So I Got Fat-Shamed

Yesterday, I received a few comments on Instagram about my weight. The wonderful person (a stranger, not even a follower) chose this particular photo to abuse me on.

image

There are plenty of other photos on my social media accounts that show me as I am, less flattering photos that contain double chins, a flabby stomach, and, gasp, even me eating! I’m pretty sure the commenter in question was just trying to get a rise out of me, for no reason other than that they thought they could. They were disappointed.

I am what I like to call a bigger lady. I’m a size 14-16 (UK). I like to wear extra-large men’s shirts over leggings, because I’m short and they fit me how I like. My weight is higher than it should be, for my height, my health. But you know what? I really couldn’t give a shit.

Growing up, I was fat-shamed on an almost daily basis, by an abusive family member. I was not fat, but even if I was, nobody deserves to hear some of the things I had to put up with. And so now, as an adult, I have zero tolerance for people thinking it’s okay to shame others for the way they look.

I discussed my struggle with Perthes Disease in an earlier blog post, and so it should be fairly obvious that living with a chronic illness can make exercise difficult. Hell, standing can be difficult sometimes. Due to my disability, I’ve been focusing on strength for a long time, and consider it more important, for me. It’s been a long road, and I still have a lot of work to do over the course of my life. Because my disability isn’t going away.

I could definitely eat healthier, and I do like to snack, but what I eat on a daily basis isn’t particularly unhealthy, and the amount is hardly excessive. But I enjoy cake. I like pizza, pies, and cauliflower cheese. I eat crisps and drink tea with sugar and often munch my way through a bacon-and-cheeseburger.

I also like fruit and vegetables, I drink several litres of water a day, I cook from scratch a few times a week, and we eat good, wholesome food. I’d never want to promote an unhealthy lifestyle, but I’d also never want to tell someone that the way they live is wrong. You never know what else is going on in a person’s life, so judging them based on one or two factors (or a simple selfie!) is ridiculous, harmful, and just nasty.

I, like many other women, put on weight after taking the wrong birth control. A couple of years of excessive oestrogen can really take its toll on your body. This happened when I was a teenager, and my body hasn’t changed much since. There are parts of me that I can definitely put down to too much cake, but, for the most part, my body just is the way it is. And you know what? That’s okay.

Everyone is different. My partner is one of those awful people who can eat like a horse and stay slim. I eat a fraction of what he does, and his idea of what constitutes a healthy portion size is frightening at times. And yet I’m the one who gets shamed on social media.

As women, we’re told what we can and can’t wear, which hairstyle to have, how to do our make-up, how to behave. We’re treated like dolls, tossed in the bin if we don’t fit the standards society has set for us. And I am bloody sick of it.

I’m surrounded by women who worry constantly about their weight. They go to slimming clubs, and report that they’ve lost 2lbs (smiles, congrats, back pats!) or gained 1lb (comisseration, shoulder pats). Sometimes I want to scream, who cares?! I can’t see that 1lb, you look amazing, don’t let it run your life! I want to ask, are you happy? Because happiness is so important. I’m much more comfortable now than I was when I was younger, even though I’m a lot bigger. It’s probably because I no longer live with an abusive parent who liked to use my apparent weight issue as a weapon, and I’ve changed my attitude towards food and weight and lifestyle. I applaud anyone who is healthy, enjoys going to the gym and genuinely likes eating raw carrots (I joke; but you get the picture). As long as they’re happy. Stop forcing your own issues and judgements on to others. You may want to count every calorie and base your food intake around what the scale says, but I for one do not.

Society and its standards can, quite frankly, fuck off. Who says that bigger women can’t wear leggings? They’re comfortable, and go with pretty much anything. Who says that we always have to wear a bra? Free them if you’re sick of boob jail. And who says that it’s acceptable for people to tell us what to do, for people to make us feel ashamed of our own bodies? It is not acceptable, and, if someone does fat-shame you, you don’t need to feel ashamed. Just because society teaches us that being big (which is subjective at best) is bad, it doesn’t mean we have to agree.

So stand tall. Let’s look these abusers in the face and say, “Eff your beauty standards”.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “So I Got Fat-Shamed

  1. Why are you defending yourself to that fool? He has no idea what he’s talking about, which is the case with judgmental people. I told someone the other day that I take judgement from strangers in stride because I feel that it helps me to weed out the kind people from the inconsiderate ones. Your body size is none of that person’s business and believe me, anyone who hates on you is having a very very bad day right now. Remember, their issues with you are their problem and not yours so never feel like you have to explain why you are who you are. Just enjoy your right to exist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re absolutely right! It upsets me whenever I hear women talking about being ashamed of their bodies, and 9 times out of 10 they’re gorgeous! We should all be proud and accepting and loving towards ourselves and one another.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We should all feel good, Vikki, but even I have days when I don’t believe the compliments I get. It is draining and paralysing. I hope that you will continue to love yourself without the explanations.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. you’re beautiful lovely! Some people have nothing better to do with their lives the fault others and it is simply because they’re jealous! x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! And yes I agree – what kind of life do you need to have to need to behave like that? It’s like the people who were handing out “fat cards” on the Tube a few weeks ago – people like that make me sick!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel so sorry for young girls today – none of this stuff was about when I was your age, and although other girls at school might make the odd comment behind their hands, no-one would be so rude as to ‘fat shame’. People are fatter now; when I was at school (40 years ago, oh Jeeze!) there would be one fat girl in each class, then half who needed to lose a bit of weight, like me, and the other half slim. Nowdays, I see larger young women around everywhere. It’s become quite the norm.

    I wonder if all this sort of abuse is down to people just having worse manners these days. Young people are influenced by shouty US TV, by outspoken stuff on the internet, by the culture of self-expression, and there is a lowering of decent manners generally, I think. Sorry to sound like your grandparents, it’ll happen to you too!!!

    I take my hat off to you for your confidence, and think you look extremely cute and pretty! In other times and cultures your looks would have been the ideal to which others aspired, so there. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment. I definitely think there’s something to hiding behind a computer screen that makes us braver, which can also mean we can be nastier. It’s like Zimbardo described the mob mentality – the faceless crowd. Online, we can be faceless, and so we can indulge in being nasty to others.

      Like

  4. People forget there is also psychological health.

    The damage to psychological health that fatshaming causes can be compared to cancer. Besides, it’s just looks to you. If I was mean to everyone who I didn’t find sexually attractive, I’d be mean to my parents. Just because a woman is sexually attractive doesn’t mean I need to be an asshole to her.

    It’s hilarious how people get worked up over people not being stick insects. If only they got that worked up over different things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. not only are you beautiful on the outside (that is obvious) but esp on the inside to handle yourself with grace and dignity…..in this world…some people have manners and some dont…and apparently someone without manners came across you….you stay strong GF…..rooting for you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a super inspiring post! I love your attitude and perspective on this issue. People can be so outrageously mean. It’s baffling and disturbing that “fat-shaming” even exists. Anyway, you are awesome for sharing your experience and confidence in the face of such unfair cruel a-holes. You’re totally my hero for today!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s