At 5’8″ and 125 pounds, I’m one of the last people a lot of people want to see this subject from. Don’t cringe, this isn’t some TMI weight struggle or scary eating disorder story.
What it is, however, is an expression of my frustration surrounding the idea that someone’s validity as a person – or most often, in this case, as a woman – is in question if they happen to be on the thinner side of average for their age and height.
Is it not considered deplorable and reprehensible to suggest that anyone is worth less consideration as a human being or as if they’re a, “second class citizen,” because they’re on the other side of average? It runs rampant, unfortunately, but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable.
It seems almost that some of those people hurt by unnecessary, hateful remarks feel the need to lash out. Instead of just taking the jerks to task (as they should!), though, they go beyond that and put people with different proportions than theirs down.
Frankly? I’m really, really tired of it. I don’t feel as though weight and health should be one of those things that’s swept under the rug and never talked about. It is possible to discuss weight and health concerns respectfully, but these remarks are rarely ever that. To suggest that I, or anyone shaped like me is not a real woman because we don’t have the same generous proportions is really infuriating.
Like we don’t count.
Like we’re fake.
Like our experiences are trivial because we haven’t suffered your struggle.
Like your experience is the only one that matters (psst, it’s not)
No one is saying you need to be skinny (and if they are, you ought to cut them out of your life). Health is always something we should pursue, I think, but your journey is yours. Some people can and do work to maintain a body they’re happy with. That’s a good thing. I happen to be fine with mine, so I don’t. That’s also good. Neither of those things are done to hurt other people – if you find yourself hurt by those things then you need to do some soul-searching and perhaps consider therapy.
We often see a variant of the following:
“REAL women have…”
Well, shit, I better get back to Narnia on the double, huh? Sorry, I missed the memo.
I wasn’t created in a lab, sculpted from clay, chiseled by a plastic surgeon, or cast from a mold at Mattel’s factories (nay, have you seen a pear-shaped Barbie? I haven’t). I don’t consume some stupid, obscure diet. My body is the way it is on its own, just like yours more-than-likely is, and I am not fake.
I think people really fail to recognize how hurtful those remarks can be. It’s even better when the insults advance from us to our loved ones or spouses:
“REAL men like women with curves. Only dogs like bones,”
is one example I’ve seen several times.
Are you kidding me? I understand that a lot of nastiness is directed at full-figured women, but this shit is not the solution. It IS possible to build yourself up without knocking others down. It’s possible to tell a jerk who is running their mouth about things they have no business running their mouth about to shut their rude faces without suggesting that something you may not even have any control of makes you superior to someone else.
We could all stand to be a little more supportive. If you’re happy with your body, awesome – I’m happy for you. If you have or want to set goals for yourself, I’m happy for you and I support you. The only time I’m going to get critical is if I care for you and you are endangering your health – and I’m still not going to do that unless I know you are jeopardizing your health. I am not a heartless, mindless golem simply because the number on the measuring tape or scale is less than yours…just as you are none of those things because yours is greater than mine. In turn, I’d appreciate if you did not suggest that I am anorexic or bulimic (I am not, have never been – and I imagine that saying so is pretty rude to people struggling with eating disorders anyway) or tell me to eat a sandwich. I do, in fact, enjoy food.