It all started on Tumblr. I have been seeing gif sets of My Mad Fat Diary for almost a week. It’s a new show on E4 and I decided to check it out. Before I left for a weekend getaway with my family, I downloaded the first three episodes of the show so I’d have something to do in case I get bored mingling with crazy relatives.
I wasn’t wrong, you know. Ten minutes into the pilot episode, I knew, I just did, I knew this is something I will obsess about for a very long time. Wasn’t surprised that I could relate to the main character so much. I am, after all, fat and mad.
As a mad person, I know what it’s like to keep a secret as huge as my thunder thighs. I understand how it is to want to get away from everything because even after you’ve hurt yourself, everything is still shit. I get that there will be times you will feel like the universe took a huge crap on you, especially for you, and there’s nothing else to be done but to escape yourself. I recognize the hesitation to tell your friends how fucked up your brain is because you don’t want to be alone again. You finally have people who think you’re a normal person and you don’t want to lose them.
I’ve always been the fat friend who blathers some dark humored joke every once in a while. I used to be frightened to go on a trip with my friends (especially if the said trips involve any type of body of water) because I don’t want to wear swimsuits or shorts or anything revealing. As a fat person, I know how it is to hate my body and my whole entire self. I hated myself so much it affected several aspects of my life and relationships. I am fully aware of how it is to be seen as a friend and nothing more, and how easy it is to blame on my size, whether it’s a factor or not.
There was this scene where Rae was about to go on a date with Archie. She weighed herself on the scale and was not happy with what she saw. She ran and exercised, weighed herself after but nothing changed. Rae was tearing up and I saw her unzipping something on her back. It turns out she was unzipping a fat suit and a skinny version of her came out of the suit. I cringed with recognition because that was me ten years ago. I used to have the exact fantasy because I was surrounded with tall skinny girls who happen to be my friends. I wanted to be like them, I wanted guys to like me, I wanted everything except what I already have.
This was like looking into a mirror, not an exact mirror, but one very similar. I found myself reliving past experiences and it was so cathartic. I understand Rae because I am her.
I like that through watching the series, I am reminded of how far I’ve gone – from an angsty teenager who wanted a different body, a different life, to a semi-fucked up 20-something girl who accepts and loves her body, her self, and everything else in her life.
Of course, it’s nothing without a hint of love interests. I hope to see Finn and Rae get together. I was assuming that there would be some kind of failed love relationship between the two of them and that they would magically get together in series 2 but there we go, in the last episode I had my ending. It wasn’t what I wanted (I expected some tongue, HAHAHA) but it will do.
Overall, I think the show was very well done. I like the diary texts on the screen. I love how hilarious, awkward, and sad it is all at the same time. Every time I see an episode, I fucking cry because I have not empathized with a television character so much in my entire life. I love that the gang is not as shallow as what they seem to be on the outside. I love how brave Rae is, how better off she is now. I fucking love how Kester, Tix, Rae’s mom, and even Karim are so messed up but they all were put in the right places.
I don’t have the audacity to say I’m better. After all, self acceptance is a life long project. I may not hurt myself right now but one day I’ll slip. I can be a fat activist and preach all kinds of body positive wisdom but there will be days I will be out of my game. It’s okay to worry is what I tell myself. It’s somehow a caution not to do anything stupid. That way, I won’t lose track of what I intend to do with my life and that is to continue living no matter how shitty everything is.
It was honest in the most brutal ways but I like that it was honest. Yes, there were times it hurt but at least it was the truth.