“So…I’m concerned about your Weight.”
“I see that you’ve put on a few pounds.”
“Hey – FAT ASS!”
Unfortunately, the number of ways people have called me fat goes on beyond the three above. There are the subtle ways family members will bring the topic of my fatness up by disguising it as concern for my health, and the more direct ways that strangers/kids on the street will bring it up in the form of judgmental stares to flat-out name calling.
Why do people feel so compelled to take it upon themselves to share their opinion about “fatness” – particularly mine? Why are there online quizzes constantly popping up in my browser to help me figure out said fatness?
Really…what is up with this obsession? Even babies are fair game these days!
This is not another discussion
rant on the topic of “fatness” but simply my perspective on why I think people have a fat obsession. This is based loosely on my life experiences, reality, and some human psychology.
Why “Non-Fat” People Love Shaming (being opinionated about, ranting, mocking etc) “Fat” People
- People Can’t Help Themselves – Because, hey, why not just label someone as fat and/or any other physical characteristic and/or *insert ethnic background/race instead of by their name… It’s a compulsion, one that I think comes from a place of feeling superior.
- The 20 Billion Dollar Diet Industry – Just sayin…
- We are Hard-Wired to be Negative – According to Rick Hanson, “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” Negativity spreads like a plague and everyone is giddy to jump on the bandwagon. Don’t believe me? Walk into any workplace kitchen/water cooler and count how many pieces of negative gossip you hear vs. conversations about love, gratitude or support.
So, is there a solution?
Yes, but on a personal level being that I have been called fat more times than I’ve been called my name (not an exaggeration!)
If you’re finding yourself being the subject of someone’s fatness obsession, here are some things I do on a daily basis to continue living my lovely life amidst all this fat obsession.
- Surround Myself with People Who Aren’t Fat Obsessed – Yes these people exist, and I cling to them for dear life whenever I meet someone like this. Unfortunately, family members don’t always fall into this category. I don’t care if it’s coming from a positive place if what you’re saying ultimately makes me feeling shitty about myself.
- Own My Actions – Whether I choose to eat a cupcake or run a marathon, last time I checked, I didn’t have to ask you for approval. So no, you don’t need to judge or comment on my life choices — I’m good.
- Keep Smiling – Since we are apparently hard-wired to be negative, I make an extra effort to smile and think about the good things going on in my life and the people I love. “Practice makes permanent.”
- Ignore – I used to get really worked up or insulted when it comes to comments about my weight or size, but these days, I just ignore. Sometimes it’s hard to do, but just remember that “hanging onto resentment is like letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.”
I say we should Live and Let others Live! It doesn’t cost you time, money, or effort just to keep it moving.