I have a confession. I need to come out of the closet.
I am Jolly. I can’t help it. I was just born that way. And I am no longer ashamed!
I can’t remember when I first felt Jolly. Maybe it was when I was eating that second bowl of ice cream and watching The Flying Nun when I was eight. Maybe it was that tender coming-of-age moment when an older Jolly man brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to a beach party I was invited to at the age of 15 and I ate half the bucket. I don’t claim to understand everything about the complexities of this glorious and challenging appetite God has given me. All I know is, Jolly is the way God made me, and I have nothing to be ashamed of!
Not that oppressive Judeo-Christian Amerika hasn’t tried to fill me with shame for being a Person of Size. Growing up, I had to endure the cruelty of a culture that does nothing but heap contempt on Jolly Americans. From my youngest childhood — when kids at class used to call me “Shea Fat,” to girls snickering about “love handles” at the pool, to the obesophobic gibes of readers who think they are funny when they tell me I have my own gravitational field — I and my fellow Jollies have had to put up with the discrimination, the jokes, and the pain. O the pain! Insurance companies, modeling agencies, airlines, movie-theater seat designers — these and many more all treat we members of the Lardo/Giant/BrickHouse/Tubby community like second-class citizens.
I thought that, when I became Catholic, surely here in the bosom of the People of God I would find love, acceptance, and celebration of my Jolliness. But instead, I found a shocking replay of the denial and rejection I went through as a young fundamentalist. You see, when I was in college, I fell in with Evangelicals who told me that my appetites could be governed. I was young and impressionable and believed their inhuman religious mind control. They put me through a bizarre and sinister reparative therapy consisting of “eating less and exercising more.” For a time, I drank the Kool-Aid (actually, it was sugarless Crystal Lite) and found myself losing weight and getting to be what they call “healthy.” But something was missing, something fundamental about me was being denied.
That something, I discovered, was lots and lots of food and television. Eventually, my true, God-given nature reasserted itself and I embraced my Jolliness. I resolved never again to let fundamentalists tell me about what was healthy. I swore to reject oppressive temperanormativity. And most of all, I vowed to make sure that I and those like me would never again feel uncomfortable, and to punish anybody who did anything less than cheer for my desires.
He's got tons more and it's plump with meaning.
Read it. Pass it on.