Friday, October 7, 2016

The Power of Words

I wrote this post late last year and, somehow, never ended up publishing it.  A couple of things it references are out-of-date now but the message is still relevant especially with an American presidential candidate unashamedly running around insulting women for their looks.


I read a story on Scary Mommy about a new thing happening in London.  There is a group of “overweight haters” handing people in the subway cards with fat shaming notes on them before scurrying off.  What the fuck?!!  I don’t use much profanity on my blog to keep it friendly for everyone but it’s totally justified in this case so, again…..

What the fuck?!  Where do I even start?

If you know someone well and are concerned for their health, I can understand sitting down with them and engaging in a caring, respectful dialogue, offering whatever support and assistance they may require in their journey towards health.  I’m not a fan of talking about my health with anyone but I could appreciate such good intentions.  Fat shaming a stranger who you know absolutely nothing about?  Never a good idea.  Mind your own damned business!

The way they are approaching their mission too is particularly heinous.  Instead of having the guts to walk up to someone and look them in the eye as they insult them, they are scurrying past these people and thrusting cards in their laps, not stopping to see the shock, anger and upset that they leave in their wake.  We’re not talking about ten year old schoolyard bullies here; we’re talking about grown-ass adults! 

This brings me to my next point.  As adults, those of us who are overweight know perfectly well that we are overweight.  We don’t need to be told.  Really, we don’t.  Every person who is overweight is that way for a reason.  Perhaps it’s a medical condition, perhaps it’s emotional problems, perhaps it’s bad genes, perhaps it’s bad habits learned over time and perhaps it’s a combination of these things.  There are those who are trying hard to change their situation and there are those who have given up trying.  Each and every one of us has a story and no stranger in the subway can possibly guess at what that story is.

Whether we are trying to change or not, we have every right to love ourselves at whatever stage we find ourselves at.  Each and every one of us – fat, thin or in between – has beauty inside and out.  Nobody…. I repeat…. NOBODY has the right to take that away from us.  I wonder how those assholes in the London subway would feel if someone treated them or their mothers, brothers or cousins with such disrespect. 

The other day, somebody on Facebook made a joke about wanting to tell a woman he knows that her face looks like Adele’s but was worried she might think he was accusing her of being fat.  I blasted him for it (perhaps a tad harshly, I admit) and he came back saying that he didn’t think of her as fat but there are women who do think it.  I replied to him that I recognized that he was trying to be amusing but that repeating such trash-talk only gave it a voice.  It is far better to drown it in silence.  By the next day, he had removed the post.  I don’t know if it’s because he thought this crazy troll bitch (me!) was going to keep on him or if he thought about what I said and agreed.  I kind of hope it’s the latter.  It would mean that one more person has put some thought into this subject.

Amy Schumer posted a (mostly) nude picture of herself this week using the words that so many of us say to ourselves on a regular basis - some negative, some positive - but every one of them powerful.  It rather sums up the struggle that each and every one of us has.
I rarely get up on a soapbox for a rant on this blog since that’s not usually the vibe that I’m going for but this subject is a worthy one.  While repeating trash gives it a voice, the same can be said for repeating a positive message.  

Repetition of a positive message of love and respect – both of self and each other – can only give it power.



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