You don’t have to defend your body!
I was never gonna post this because of the folds on my tummy… But I was just so happy. F*#¥ the folds… see the happiness. ~ Foxidigi
Recently, during a quick mall stop after work I felt a tap on my shoulder. Pleasantly surprised, it was one of my high school classmates. I’m not really a hugger of people unless you’re very close to me or I feel a connection, but I was so delighted to see her that I reached in for a hug. We went on and exchanged pleasantries as folks do but what perturbed me was that, not even a minute into our conversation when I asked how she was doing, she replied with “I’m fine thank you, but as you can see I’m just fat”.
Her body size was the last thing on my mind and honestly I didn’t notice a thing. Instinctively my eyes swept over her body and I didn’t notice anything right or wrong. It was winter and with all the layers I cover myself with daily I don’t pay any attention to what the next person looks like. It’s not like I know what they look like naked. I don’t know what they look like naked. I have no desire to either.
Also, I don’t look at people that way. I may notice a stunning toned body on one person and the outfit of a plus size person, but seriously, I couldn’t care less.
As we continued our chat, she mentioned how people are forever commenting on her weight and asking stupid (my words) questions like when the baby is due. Then she proceeded to tell me about her medical condition. All the while I could see the hurt in her eyes. Why the hell did she have to be on the defence about her own body? And who the hell do these people think they are? I didn’t just think these questions while speaking with her, I voiced them. Immediately I gave her a few hometruths.
Caution : Encourager of women on the loose!
1) She doesn’t look fat! And no I did not notice her weight when I saw her.
2) Her body brought humans into this world. That takes doing.
3) You never have to explain your body to anyone. Ever. And you don’t need to defend it either.
4) You shouldn’t care about what people think of your body. It’s yours!
5) Be comfortable in your own skin. No matter your size.
It saddens me that we feel the need to explain ourselves. To defend our bodies. It’s difficult enough to like the woman in the mirror sometimes, then for some thoughtless person to force their opinions on you. It irks me more that people feel they have the right to say those things to your face.
People are forever concerned about my body weight. When I’m skinny, I’m too skinny. Lo and behold if I gain a few kilograms, and they worry about my thighs and hiney. (Saddle bags being one of my family jewels.) It used to cause endless frustration and sometimes it still does. I’m a woman,we’re allowed to be sensitive about issues at times. My frustration usually lasts for 5 minutes while I think of all their imperfections and all the possible anger and hurt I could inflict by commenting on their own weight, hair, clothing choices or just about anything to do with their person.
The conclusion is not always that it’s esteem problems. Often they just don’t know what to say. Other times they are genuinely surprised and while they may not mean it, the words just fall from their mouths. Mostly, it’s just the mean girls who didn’t grow up yet. Tactless much?
When I say that I think of all their imperfections, it really is just that. You can always think what you want but not say what you want.
With that in mind, here are a few things you really shouldn’t say to people without thinking:
1) Comment on their bodies unless it’s a compliment. A genuine compliment. You don’t know their insecurities. And maybe like my high school mate, they may have a medical condition.
2) Hair is a no-no. The worst question being “Why did you cut your hair?”
3) Their choice of outfit. Even if it is hideous. (Especially when it is.)
4) Anything derogatory about their person.
None of the above needs to be justified. You are you and leave other people be. It’s that simple really. But since we’re already here, and just to be clear, I may as well just toss in the fact that a woman’s size doesn’t need to be justified by the humans she brought into this world. Whether it’s a mom or not, their body, their business.
People will judge you no matter what. Whether they know you or simply just of you. Question is, will you let them? You are not who they think you are. Know. Your. Value.
If you find yourself at a loss for words, talk about the weather. How hot or cold it is on a particular day. Not with me though. I don’t do weather talks. Unless you’re willing to accept the blank stare I’m likely to give you. Instead ask me a random question like “Were you the class clown or teachers pet at school?” Or something ordinary like “What’s your favourite day of the week?” Then again I may just humor you with a weather talk and offer to knit you a scarf or mittens for winter. Yeah, I kinda knit. ?
PS: You don’t have to defend your body. People need to watch what they say!