Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Body-shaming and body size: oh the tightrope we walk




In yesterday's post, I fear I may have given some wrong impressions. I talked about how size matters in the politics of body-shaming. I shared a story of a woman who called out other women on unprofessional attire and modesty, who just happened to be a lot smaller than this woman, though her own style could be considered inappropriate, immodest and unprofessional (tight leggings, party-colored hair, tattoos). I stated that bigger women often feel no qualms attacking smaller women on clothing style but claim fat-shaming if someone criticizes them and that it boils down to jealousy. 

Where I gave wrong impressions, perhaps, is that I made it sound like I felt personally attacked and was clapping back. Rereading, it sounds like I consider myself a smaller girl and the big girls are picking on me. I did come out pretty harsh but it wasn't in defense of my personal style but of others who may not have gotten to the "comfortable in own skin" stage that I am. I have worked at weight loss over the years and am a lot smaller than I was. 

In obesity, I remember feeling incredibly insecure around slender women. But it wasn't jealousy. It was #respect for their self-control and fitness compared to my own out-of-control eating. Also, I don't consider myself small. I have an anorexic like body image that will always see fat no matter how much I lose weight. Having said all that, I never have and never, ever would body-shame a smaller woman.  

Another possible question about the post: Was it criticizing style choices, obesity, modesty policing, thin-shaming or hypocrisy? No, no, yes, yes, yes and body-shaming in general. Also, the fact that while we all get fat-shaming is verboten, thin-shaming is much more acceptable. That's what I called out in the Facebook group. And sorry, not sorry. 

If you are struggling with obesity and feel insecure around people who are slender, let me leave you with these thoughts. It's not someone else's fault. But it's also not yours. It is your choice. You are not powerless to change what you don't like. You can lose weight if you want to and are willing to work at it. I have faith in your strength. Love, mar

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