…but she is fat

...but she is fatI was having a conversation with my mother, it went something like this:

“I ran into my old friend at the convention,” my mom continues, “she said her daughter is doing well, but she weighs (insert weight that many beautiful woman weigh here) and is a bigger girl.”

I was horrified.  Why on earth did that need to be listed as a status update on a child?  My mom was equally appalled that the statement was included in the conversation.  As women our weight is paraded around like a barometer for how well we are doing in life.  It has become a determination of our worth and so much value is placed on it.  If someone is going to cut you down an ever popular insult is weight (i.e.” you are such a fatty”).  Forget how well the adult child is doing in her career, her successes in college, or anything she does to help her community.  Let’s focus on the most important factor, her weight.

I can’t tell you the number of times women have been described like this to me:

“She is really funny and smart.  I hear her career is really great, but she is bigger.”

“She is really pretty, but a little overweight.”

Insert woman’s positives attributes here and then abolish them here because of her weight.  She is great, BUT not.  She is successful, BUT she isn’t.

All I can ask is why?  Why does this happen?  Why do we make this so important?  Why is so much value placed on our weight and appearance?

I can remember sitting in a bible study specifically about battling food issues (“Made to Crave”, by Lysa Terkeurst) and we were talking about how our weight does not equal our worth.  During the discussion time the conversation turned.  Women around the table shared their horror during pregnancy.  Several of the girls said they wanted to wear a t-shirt that said, “Not fat, just pregnant”.  Laughing they described at how embarrassed they were to think that people would view them as fat.  You know what happens when you become fat?  You buy bigger pant sizes.  The world doesn’t end.

For years my weight has made me feel like I was a failure.  I’ve struggled being the “bigger” or “extra junk in the trunk” girl since elementary school.  Despite all of the success I have had in my own personal life, my weight has made me feel like I was not up to par.  I wish I could say that I’m not going to think this way anymore, but the truth is that it will take me a long time to work through something that has plagued me since childhood.  Being put on a diet at a tender and young age has encouraged issues with food and subsequently my worth based on my appearance.  If you have a young daughter I beg of you not to put such high value on her weight and force her on a diet.  Encourage healthy eating and activity, not dieting.  The picture used in this post is me, right around the time I was put on my first diet.  My parents weren’t trying to be mean or hurtful by encouraging me to lose weight.  They had my best interests at heart and I love them dearly.  As I got older, I realized that my mom was doing exactly as her mom had done.  My grandmother was simply continuing the upbringing she had.  It was an upbringing where appearance and the numbers on the scale mean more than they should.  It is a cycle and we can stop it.

We as women are amazing creatures.  We give birth.  We are nurturing and caring.  We are successful in our homes and out in the business world.  We sense things with our intuition that men cannot.  We are all beautiful in our own unique way and bring something special to this world.  Weight and pant sizes do not detract from those gifts and accomplishments.

Let us change the rhetoric.  No more, “…but she is fat” because it simply does not matter.

About LC

Howdy! LC and her Oilman live in the ‘burbs north of Austin, TX. She is a real estate broker, but you won’t find her face on a bus bench and she doesn't drive a Cadillac. Oilman works in Texas as a Completions Consultant. Don’t worry, most people don’t know what that title means either. LC calls him frac guru, for short. She may be the only woman in America that hated both "Twilight" AND "50 Shades of Grey". Oilman and LC like wine, good music, their two dogs, and cervezas in Central America. Follow the adventures of LC and Oilman at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life

Comments

  1. Tara Faircloth Poole says:

    You were put on a diet at that age?! You were a normal, healthy-looking child! I’m sorry, but that was just wrong!

    • I was a little bit older than that (and a few pounds heavier) when I was put on a diet. Yes, it shouldn’t have happened. I still see it happening around me now. Girls who are just like I was (healthy, but not skinny) being put on diets by their parents (mainly mothers) in elementary school. It makes me sad and I want to stress that putting kids on a “diet” at a young age can do a lot of damage.

  2. Tara Faircloth Poole says:

    And it’s not just girls. I’m fighting the “fat” mentality with my 10-year-old son now. He thinks he’s fat when he’s just naturally bigger than the other kids in his class. He’s always been ahead of his age in height and weight, even as a newborn.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Tara. I know that must be hard on you to see your son hurting. I think the good thing about these experiences is that they shape us into a more well rounded person. For example, if he now knows what it feels like to be picked on for size, he won’t do it to anyone else. Maybe years later, he stands up for someone going through the same thing. Or, when he is married he makes his significant other feel her worth through things other than appearance. Maybe his size means he ends up being a kick butt linebacker and he goes pro!! 😉

  3. I think it is tragic and symptomatic that here is an blog discussing women’s weight being linked to her worth and it is sponsored by ads telling us how to loss weight.

  4. I’ve about 50 lbs over what your mom’s friend might have called an acceptable weight. It’s a fact, and I’m blessed with the good mental health to not use it as a disclaimer to accomplishments and to the things I (and my loved ones) love about me. That said, buying bigger pants isn’t the only thing that changes when you “get fat.” For most people, gaining weight means slowing down, often bowing out of physically active play with your family, maybe limiting your travel because prolonged sitting is painful, and prolonged walking is difficult. Eventually someone may also be dealing with the side effects of taking meds for obesity-related illnesses.
    So while I’m with you on your larger point, I’d submit for consideration that good health- including a moderately healthy weight– is related to a good quality of life. There is no justifiable place for fat shaming. The priority that is put on weight is ridiculously high. It’s just that excusing our weight as irrelevant might not be the best thing for us either.

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