Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"She's Fat"

"She fat!"

That's what I heard as I walked through the doors at the store today. The young girl with her mother in front of me apparently felt like my size was something that warranted a declaration. It isn't even remotely close to the first time this has happened, but will hopefully be close to the last.

I'm not so naive to believe that the world doesn't notice my size. I am nearly 100% of the time the largest person in the room. It isn't something I'm constantly aware of. It usually isn't even a consideration. If it was, I'd never leave the house. But then I'm walking along, minding my own business, and get slapped in the face with "she's fat".

Here is why I think this warrants mentioning - - it isn't middle school or high school "mean girls" that are saying it. It is young children. A 3 or 4 year old boy - as was the case last summer at the gas station. The maybe 8-10 year old girl with special needs from this morning who is shopping with her mother instead of at school. So here is my question - - where are they hearing it? How have children this young been exposed to the concept of a "fat" person to the extent they are commenting on it? I imagine they aren't reading the adult women's magazines that seem to focus on little else. So where are they picking it up? My guess - their parents.

I cannot imagine the struggles faced by parents trying to raise decent human beings in this day and age. It has to be a non-stop challenge. But I just want to mention this so that maybe the next time you are discussing a person battling their weight, you'll think again. Or at a minimum choose a different term. Or better yet - have the conversation with your kids that just because someone is different - appearance, skin color, hair color, size - doesn't warrant a comment. Remind them of the old rule - if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Be kind.

Raise your children to be healthy and active, but don't threaten them with getting "fat". Because I'd hate for you to be the next parent I have to look in the eye when their kid calls me fat in public, and have to watch the embarrassment flood over you. 

I don't say a thing. I don't feel I need to lash out - I'm a 40 year old woman who has developed fairly thick skin, but it is still absolutely awful. Consider for a moment what it would be like for you if the one thing that you've struggled the most with in your life, and repeatedly failed at controlling, was commented on by random passers by. Loudly, I might add.

For every kid out there that struggles with their weight - help your kid not be the one that makes them not want to go to school,or worse. Trust me - shaming people for their size does little to help. Don't teach your kid to be a dick.

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