As I’ve mentioned in the past, I struggled with an eating disorder for many years, which is always fun. Things got even more fun a few years ago when I needed to go on a particular medication, one that had the unfortunate side effect of making me gain quite a bit of weight (among other shitastic things). FUN.
Of course, the moment I was allowed to go off this demon medication, the weight started falling off. This may sound great, but there there is a flip side; when you lose a bunch of weight people think it’s their right…nay DUTY to inform you of their opinion. I see it as just another symptom of society’s belief that a woman’s body is public property. It’s right up there with randos touching your belly when you’re pregnant and US Weekly‘s Beach Bodies edition.
This has become such an annoyance that I’ve made a little tally of all of inappropriateness I’ve been told in the last few months. The worst part is, it’s usually in front of my kids and the comments are NOT what I am trying to teach them about body image.
1. “You must be so proud that you’re finally losing weight!”
Actually, I was pretty proud of myself before. Do I feel better now that I am closer to my original weight? Yes. Did I feel like a complete failure at life six months ago? NO.
2. “You look so great now!”
Thanks for gracing me with your compliment. I know, I was SO gross before.
3. “Don’t get too skinny now!”
How about you don’t tell me what to do with my body and we’ll be good, m’kay?
4. “You’re looking too skinny! You look best at size (insert random size)”
5. “So, are you going to try for another baby now?”
There is a small minority of women (typically other mothers) who think that if I lost weight, it must somehow be baby related. I don’t get it. And this isn’t an isolated incident. It happened three times in the last six weeks.
6. “Hey, just think! You’re one bad flu away from your goal!”
Yes, because nothing is more important than being skinny, even my health! Hell, ESPECIALLY my health! Seriously though, this is the kind of unhealthy thought process that led to my eating disorder and it’s shocking how prevalent it is.
7. “At least now you can be a good role model for your kids.”
This one makes me feel stabby. Plus sized people can’t be good role models? I am a better role model because I inadvertently lost 50 pounds? NOPE. I eat way too much pizza for that shiz.
8. “It’s great that you’re eating better now!”
A lot of the time, the person saying this has no idea why I gained weight and how I lost it, but that is kinda my point. You DON’T know. Weight issues should be like pregnancy; if you’re not sure what’s going on, don’t mention it at all.