Apr 9, 2014

What? Thin People Have Feelings?

I am not thin.  Not even close - I'm pretty solidly in the "overweight" category of your average BMI chart.  And, until recently, I was a total hypocrite.  Here I was, heavier than I wanted to be, and certainly not at an optimal level for my health, and I made fun of thin people.  A fairly thoughtless action, but I guess it gave me the illusion of being secure with myself.  To not only NOT desire to have that body type, but to be disgusted by it.

The Wake Up Call

When I started high school, my sisters and I were all pretty much in the same boat, size wise.  Then the Sister2 joined the track team.  Naturally she lost weight, and got all kinds of healthy and active.  As an adult, I would have said, "Good for you!" but since I was an insecure teenager I didn't.  Instead, I sniped at her for it.  She was "too thin."  I called her names.  Her response?  To return fire with insults of her own.  Now, her response makes perfect sense, but in my mind it was unfair.  I was allowed to make fun of her; she couldn't hit me back again!

So you'd think that would make me realize that all of us are susceptible to feeling insecure about ourselves and no one is deserving of mockery.  Nope.  Open-mindedness?  New ideas?  That didn't happen until later.  I wasn't as mean about it, but that phrase, you know, about "eating a sandwich" still came out of my mouth far too often.  And my friends were mostly heavy, so we were on the same page.

Enter The Significant into the picture.  Significant is thin, very much so.  This doesn't bother me, and I just assumed it didn't bother him either.  But a pattern developed that I didn't notice for far too long.  Boyfriend would make a comment about one of my friend's weights, and I'd explode.  Friend1 or Friend2 would make a comment about Significant's weight and I'd laugh it off.

It wasn't until a frank talk with Significant a while ago that I realized the hypocrisy of it all.  Here he was, eating as much or more than most of us, and he doesn't gain weight.  He wouldn't mind being heavier, but wishing doesn't make it so.  In the same way that I don't lose weight because I don't work at it, he doesn't gain when he doesn't work at it.  And he's as sick of the comments as I would be of being made fun of.  Except that I haven't been since... I don't know.  High school, maybe?

Some people do make fun of overweight people for being fat.  But we pretty much all accept that this is wrong and condemn them for it.  Many more people, including those same overweight people, make fun of underweight, or even healthy people for being too skinny.  We just assume that it's ok, because a thin person surely isn't as sensitive to this issue.  How could a thin person lack confidence?

But they can, of course they can!  We're all human, and we all need reassurance from time to time.  Even someone who is comfortable with their body is going to get sick of being judged for it or being told to "eat a burger" or "you don't need to work out."  Who said working out is exclusively for heavy people?  Everyone needs to be healthy.  And almost everyone could stand to substitute some of those burgers and sandwiches for some fruits and vegetables.  Being thin isn't going to stop you from having a heart attack if you eat deep fried crud all day every day.

Let's be nice to each other.

Is it really that hard?  And if you're not willing to stop making fun of people, then you'd damn well deserve it when someone hits you where it hurts.  I know I did.

This is an older article in reference to the Victoria's Secret fashion show in December (maybe?), but Tyler Lucille at ArkanSassy says this better than I did.  This is the kind of In-Your-Face eloquence that I like to think I possess, but a reread of my posts usually proves otherwise.