It’s happened again.
Someone has come up to me and made a negative comment about my weight. Just out of the blue. Because they think it’s okay to say it.
I listen to them and politely thank them for their concern, assure them that I’m a healthy weight for my height, and walk away, wondering when it became acceptable for personal things like this to be up for scrutiny and discussion and wondering why people feel free to say things like this.
And I wonder why it’s okay for someone to do this to me, when it’s certainly not okay for me to go up to someone and say, “Wow, I think you’re way too fat.”
Because that? That’s a thing. It’s call fat-shaming, and it’s not okay.
And neither is thin-shaming.
Can we all agree that it goes both ways? Can we all agree to be grown ups and just not criticize anyone’s body?
I only bring it up because I’ve been hearing comments like this for a while and I’ve been seeing a huge trend in women tearing one another apart over body image. But it’s not just the thin girls doing it. I see articles posted on Facebook, hurrahing plus sized women and declaring that any woman wearing a single digit size isn’t “a real woman.” I saw a before and after picture of a woman who was now happy with her weight gain after children, and I was appalled by the comments. Not because they praised her for being secure in who she is. (Which is wonderful.) Not because they told her she still looks great. (Which she does.) But because they told her that her “before” picture, which had her in a healthy BMI range (and I know because her before size is my size, down to the pounds and inches they listed), looked like a sick, anorexic, wisp of a person who needed to “shut up and eat a cheeseburger.”
Not cool. Not okay.
I remember being at a women’s ministry event years ago overseas when the speaker came in for the evening session over dinner. All of these Christian ladies watched her walk in, saw how naturally thin she was, and immediately began criticizing her under their breaths. “Probably hasn’t ever eaten a dessert in her life!” (I actually watched her eat one that night.) “Didn’t have babies like I did!” (She had two children, actually.) “She’s too caught up in the way she looks!” (Which is why she came all the way to Africa and gave her time and energy to serving hateful, vengeful, bitter ladies. Yeah, sure.)
And it was okay in their eyes. Acting like this was okay. Saying things like this was okay. Because they were criticizing a thin woman. If she had been overweight and they’d done that? Wow! They’d have been WRONG. Wrong, wrong, WRONG!
They were still wrong.
It’s a trend now. It’s just getting worse and worse. And I’m honestly a very average sized woman… and it’s bad enough that even I get critical comments. What in the world, y’all?
I’ve been hesitant to say anything about this problem because no one wants to hear it, likely, but the woman-empowering articles posted all over the internet about how curves are beautiful do NOTHING to empower women when all of womenkind comes out to comment in an effort to beat down women who don’t fit into this new idea of full-figured beauty.
We need to grow up and stop it. Honestly. All of us.
Let’s be secure enough in ourselves to not NEED to cut down others in order to feel like our bodies are good and beautiful.
Let’s stop looking at one another and immediately jumping to criticism.
Let’s stop promoting articles and pieces that further stir up argumentative and hateful discussions.
Let’s be REAL WOMEN and stop being obsessed with our bodies.