After witnessing my (unknowing) commitment to doing God’s Will, he told me about Fat Girl Jihad, a devout movement sworn to eradicate the sin of obesity that has conquered the fair bodies of so many potentially beautiful American women.
“These women could be lovely,” Muhammed V began, a wistful look in his eyes, “but they have been led astray by the teachings of a false prophet. They have laid waste to their bodies, and divorced themselves from their holy duty to remain slim and attractive for their menfolk.”
“Muhammed V,” I replied, put off by his long beard and odd robes, but intrigued by his message, “Why have they done this to themselves? Have they no respect? No self-discipline? Or have they simply lost the natural ability to differentiate between what is right and good and just, and what is not?”
“The answer is yes,” Muhammed V said solemnly, “to all of the above. American women have lost their way. They have lost sight of themselves, and not just their toes and vaginas. Once, they were a proud nation of women, but the demons of tolerance and moral relativism have reached their comical endpoint in the fat acceptance movement. American women no longer feel a sense of shame over being so plump.”
Hearing his words, I thought back to my freshman orientation seminar. Several raindrop-shaped womyn had agitated for the importance of considering size-ism as a valid addition to an already lengthy list of aggrieved minority groups. I realized that the culture and social norms in which I had been immersed since birth, were absurdly tolerant of female obesity. It was actually considered in poor taste to reject a woman on the basis of her size. As a result, fat women strutted through life believing themselves ‘voluptuous’ and desirable, rather than huddling in their basements doing jumping jacks until they were fit for public viewing.
“Muhammed V,” I implored, “You are right. I agree with everything you have said. But now, what is to be done? How are we to cure this epidemic of girthy, unearned self-esteem?”
“Patience young one, for you have much to learn.”
Muhammed V handed me a well-worn copy of a book titled: The Fat Girl Jihad Koran and Hadiths. I leafed through the pages, noting the bookmarks, dog-ears and margin notes.
“Before we can proceed, I must rid you of your slave name, and replace it with one befitting a holy warrior in the Jihad against fat bitches.” He looked embarrassed for a second. “Excuse me, against the corporeally prodigious womenfolk of this country.”
This was how I came to be A. Dhirmal Akbar.
After several hours of conversation in which the extent and causes of the problem (subjects to be addressed at a later date) were made clear to me, I asked:
“Muhammed V, I have but one more question: What is to be done? What solutions can be found to this crisis? ”
He smiled in a way that let me know: In time, I would have my answer.