14 Jul 2011, 1:53am
your beluga best friend


Dear BBF,

My BFF (best fat friend) recently lost a fug-ton of weight, started an affair, and basically told me right out that she would rather die than get “like that” again. This is not someone who was unaware of the cultural biases, the FA movement, any of it. She was the one person whom I felt really understood. At first I talked to her like she was that same person, but then she made it clear to me that she was not, that she had chosen to lose weight as a value judgment on herself and on fat people in general. I am sad, I miss her, and this has all made me feel a lot worse about myself.

I thought, maybe it isn’t necessary to have a BFF if you have other enlightened friends. But I am not finding it to be true. Hate blubber, love shark cartilage? I am so confused. I am an adult and I don’t think I should be this bothered by another person’s choices. But I am. Sincerely, BFFless

I suspect that your hurt feelings here aren’t so much a result of you being “bothered” by her autonomous choices on their own, but rather how they seem to have altered her from the person you knew. It’s one thing for a friend to decide that they want or need to change their body for their own reasons. It’s something else for those choices to represent their disdain for any individual who does not share their priorities.

What you’re feeling is the loss of a kindred spirit, someone with whom you could really connect about the complicated business of fattery (and other things too!). Yes, it’s wonderful to have other friends who care about you and who support your right to live in your body, whatever its size, but they can’t empathize in the same way as a BFF can.

But here’s the thing: I don’t want you to let her decisions and opinions affect your feelings about yourself. I know this is difficult to resist, especially with a BFF with whom you’ve got a lot of simpatico, but really, it’s not about you. Given her sudden about-face and her affair (I’m assuming you mean an illicit or extramarital one), there are probably a bunch of other things going on with your ex-BFF, of which her weight loss and sudden fat-hate are but symptoms.

It sounds like you’ve made the decision to sever the relationship, and that may be the healthiest option for you; only you can decide that. Your ex-BFF may yet sort out her issues and come back to you, or she may not. You’ll probably mourn the loss of that relationship for awhile; it’s always painful to lose a close connection. But it’ll get better with time, and you’ll ultimately be happier without her sudden negative influence in your life.

And hey, if you’re ever in Greenland, or that northerly bit of Canada with all the caribou and lemmings, look me up! We’ll eat my homemade squid-flavored ice cream and watch America’s Next Top Model, but only to make fun of it. It’ll be grand.

Love, Your Beluga Best Friend

Inflatable BBF drawing by Tyler, who blogs at www.artsyfartsyy.blogspot.com and Tumblrs at www.tylerfaith.tumblr.com.

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