Are you anorexic?!
Do you ever eat?!
How are you so skinny?!
These are comments that I used to hear on a weekly basis. I was not a big girl. I was 5’4”, 130 pounds. But by people’s comments, you would think I looked like a stick. People were always overreacting to my size. I was too small, I should eat more, or I didn’t eat at all. I received comments on my weight from everyone; family, friends, even strangers. My mom and sister were constantly making jokes and comparisons. My friends were always claiming to be fat because they weren’t the same size as me. Strangers had even made comments before. At work one day while on break, I had two women ask how someone so small could eat so much. The same day, I had a coworker’s friends tell her the “really skinny one” had taken their order. It got to be very aggravating.
In all actuality, I was normal. I was an average, healthy weight for a girl my age and height. I was in shape. I had a fast metabolism. I was not abnormal. I was not anorexic. You couldn’t see my ribs. I was not underweight. I actually ate A LOT and ALL THE TIME. So it frustrated me to have people consistently make inappropriate comments. I realize that the media and society focuses more on stereotypes against overweight women. Also, the emphasis on anorexia in the fashion industry makes people more opt to criticize smaller women in a negative fashion. However, people don’t realize the impact that their comments can have. Comparing yourself to me, or constantly commenting on my weight, made me very self-conscious. It leads girls of my likeness, to believe that we are actually wrong to be thin. Unless a girl is underweight or starving herself, then don’t judge. Calling a girl a stick or anorexic, can hurt just as much as calling someone fat.
I wrote the piece above when I was fresh out of high school for one of my freshman college courses. I found it recently when I was going through my old hard drive. It really got me thinking about how time changes things and yet, how some things always remain the same. These thoughts and feelings I had when I was younger are still valid. The comments that people made about my weight were inaccurate and more importantly, inappropriate.
However, I started to think about how times have changed and yet, how this issue has come up time and again. I remember when I was pregnant and people also thought it was appropriate to comment on my weight. I had strangers walk up, invade my personal space, and touch my growing stomach. I had people ask me if I was having twins or how far along I was. Time and time again, people made me feel like my weight was open to judgement and commentary.
Now, as a postpartum momma these feelings remain and these comments continue. I have people now ask me how much weight I’ve lost or comment on my postpartum body. People mention that I look good or ask me when I plan on working out again. It never ends.
Whether it’s meant as a compliment or not, whether it was said with good intentions or not, my body is not open for commentary. My body is not yours to look upon and judge. It’s not meant for you and it is not okay to comment on anyone’s weight or body in any manner at any time ever.