Comedian Sofie Hagen revisits her teenage diary


I recently found an old diary I wrote when I was 13. Like most teenage diaries would, it portrayed me in a rather unfortunate light. 

Amongst complaints about the girls in my class and embarrassing amounts of Westlife fanfiction, I made lists. Lists of the sexiest things about Mehmet from my year (eyes, sweat, voice), pros and cons if I ever became famous (pros: journalists ask you questions all the time, cons: the paparazzi) and lists about my life after weight loss. 

I was on a constant diet from the age of eight ’til 21. Every week, after I had failed, I would make a new plan towards the inevitable: me being thin. But we now know that 95% of diets don’t work. That’s how the diet industry has become a 70.3 billion dollar industry. I was never going to be thin. Yet my whole life surrounded that. I found a list in my teenage diary called, “When I am thin…” and it listed my new life.

  1. I will wear shorts and crop tops.
  2. I will have my hair up.
  3. When my friends say they like me, I will believe them.
  4. I can eat in public.
  5. I can have lesbian sex.

I did a double-take when I read the last one. I can what?

When I was 13, I didn’t know that pansexuality was a thing. A few years later, when my friend came out as bisexual to me, I am ashamed to say I laughed at her and said, “That’s how everyone feels”. Because I couldn’t imagine not fancying all genders. So my teenage diary surprised me in two ways: because I had voiced my attraction to women (or, more specifically, lesbian women) before I even knew the word for it. And because… I had somehow decided that fat people can’t have lesbian sex. Also, I think I should point out that a much more accurate word for “lesbian sex” would just be, well, sex.

I don’t think it was about the practicality of the sex. Fat people’s genitals and hands can clearly reach other fat people’s genitals. It’s about representation. It’s about the fact that every fat person I had ever seen portrayed in the media had been either a desexualised villain or a hypersexualised heterosexual woman whom men would try to escape. Fat Monica in Friends just wanted to kiss Chandler, who desperately hated the idea. And all the sexy ladies in the movies were all thin. I didn’t get to see a fat queer woman with a sexuality. So I didn’t imagine I could be one.

It is such a misogynistic, toxic and damaging idea that fat is bad. That fat is scary, temporary and something to be eradicated. 

Today, I’m fat and I wear shorts and crop tops. I have my hair up loads, my friends like me, I eat in public all the time and… ok, I don’t have that much lesbian sex. Anyone going through a sexual drought would probably wonder about the reason. Is it because I’m socially awkward? Because I don’t go the right places? Because I’m dead inside? All of which are valid reasons.

Except, when you are fat, you know that everyone grew up watching the same fatphobic television as you. A lot of people have been brainwashed into finding fat bodies repulsive. So in a way, 13 year old me had a point. I would probably get laid more if I was thin. I’m just not sure I’d want to sleep with the people who wouldn’t have sex with a fat person. 

When I was 13, I blamed my fat body for everything. Now I know that my fat body is not the problem. It’s the system. So let’s fight the system so I can have lesbian sex. Please.

This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of DIVA – you can grab your digital copy here.

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