretty simple.

    Family Member: “I LOVE that roll you’ve got there.” *pokes my belly roll*

    Me: “I LOVE my roll too!” *bright smile as I rub my belly*

    As simple as my comment was…said family member had nothing to say the rest of the evening.

  5. 5 Fatadelic Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 7:48 pm

    littlem:

    “And if you talk about them too much they SNAP!” and stamped my heel as loud as I could.

    I love it. And sure, go ahead and use my comeback.

    fashionablenerd:

    Me: “I LOVE my roll too!” *bright smile as I rub my belly*

    Fantastic. Assertive without being aggressive.

  6. 6 Mike Thursday, 24 January 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Used to be along the lines of “You fat f*ck!” or similar, and quite frequently. Nothing funny to report in reply; I just used to try to ignore it, failed, felt bad for failing, and then felt shame and self-loathing. The perfect victim for fat hate, really.

  7. 7 Shade Friday, 25 January 2008 at 1:07 am

    I like to walk. I take long, rambling walks around my neighborhood. These walks usually take me past a high school.

    So I have been drive-by-ed, literally, on several occasions. Teenagers would lean out of car windows and shout insults at me (usually of the “fatty!” level of cleverness).

    Before I discovered FA (thank you, Kate Harding!),my usual reaction was to a) feel like crap, and b) head for home, avoiding the main streets around the school.

    Post FA exposure, my response was very different; when an obnoxious boy moo-ed at me, I smiled, flipped him the finger, and just kept walking.

    Not very clever, perhaps, but it felt freakin’ fantastic.

  8. 8 Nicole Friday, 25 January 2008 at 2:57 am

    I’ve decided that, in general, teenaged boys are the natural enemy of fat women. I’m not proud of it, but I have actually waited for a crowd of said boys to leave before going somewhere (like to the bathroom in a restaurant). How sad is that? I really have to work on my comebacks and stop letting the drive-bys affect me so much.

    I started wearing my iPod when I bike or walk around town so at least I can feel like I can ignore drive-bys.

  9. 9 kitthappens Friday, 25 January 2008 at 5:33 am

    I’m still considering legal action after an investigation at work found the morons I worked with had indeed been harrassing me over my weight. One of their colleagues passed me in the street and dribbled out their ignorance in the form of “you’re a fuckin’ fat bitch”. Me: “huh? you make that sound like a bad thing.”

  10. 10 Lynne Friday, 25 January 2008 at 9:16 am

    I can’t think of any actual specifically *fat* comments (other than someone asking if I was expecting, and that was ages ago). Both my mom and stepmom, though, are guilty of giving me unsolicited diet/fitness advice. The most recent came from my mom (probably because I saw her last). I have to do exercises as part of a physical therapy regimen (basically they’re weighted leg lifts). I was describing them and she did a critical check out of me and said “Do you do them, ever?” No witty response, alas. Just a “Yes, Mother,” through gritted teeth.

  11. 11 Autumn Friday, 25 January 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I’m gutsy as hell, so I think people are generally afraid to comment on my size. That said, when little passive-aggresive digs are made at me, I tend to respond with some of these
    –Not smiling or responding, look directly at the person until they get uncomfortable and leave. Throwing in some looks of complete confusion can also work on the right person, forcing them to fledge outloud their fatist comment or eat it.
    –Agreeing! “Yep, I’m fat!” *smile*
    –My biggest peeve is people saying “Oh, I’m glad so and so loves you for who you are on the inside!” The response is usually a variation on “Well, I’d tell you about how they love my outsides, but . . . .”

  12. 12 Arwen Friday, 25 January 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve only had it happen while exercising. Weird. I got it once when I wasn’t really fat at all – yeah, teenage boys – and I was biking uphill and too out of breath to say something. And then, after I got fat, I was jogging and a young woman mooed at me. I stopped and said “I might be fat, but I’m working to change it. You’re ignorant. What you doing to work on that?”
    Her friends all did the “whoooo!” thing. I jogged on.
    (( This was years ago when I still had hope about whatever diet I was doing at the time. Unfortunately. ))

  13. 13 Fatadelic Saturday, 26 January 2008 at 7:23 am

    Shade:

    Post FA exposure, my response was very different; when an obnoxious boy moo-ed at me, I smiled, flipped him the finger, and just kept walking.

    Yep, assertiveness in the face of fat hate feels GOOD!

    Kitthappens:

    I’m still considering legal action after an investigation at work found the morons I worked with had indeed been harrassing me over my weight.

    I’m glad an investigation found for you. Bullying and harrassment can be hard to prove – and so many people don’t see anything wrong with harrassing fat people.

    Autumn:

    Not smiling or responding, look directly at the person until they get uncomfortable and leave.

    Yep, I also like the stare-down technique. Works wonders on passers-by who give you the sneering “OMG, she’s so fat and I can’t believe she’s wearing THAT” look-over without saying anything. Offenders don’t expect it, and some actually blush and look away because I’ve given them a challenging stare.

    Arwen, funny how so many drive-bys occur when we exercise. I few years back I had a private personal trainer (’cause I could’t stand the gym) and used to go jogging with her. She was floored by how many people flung insults.

  14. 14 Mike Saturday, 26 January 2008 at 9:05 am

    Autumn: But surely, as a woman, your insides get love as well?

    Oooh… I can’t believe I just made a vagina joke.

  15. 15 Sarah Saturday, 26 January 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I think the best for me was the teenage boys who made a dead stop in the middle of a busy road to scream at me, “Holy s*it, you’re fat!”

    I didn’t get a chance to reply, because they took off.

    It didn’t bother me, because I’ve dealt with this sort of nonsense for my entire life. The new thing for boys to do is to make farting noises when I walk by.

    In high school, people spit at me and threw me into lockers. Somebody even grabbed my butt once. It’s no wonder that I spend the majority of that four years skipping – with the approval of my mother, because she felt sorry for me.

    I’ve come to accept random idiots making comments on my body – with me flat out ignoring them. It’s not even worth my time to dignity them with an answer, not even a snappy one.

  16. 16 Fatadelic Sunday, 27 January 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Mike:

    Oooh… I can’t believe I just made a vagina joke.

    LOL. You are evil.

    Sarah:

    I’ve come to accept random idiots making comments on my body – with me flat out ignoring them. It’s not even worth my time to dignity them with an answer, not even a snappy one.

    I tried this approach for years (hell, my entire childhood and teens) – and really, it didn’t work for me. Silence lets the offender think they’ve gotten away with their behaviour and shamed the target into silence. In my opinion, it’s far better to call them on it in a manner that suits the situation.

  17. 17 Mike Thursday, 31 January 2008 at 5:20 am

    You are evil.

    I have poor impulse control. I blame my parents.

  18. 18 Melissa Friday, 8 February 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Well lately I haven’t had any comments, but when I use to work I had a few.
    I was out of school and working at my old job, and I had gained weight, whereas before I was slimmer, now I was chubby. One morning I was switching a sign that I had to reach above my head. So I was lifting my arms up and I guess my top was lifting to bare my mid drift (OMG). This customer who had seen me in my thinner days said “Either you need to get a new shirt or you’ve gotten fat.”
    I was really young, and hadn’t really been aware of how much weight I had put on and I just walked away stunned!
    Usually I don’t react fast enough to that type of shit lol.
    Ahh well to hell with them!


  1. 1 Three Cheers for Rachel and Monique! « PhotoPhobic Trackback on Tuesday, 29 January 2008 at 3:26 am

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