I have struggled with my weight since I began having kids (unique story, huh?). I could blame it on the kids or on my hypothyroidism but mostly, I really like food. My mom was a Diet Technician. I liken it to having a dentist for a parent. My sister and I looked forward to Friday nights when we would order pizza and mom would pour us half a glass of pop (I’m talking my adolescent years here people). Never having had to learn self-control with food, I have very little of it and the junkier, the better!
A year ago, after some back trouble and medication, I began losing weight faster than I could inhale the bear claws. People were kind at first asking if I’d lost weight and telling me I looked good. Then things took an odd turn I was unprepared for. People started “joking” with me about my weight. I was told to “eat a hamburger” and that I “would blow away in a strong wind”. They told me to stand sideways so the rain wouldn’t hit me and (my personal favorite) “you look kind of sick”.
What is that? Why is it ok to skinny-shame people? What no one would ever dare say to an overweight person seems to be perfectly okay to say and joke about to a skinny person. I was so happy when I’d lost weight. Why did I feel bad about it all the sudden? Why were other women, many my friends and co-workers mean momming me?
I’ve spent a lot of time since thinking and talking to others about it. What is the mentality that makes it unacceptable to comment and joke to an overweight person but thin people are fair game? Some thought it came from a jealous or hateful place. Others thought since you’re skinny, life is easy. You should be able to put up with it. After all, it’s just a joke. I know my family and friends would never say something purposely hurtful. I’m sure some of my frenemies absolutely spouted off from a hateful place. Mostly, I think they do it because “everyone does it”. As a society, what is deemed acceptable by the group, is just that, acceptable.
I have a thick skin. It left me at a solid 2 on the butthurt scale. Being thin isn’t always a life choice, though. Hey, if you want to picture me eating carrots and running marathons, I’m not going to stop you (full disclosure, I’m eating Reese Pieces as I’m typing this). I’d just ask you to think before you speak…..we’re all just trying to keep our head afloat in this thing called life. There’s no need to drown the person beside you. We can both make it in!