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Friday, February 28, 2014

That time a teen called me fat

So I teen called me fat today.  She snidely asked if I were pregnant because I looked really big.  This comment pretty much destroyed my whole day.  It bothers me on so many levels and I really want to unpack what is so wrong with asking someone this.
1.a person's weight is personal.   You have no right to comment on it unless you are extremely close.  This goes equally for people who are skinny. I used to weigh 105 pounds and so many people commented on how skinny I was. It was not then and is not now any of their business how much I weigh.
2.according to my doctor I am a healthy weight for my height.  No I'm not supermodel skinny, yes I've gained a few pounds in the last year, but the fact that this girl thinks 150 pounds is overweight says more about her and, honestly, a culture that values emaciated frames than it does about me.
3.the very idea that teens in our culture are using fat as an insult is deplorable.  Just because I weigh more than you does not mean I'm worth any less.  It's a fact not a value.  The idea that teens (who learn this behavior from adults) often think that the worst thing they can call a person is fat is ridiculous and horrible. I wish we could come to a point in our culture where fat is just a statement and not an acceptable insult.

Still I feel bad that she called me fat!  I feel like I'm somehow not disciplined enough to be skinnier even though I eat healthy and work out.  I feel like I'm less pretty than I would be were I skinny.  These are issues that have been ingrained into my head by our modern American culture that says beautiful And valuable = skinny and I have fallen for the lies despite my loud and proud feminist beliefs.

It doesn't matter how much I weigh.  What matters is whether or not I feel I would be more valuable if I were smaller.  I don't want to be that person.   I am what I am and just because this particular teen thinks she can comment on how big I am in a snide and derogatory way does not mean I need to allow it to affect the way I view myself.

Can we start a movement?  Can we stop fat shamming?  Can we stop saying that being not super skinny is somehow bad?  Can we tell our teens that it's not ok to speak demeaningly about another's weight no matter what it is?  CAN WE STOP ACCEPTING FAT AS AN INSULT?

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