I hate Jim Carrey. Hate him. Cannot stand to look at his face or hear his voice. He infuriates me that much. I find him utterly repulsive. There’s no particular reason why. My loathing is entirely separate from my knowledge that he is (from the evidence of his movies) racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, wildly narcissistic, and not at all funny. It’s entirely irrational. I just hate him.
Sometimes people will try to convince me to watch one of his movies — Eternal Sunshine is the usual one, but occasionally it’s one of his Seuss movies, or A Series of Unfortunate Events — or even say they’re going to trick me into watching one (or worse). And then I fucking lose my temper.
Because seriously? I do not like Jim Carrey. I fucking hate JIm Carrey. I am not missing anything by not watching his movies, because I fucking hate Jim Carrey. I will not enjoy whatever movie it is, no matter how much someone else may like it, because the fact that Jim Carrey is in it will fucking ruin it for me. You will not change my mind, and it is not ok to even joke about trying to trick me into it.
I don’t like Jim Carrey, and I never will. And that’s ok. There are lots of things out there in the world I do enjoy, and I’ll just go watch, do, or read those things instead. I do not need Jim Carrey in my life. It is not a moral failing in me that I hate Jim Carrey. There is no requirement that I like him or any piece of his work, ever. And yet, somehow people seem to miss that.
Much like people seem to miss that when I say, “I really don’t like to exercise. There are only a few things that make me feel good while I’m doing them, and nothing that makes me feel better in general just because I do it regularly. I do not lose weight when exercising, I am not less depressed when exercising,* it doesn’t make my cramps go away, and it doesn’t make me feel any healthier,” I actually mean that, and that that’s ok, too. I am not morally obligated to like or feel better for exercising.
And yet this is a thing I encounter even within HAES. Some fat people really like to exercise. Some fat people are athletes, and are really fucking good at it and love it. They feel good while doing it, and it makes them feel better in general. And that’s awesome. For them. But the assumption that it must also work that way for me, and I just haven’t found the right thing yet, or I haven’t tried hard enough, is not awesome.
Look, I like horseback riding. But taking lessons and/or renting or owning a horse to ride without lessons is expensive, and so is the gas to drive out from the city to where stables are. And I like swimming. But I hate public pools, which are generally really loud and crowded and heavily chlorinated, and the ocean here is too cold to swim in, and I can’t afford a gym membership, and honestly when I could, I still didn’t go do it all that often, because while I like it, making time to do it regularly is a pain in the ass, and I just stop doing it because it’s not worth it. I like yoga, but I don’t know enough about it to do it right with a video, and classes cost, and every time I’ve started to take even a short 6- or 8-week class, I’ve stopped going after just a few weeks. Because, again, I like it, but not enough to do that often. Even if I could budget the money for these things right now — and I can’t, not with debt to pay off and a wedding to save for — they wouldn’t be worth it to me. There’s other things I can do with that time and money that will make me happier right now.
My parents are some of the worst perpetrators of this, but some HAES people will go on about healing your relationship with exercise, and frankly every time I read that, I hear it in the voice of a Southern televangelist. And it is roughly as insulting as their presumption that I need to have a relationship with Jesus to be a good person.
Look, I fucking know what exercise feels like. I’ve tried every damn thing I had even the slightest interest in. I’ve exercised hard and regularly. Exercise does not make me happy, it makes me unhappy, and the few exceptions to that are not practical for me at this point in time. There is nothing anyone is going to come up with that is going to make it magically worth it for me to exercise. And anybody who insists that I should do it anyway, or that I’m wrong and I really will feel better or lose weight or whatever, is insulting me. They are saying they know my body and my feelings better than I do. They are saying that I am wrong, and I don’t really hate Jim Carrey, I just think I do.
It’s condescending as fuck. And I’m sick of it.
*Oh, and by the way. There’s a new study that shows that exercise, taken alongside therapy and medication, does absolutely fuck-all for serious depression. And yet the article still has to insert, “But you still have to exercise! Everybody has to exercise!” Ugh. Fuck off and die in a fire.