One of my first memories of New York City, after moving there to be an actress, is getting up really early one morning to go be an extra in the worst indie movie of all time. At the time, I lived in the back of a hair salon on 45th and 8th really close to Times Square. That’s right a hair salon. The cool spinning chair, the big alien looking bubble blow drier that engulfs your head. I was young, poor, and despite the constant headache from the lingering chemical smell of various hair treatments, it was a fun apartment. As I walked through Times Square at 5 a.m. I realized this was the worst time to be out. Because everyone around me was not early risers, these people were still up from the night before.
As I walked along, I was so hopeful in my new life in the big city. My hair freshly groomed with stolen products from my hair salon abode. I was in a total hat-throwing-I’m-gonna-make-it-after-all moment when from behind me I heard low faint chants. They went something like this,
“White girl … with a fat ass. white girl … with a fat ass, white girl with a FAT ass.”
What can only be described as your classic 80’s movie drunken homeless wino, was following me chanting. As I walked faster, hoping to God he wasn’t talking about me, my hurried movement only emphasized the jiggling momentum of said “Ass” causing his chants to escalate until they reached a fevered pitch,
“WHITE GIRL with a fat ass WHITE girl with a FAT ASS white girl WITH a FaaaTTTT ASSSSSSSS.”
No matter how fast I hauled my now infamous ass, I could not escape his words. I continued to run but those haunting words always followed me.
When I started an online blog called White Girl with a Fat Ass, my second adult relationship had recently crumbled around me, and I once again found myself being unceremoniously dumped right before the holidays. At the same time, I was the heaviest I had ever been weighing in at 200 pounds. I have thought about food every day for as long as I can remember. I dreaded holiday parties because if I don’t eat all that food, who will? There are starving children in (insert country of choice here) we can’t just let food go to waste. I have also made my relationships more complicated with my food and body issues, guilty bad moods, and sugar crashes. I had to do something. But I have Yo-Yo’d up and down in weight for years, what was going to be different this time? Eating all the food in sight is never going to help those in need, but what would?
I read this fact on the America’s Second Harvest Website, “In a country of abundance, it’s hard to believe that Americans waste over 96 billion pounds of food in just one year while 25 million Americans go hungry.”
The day I read that, I decided that I would let go of whatever happened to the leftovers at parties. I would learn to enjoy smaller portions of what I wanted to eat. And instead of buying my afternoon coffee delight of choice, loaded with sugar and calories to perk me up helping me forget that I have three more hours in an office with no windows, that day I donated the five bucks I would have spent to America’s Second Harvest. That donated five dollars equaled eighty meals for those in need, and it also gave me power over the helplessness I have always felt in regards to food.
Thus began my quest to figure out how my fat ass can save the world. I chose the name White Girl with a Fat Ass as a way to take this negative memory, which had once devastated me to snotty tears, and make it positive with laughter. To not let some 80’s movie drunken homeless wino forever label me as just a white girl with a fat ass. Instead I, well, sort of ended up branding my irreverent self White Girl with a Fat Ass but now I am making an empowering choice. Ok, that wasn’t nearly as inspiring as it sounded in my head but hopefully you get the gist.
Help me raise money and awareness for hunger relief while I strive to overcome lifelong food and body image issues. Ashamed at being unable to control my eating, I decided cleaning my plate wasn’t helping starving children anywhere but there are positive things I can do every day to help end hunger and inspire myself to be healthy. If you’d like to donate towards my goal, CLICK HERE. If you want to peruse more of Kelly Jean’s foibles, visit her blog at www.jellykean.wordpress.com.