Saturday, September 13, 2014

Body Image

Just a thought -

I love Meghan Trainor's song All About That Bass. But it highlights something that something skinny women aren't allowed to talk about.

I have experienced more body shaming as a size 4 athlete than as a 200+ pound woman. Yes. During 2007 I weighed more than 200 pounds. I had taken pregnancy as an excuse to eat my kitchen. Then go out and eat more. There were other factors contributing, but after the baby came, I discovered that childbirth doesn't come with an immediate 90 pound weight loss.


So I started running again. At first was because I just loved to eat. Then, as the weight started coming off, I found my joints didn't hurt, I wasn't as exhausted all the time, and I didn't avoid the mirror as much.

As a fat woman, I'd gotten called a bowling ball at one point. There were people who didn't recognize me as a super size version of the person I had been and said so. But the insults didn't come that often. The only steady stream of "you might want to consider being a smaller size" came from the media.

By then I got really active and started racing and found my passion. And when I came to the dark side (triathlon) and added cycling and swimming to my regular workout routine, I dropped all the weight I had gained since I had left my teenage years. 

Not everyone was supportive. Even family was "concerned that I was losing too much weight."

I heard things like the comments listed below from everyone - friends and strangers alike.

"You really need to eat a cheeseburger."
"Real women have curves."
"I hate the way athletic women look because their boobs always suffer."
"Are you okay? You've look like you've had cancer."
"You can gain more weight if you put some more protein in your diet."
"You really need to stop worrying about your weight. If you get too skinny, it's unhealthy."

Then social media started in with memes. Some said things like "Bones are for dogs, meat is for men." 

How is this acceptable? If someone fired back with something against heavier woman, someone would have gotten offended, facebook would have removed the photo and possibly banned the person who posted it. 


First of all, my body is NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS except mine and my husband's. And he has loved me at all my different weights and compositions.

Second, a good, positive, self body image is not dependent on putting anyone else down.

Third - the second a "skinny bitch" does say something about the body shaming she receives, someone tells her to eat more and gain a few pounds. That others are just jealous. So that makes all the snide comments about not being a "real woman" okay.  The message we're sending is that it's okay to target thin women for cruelty and body shaming while society and social media fights to protect women who aren't thin.

Here's the deal: we don't know each other's stories. We don't know their defeats or their victories.

So do what my mama said "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

 Besides - the things you say to others say more about you than it does them.