Great Expectations : The Body Issue

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I was going through Freshly Pressed when I came across a blog about fashion for fat women. Or rather, the lack of it. I’ll admit I’m no size zero. I never want to be either. But I cannot begin to explain the number of times I’ve heard someone say to me, “Lose the weight. It’s unhealthy;  you’ll look pretty if you do.”

recently sat down with someone who has been cajoling me to lose weight for years and I explained to her, “I understand you have a problem with my body and even though it makes no sense, I accept that you’re not very happy with it. But here’s the thing – I’m ok being me. I do NOT feel the need to lose weight. This is who I am, I can accept it and maybe it’s time for you to do so too.”

She didn’t understand what the heck I was saying. Because – How can someone be ok with being fat?! With not being a size 0-5? I mean, that’s just unhealthy and awkward and not nice to look at.

Now, I can agree that being FAT is unhealthy. I emphasize that word because it is not a disgrace to use it. But being skinny isn’t exactly a celebration. Size zero used to be what is now a size 4. Or maybe even a 6. The concept of thin is no longer thin but just bones. There was a time when the model walking the ramp looked absolutely stunning. Now they all look sick. So why is the world not looking at it the other way around? Instead of pointing at heavier women and asking them to lose weight, why not tell the skinny models to gain a few pounds? Ask them to stop giving young girls an unrealistic vision of beauty? Why does the cover girl have a photoshopped thigh gap? Why do we still pay to read about her?

I want you to imagine the first day of high school as a fat kid. Someone who’s used to being who she is. Someone who loves herself. Walks into the world where other girls her age start dating and wearing make-up. She walks into the exact same store her classmates shop from, but she can’t find anything in her size that doesn’t look like something her mother would wear. So she has to wear a baggy sweater and weird looking pants and hang her head when her best friend ditches her out of embarrassment. She gets bullied, pushed into lockers, mocked behind her back – I assure you these are the kids that end up with eating disorders or mental issues that make them want to hurt themselves. The confident girl that held her head high, at the end of four years, walks with her shoulders slouched, hiding her face in shame. A shame we as a society allowed to be thrust upon her. Because someone somewhere did not realize that a size ten girl would love to be just as fashionable as a size 1 girl.

The little things matter no matter what size we are. A therapist once asked me, “If there is a job interview with two eligible finalists, do you think they would pick the fat one or the skinny one? You have to lose weight, sweetheart.” That ‘sweetheart’ made no sense because I’d just lost all hope of a bright future.

There are ways to handle situations. Calling someone fat does not make them want to become thin. It makes them want to vanish. You’re worried about their health? Talk to them about eating healthy – not losing weight. Never make someone feel ugly – always remember everyone’s concept of beauty is different. For all you know, that person might just be the nicest one you’ll ever meet.

This is not a social issue or a health topic. This is about someone’s emotions. During 4th grade, my friend and I bought similar outfits. We wore it to school on the same day. A kid I didn’t even know walked up to me and said, “It looks better on her. She’s thin. You should wear something that doesn’t make you look so ugly.” I will never forget that moment in my life. I felt hurt, upset and disappointed with myself. Today, I love and accept who I am. I know that the rude comment the kid passed didn’t speak of my flaws. It spoke of his and how he was raised to be mannerless and disrespectful. But that little girl who wore her favorite blue dress to school will never forget the day a stranger called her ugly.

From fancy clothes to seats on buses and the world of dating, a fat person is always an outcast. Mocking them, bringing them down and telling them they’re ugly is not the way to show you care. Do we even have to talk about the number of people that turn to medication and have complications because of social and peer pressure?! Talk to them, learn how they feel. If they honestly feel comfortable with who they are, let them be.

And to the person on the receiving end,

Never let someone bully you for who you are or how you look. While I will advise you to eat healthy, I will also assure you, that size zero girl on the cover of a fashion magazine? That’s half sick and half photoshop. It’s a camouflage created by an industry that is filled with hypocrites and head weighted arrogant designers that do not believe a size 15 can pull of a halter – low dip – neckline just as well as the skinny one, if not better. Never give into someone else’s great expectation. Love yourself.

“Because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?”

– Marilyn Monroe


24 thoughts on “Great Expectations : The Body Issue

  1. shrutigopinath says:

    I have exactly similar thoughts about about super skinny models walking the ramp . If we love the way we look it never really matters what others perceive . And also the most imporstant thing is it sets an example for others like us to be happy and thankful for what we are and how we are .:-D

  2. marysmirror says:

    I like the way you wrote about it. Society should catch us, take us by both hands, raise us up, make us feel comfortable… But it doesn’t. This isn’t only a size thing. I used to wear rather strong glasses, making my eyes big. Thought I loved fashion, dressed nicely every day at least someone shouted at me, ugly, four-eyed, weird, I was nearly everything and I was six years old. It journeyed on, one day we discussed something in class. It was about jobs, someone said “If I had to choose between Mary and Anne, I’d choose Mary as my writing assistance- it is less likely for her to get pregnant because she’ll need a partner for that.”
    My teacher just looked shocked. I vanished completely, tried to hide. The girl feeling confident, dancing at the ballet vanished for a girl hiding, looking around corners before going there. During the last years I changed. I punched one of that boys onto his abnormally large nose, got a punishment for that but felt comfortable. Because I started Karate I switched to contact lenses – better for the direct fight – and to show myself that something changed I cut off my hair- long to a short Bob.
    The screams are the same but I feel better. I’m 16 now, feeling strong. They may scream and mock and shout but even if I’d gain 30 pounds of weight I’d be happy with myself and thats what it’s all about.
    BTW: at the Moment turning a 32 into at least a 36/38 – only dogs are addicted to bones and mine shall be covered by things called womanly curves.

    • LoudThoughtsVoicedOut says:

      I don’t know if it’s ok for me to say this – but the entire time I read that, I just kept thinking – Wow, you need to win an oscar or a nobel prize or something that big an award in Karate and when you go on up to accept that award, you should wear those glasses just as a way of saying “Screw you idiots !”
      Thank you for sharing that with me 🙂
      PS – Only dogs are addicted to bones. *nods head*

      • marysmirror says:

        That would be kind of a revenge- at the Moment I dress up, wear beautiful dresses when having the occasion to o so- just to show them I can 🙂
        I have no problem with sharing it because I’m over it- or just feeling like that we’ll see 😉
        Yeah- I try my best to gain a bit of weight 🙂

      • LoudThoughtsVoicedOut says:

        I’m glad.. It took me a very long time to say “I look pretty the way I am. I’ll dress up and wear make-up and not care what you think because when I look in the mirror, I don’t see ugly.” And luckily, I’ve never looked back.
        Toast to a good life forward?
        Cheers 🙂

      • marysmirror says:

        I needed about three years to get to know, that everybody is pretty in an own way, another year to look into the mirror without seeing ugly. Of course sometimes I looked wrecked- everyone does some days…
        Of course 🙂 Cheers 🙂

  3. terissmile says:

    Amazing post! I understand what you mean. I´ve been super super thin all my life despite the fact I don´t suffer from any eating disorder. Through my childhood I was laughed at and now when I´m an adult I feel like I have to prove I eat even more than a regular person. In fact it makes me laugh how people react when you are “out ot a scale” which was accepted as “normal”.

  4. 35thofaugust says:

    Thank you for this truly inspiring post! Been struggling with physical issues as well for a while now, but you’re totally right with ” There are ways to handle situations. Calling someone fat does not make them want to become thin. It makes them want to vanish. ” And you’ve inspired me to accept myself even more, but also being able to take care of myself and stop with the self pity. Truly a remarkable post! Thank you again ❤ Will share this with my friends who are also going through a tough time. 🙂

  5. Beyond the picket fence says:

    It’s the condensing words that your friends and peers use that I found heartbreaking. The use of the word sweetheart is so belittling. I cannot imagine being spoken to in this way. They seem to feel as though it is there right to speak to you like this. Very sad.

    • LoudThoughtsVoicedOut says:

      It’s never easy hearing someone talk like that and from self-experience I know that it doesn’t help talking to them about it. You just learn to take in the positive and not bother about the negatives people throw your way. Thank you for reading 🙂

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