You’re getting fat
In a recent conversation, an insensitive person told me the four dreaded words: Megan, you’re getting fat! As I clenched my lips, wondering how to respond, cursing the fuck out of this person in my head, I wondered why certain individuals felt the need to comment on another person’s weight? I live in my body, I’m fully aware of my weight. I don’t need a body shamer/troll reminding me of my weight.
It took every ounce, every bit of self-control not to respond rudely. But as walked away from a dull and lifeless conversation, I wondered why we feel obligated to comment on another person’s weight? Body shamers are not only trolls on the internet, hiding behind their private accounts. Body shamers are all among us, and quite frankly, I’m sick of them!
We live in a society where we’re bombarded with messages through mainstream media, telling us that skinnier/leaner people are much happier and healthier. This is NOT true. A few years back, I lost +-11kgs, I was still unhappy and unsatisfied with my body. Every time someone saw me, they would comment on how great I looked, asking me how I lost the weight (my story was featured in the Women’s Health magazine). I often wondered why people would only compliment me when I lost weight. Gosh, was I that unattractive before, I wondered? Prior to the weight loss, body shamers constantly felt the need to make hurtful comments about my body – most of them did it unintentionally, but it still hurt. I ALREADY felt uncomfortable in my body and the comments I received didn’t make me feel any better. Fast forward to 2018, I probably gained back 8 kgs and more body confidence. It was after the “Megan, you’re getting fat” comment that made me wonder, why do we do this to each other?
The definition of body shaming is the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person’s body size or weight. An example of body shaming is telling someone that they are “too fat.” An example of body shaming is when thin women are told they are “too skinny.”
I’ve witnessed body shaming in all forms, from women/men shaming their own bodies to asking why another has gained so much weight (since when did it become anyone’s business). Over the last few years, my body confidence has grown tremendously. When someone makes a comment about my body now, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did in the past. But I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Many women and men may be offended or hurt by a body shaming comment.
A few years ago, when I was at my heaviest, my mom and I were spending time in the kitchen. She gently told me, “Megan, I want you to live your best life. I don’t ever want you to suffer from premature illnesses like high blood pressure or dietetics. Please look after yourself my darling, and make sure you honour your body.” Now that is the type of feedback I value! Don’t the fuck tell me I’m getting fat, rather invite me on a hike or tell me you’re concerned about my health. But please, stop saying “you’re getting fat”! This makes me all kinds of angry because being overweight is no indication of how fit I am.
So what’s wrong with saying “you’re getting fat”?
Simply put, it’s quite rude and insensitive. You may unknowingly apply that the person is unattractive. An individuals weight can also be tied to their self-worth, and it you say something offensive, a lot of damage can be done through the process.
If you are concerned about a person’s weight, encourage them to look after their health. Be mindful of the things you say, the emphasis should be placed on being healthy, not a certain size.
To me, body positivity means accepting the body you have as well as the changes in shape, size, and ability it may undergo due to nature, age, or your own personal choices throughout your lifetime. It’s the understanding that your worth and what’s going on with you physically are two separate entities — that no matter what’s happening inside, outside, or to your body, you’re still just as worthwhile as the person next to you. – Mallorie Dunn
Let’s celebrate, accept and love women and men of all shapes and sizes.
I love my body as is and I’m striving to be healthy, not a certain size!
I’d like to know from you: has anyone ever made a comment about your weight? How did you respond to it?
Love and light,
P.S I’m not angry anymore.