The Weight of Words

Before we jump in Trigger Warning. I will be talking about eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and disgusting comments. I also mention my mass but only when it’s necessary to the narrative.

Proud

Other kids would comment on my weight. “Are you anorexic?” they would ask me on the playground.

No, I was not. I was fed very well. I had a fast metabolism, and I was very active: I loved hiking, biking, running. I also danced ballet 4 days a week for a total of 12 hours a week (on a non-rehearsal season).

I was proud, that I was getting these “compliments”. I was 10.

100

As I grew, I stayed small. But I started looking at the scale: 90lbs.

“Still under 100”, I would think. As if hitting a triple digit was some sort of disturbing event. I identified as “the skinny girl”, it was the only thing I had control over. I genuinely thought I would stay under 100 forever.

I would also receive comments from older people like: “You’re so tiny, you know I was even tinier than you when I was your age”. Now I had a goal.

I was 11.

Future Body

I had yet to hit puberty. But I already knew something was wrong with my body. I was told how my hips wouldn’t “look nice” when I finally develop them. I didn’t understand what that meant: Was I going to start walking funny? What’s wrong with my hips?

It was hip dips. When I developed hips, I developed hip dips. To this day I avoid wearing body-con dresses, because they only accentuate this horrific* feature of mine. I only found out what hip dips were at 20, but I heard the first comment at 12.

*sarcasm

Don’t Touch Me

You know when you sit, your skin in the front kind of scrunches up? You’re a normal person.

I was sitting with my partner at the time, and he decided to grab that part of my body, wiggle it, and then give me a look. I wanted to melt into the floor. Not because he had done something inappropriate, but because I felt so “big”. To this day, I wear only high wasted pants, high-wasted skirts, or loose fitting clothing – because then if I sit I don’t get any “scrunching” of skin.

This was also a tough time for me and my body, as we were nearing that 100. I preferred to weigh myself in the mornings, because then I was 98lbs. Which was more acceptable in my mind.

I was 15.

Puberty

Puberty sucks. It’s a confusing time, your hormones are going wild, and guess what, you gain weight. I gained weight.

People felt the need to comment.

“It’s like you’re building up weight to hibernate for the winter”

“You know when I was your age…”

“Is it because you stopped ballet?”

I hated my body. Those extra 20lbs would stare back at me on the scale.

Remember when people called you anorexic, what if these people saw you now.

That’s an idea! I started telling people I used to be anorexic. Maybe then they’d see me gaining weight as a healthy thing. It worked, mostly.

How disgusting is that. I had to tell people that I was recovering from an eating disorder for them to stop commenting on my weight gain.

It reminds me of when you’re at the club and a bigoted heterosexual man is hitting on you and the only way for him to accept that you’re not interested is to tell him you have a partner. A MALE partner. Because if you tell them any other gender or sexual orientation they’ll think “I can change that”. Disgusting.

This all started at 16.

University

This was an awesome time. I was developing into my own person. A happy person. I also didn’t have a scale anymore.

At 18, I stopped caring what people thought.

You can handle it

“that’s a lot of food”

“you really going to finish all of that”

“It’s ok you can handle all that food”

Please stop commenting on the quantify of other peoples food. It’s none of your business. I am a human and I am hungry.

Why as we got older, people again feel like they can comment on another persons body?

Don’t assume anyone wants to or should be able to “handle” your comment. Just because I have the body that I have, doesn’t mean you can tell me whatever you think about my body. You don’t know what I go through. You don’t know what I’ve been through.

Or what I am still going through (it makes it even better that this came from a man… in 2020)

I received this lovely comment in 2020. Translates to: “Judging by your photos, you’ve gained weight :/”

I sometimes have bad days, and sometimes very bad days. Don’t assume that I love my body all the time. Don’t give yourself permission to voice your opinion on my body.

If you have trouble: COMPLIMENT not COMMENT. Compliment every beautiful body you see. Compliment that persons two-piece bathing suit, or sexy dress, or cute pair of pants that make their ass look fantastic.

When I was younger I was told: if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Looks like some need reminding of this.

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