Saturday, June 22, 2013

Your Body is SO [fill in the blank]

I have been just about every size in the book, from underweight to incredibly overweight, and luckily am currently residing firmly in the healthy BMI range. I can tell you from experience, there is NO size safe from comments. What I wonder is...  Why? Why do people feel the need to make comments about other people's bodies? What in their brains tells them this is necessary, desired, or even remotely appropriate. Let me explain.
Its human nature to compare. In fact, it's even human nature to judge. Where I have a hard time with this is when people feel the need to comment on the look, shape, or health of someone else's body without actually being solicited to do so by the owner of said body.
It's not exactly a secret, I had a pretty serious hormone issue from a certain birth control that contributed to my ballooning from a healthy size 8 to a not-so-healthy size 20. I was, in fact, obese for a couple years. A combination of poor eating choices as well as a couple medical issues made dropping the weight impossible for a while. Being a fat woman is not easy. The looks, the judgement, the comments.... Even from well-meaning family. It doesn't feel good. I always wondered if people thought I didn't KNOW I was fat and hence they felt the need to inform me. After a couple years I figured out no...  People just lack tack and really kind of suck.
Fast forward. I've lost every bit of unhealthy excess weight, thanks to sorting out medical issues (can't deny credit here!) and seriously dedicating myself to proper nutrition. The details, really, are unimportant. I'm healthy, that's what matters.
For a while, I relished in the comments. It was lovely to feel complimented and attractive again... And it still is! Simply hearing you look great is confidence boosting and makes people feel better about themselves. What doesn't feel so nice is the unsolicited "Your arms/legs/waist/neck/whatever is so skinny." Comments. Even at the hospital while getting a shot in my hip the nurse grabbed my hip and said "You're so bony!" and I am one too many "Look at how your collarbone sticks out!" Comments past being comfortable in normal tee shirts. And if only I could count how many times family members have commented my "small butt" (or the even better "You have NO butt!") After posting a picture of my torso to document my pregnancy, I got a comment that my hips stick out "too much."
Let's recap, folks. I am a HEALTHY body weight with a BMI of around 23, (In fact, just three points higher and I'd be considered medically OVER weight!) I weigh 141lbs and am a size 4/6. I am in NO way underweight, heck, I still have slight lovehandles and my tummy isn't even completely flat!
I understand that MOST of the time, these people actually mean well. The skinny/ bony comments aren't meant to be insults... at least, I don't think... or hurtful. YAY. Look at you! You're SO skinny! The thing is, we live in a culture where skinny, bony, etc. are almost (completely?) Synonymous with compliments, but they're not. They're uncomfortable, and make me feel like something is wrong with me. I don't like to hear it, and I shouldn't have to, quite frankly.  I don't want to be fat or skinny or chubby or bony, I want to be HEALTHY, if not attractive, and quite frankly, I THINK I AM, so kindly.... When you think it's appropriate to comment on someone's body unsolicited (other than telling them they look good!) Think again. Their body is none of your business and your thoughts on their body is none of theirs! Isn't there enough pressure put on women to LOOK perfect?
So, women, embrace your bodies, no matter the shape! Strive to be HEALTHY and to heck with what other people think. 

1 comment:

  1. When I was growing up I got the "are you anorexic?" and "do you eat?" comments ALL THE TIME. Not to mention my entire family making fun of my "tiny/nonexistent boobs" all the time. I was SO self conscious about my breasts for several years because of that. Now that I've adjusted into my healthy grown-up body, I get to put up with side-ways remarks from women about how "unfair" it is that I "have a perfect body." I can feel their jealousy wafting toward me - it's like they're secretly willing me to be fat. Or it'll be the "enjoy it while you still can" comments, as they satisfy themselves by assuming that I'll get fat and ugly eventually. But honestly, the worst is when it's beautiful women. Gorgeous women saying these things or telling me "I wish I could look like you." It makes me want to smack them. If I had been born in the 1930's I would have been "too skinny" and therefore ugly. Now I'm pretty because I'm skinny. Women need to stop stressing over culture so much and re-invent beauty for themselves. There are SO many body types and they're all beautiful! Beauty is what YOU look like. And forget beauty - it's all about HEALTHY! I don't think there's any way to get away from the comments and the judging - we're all people and we all make ridiculously stupid mistakes ALL THE TIME. I just have to keep reminding myself that. We just have to remember that the only opinions that matter are our own and God's. ^_^