I’m so sick of it.
Why do we spend so much of our existence talking about weight? What’s most absurd is that we spend so much of our life talking about other people’s weight. She’s too big, she’s too thin, looks like she’s gained weight, I wonder if she’s eating. I see it among girlfriends and sadly, I see even more prolifically in the news.
I get it. Giuliana Ranic is thin. Crazy thin. She admits it here. What’s sad is that she had to do an interview to explain to strangers about her eating habits… and address the cancer prevention medication that is part of the low weight.
Just yesterday, Pink had to respond to fat shamers (which by the way, she is the furthest thing from fat — girl is buff!) because women were so focused on her weight, instead of what she was actually doing and who she was supporting. This snippet of her polished, poised and #girlboss reaction is pretty awesome. Good for her.
I find it sad, frustrating and lately, downright repulsive that this is what women spend their days doing. Both hidden in front of a computer — to celebrities, and then teenagers to each other — and then in gossipy conversations.
I don’t want to pretend I’m totally innocent… I’ve been there, not to any nasty extent, more just talking about someone’s weight, likely someone who had lost weight or gotten more toned or whatnot, probably subconsciously in relation to my own insecurities and struggles over the years. How did it help me? Never.
I was recently asked to participate in a focus group for moms, which I later learned was driven by questions from The Representation Project. Sitting in a room with 12 or so other moms, no one who I knew so totally different circle from my own, was eye opening. Our connection is that we all had little girls, 12 months to probably 18 years old… the discussion on weight, and appearance was troubling. We spent two hours candidly talking, and probably could have spent two weeks. The conversations about issues most of us had over the years, many ingrained watching our moms, and then how we were raised, was fascinating when you really take a step back to think about the cycle.
In addition to talking about others, we definitely do it to ourselves, and as much as we don’t want to raise little girls to have these issues, how can we not when it’s being bombarded everywhere — on television, in clothing stores with the non-existent short shorts, with peers discussing it, and clearly many of us, too. It’s devastating.
I hit a breaking point last week. Reading Giuliana’s story frustrated me. Just like reading Kelly Clarkson’s a few weeks prior. And, now Pink. These girls are crazy talented and gorgeous, and as far as I can tell and hear, immensely kind and generous.
Do we hear men talking this shit? No. While we’re focused on wondering if someone’s thighs are touching, or how many pounds she must be, men are out there doing their thing.
It doesn’t help any of us, or our gender as a whole, to put on display our crazy. Hearing in that focus group the realization that many of us grew up where weight was an ongoing issue made me realize it has to stop. It’s not just me, but if we are all together more conscious of it perhaps the dial can start to shift.
Look, I don’t want to pretend I don’t care about my own weight. I do. I care more about being fit but as a lifetime Weight Watcher and someone who has portion control issues, I do have a number that’s my “wait up, hold up… let’s put this in check and start getting to the gym more.” I can usually feel it in my clothes before the scale tells me anyway, but for me, seeing the number helps most. The thing is though, that’s my weight. It’s not me evaluating someone else, or calling them out because they’ve been enjoying life a bit more. Hell, happiness to me is indulgent food, too!
Please start complimenting each other more. Start complimenting yourself. And say thank you when you get a compliment (which goes back to an oldie vent sesh). Let’s be proud of who we are, as ourselves and as all women. When we look back years from now, I can’t imagine us all being defined by weight, and I can’t handle the thought that 30 years from my now my daughter will be in the same place where are now.
April 18, 2015
Btw, reading above comments, I disagree. Having an “honest and open” conversation about a friend or family’s weight is pointless. I SWEAR THEY KNOW THEY ARE OVERWEIGHT. They aren’t blind, they live in this world and hear it from the stranger when walking down the street, the look and judgments when they’re ordering food, the shame, the humiliation… they’ve experienced it. They don’t need to be told they’re fat, they know. And if they want to lose weight, they might do so. But other than encouraging healthier eating and exercise by maybe having more healthy food options at home, saying you need a gym buddy, etc, focusing on the # is pointless.
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