There were a couple things that happened today that really ticked me off and I just had to sound off. That’s what blogs are for after all, right? The first was that someone had said something mean to one of my friends because of her weight. I found this out because she shared it on Facebook and I could tell she was very hurt by the fact some stranger felt it was OK to make a nasty remark about someone’s weight. I blogged on the whole fat prejudice issue before but felt it is worth repeating something.
People wouldn’t think about making a joke about someone’s race, skin colour or religion, but being overweight is fair game. If you are fat, it is perfectly fine to spout off.
I was that kid picked on through out school for being fat, and the psychological scars from that took years to get over, and to this day, some of them still pop up their ugly heads when I least expect it.
You would think as adults, we wouldn’t have to deal with this high school type bullying anymore, but apparently not. People just seem to have no filter anymore. Whatever pops into their head often pops out of their mouth or their typing filters without one second of thinking “oh wait – will someone be hurt by this?”
When I used to get picked on at school, at least it ended when I went home at 3 and I wouldn’t worry about it again until the next morning (unless I left the house in the evening of course). Now it follows children 24 hours through “social” media.
I heard someone say once that a better name would be “anti-social” media. People verbalize or post things that they would never (one hopes) say to someone’s face.
The whole weight loss journey can be difficult enough without a total strangers callous remark derailing a persons efforts. You hear enough of those stupid remarks and you start believing them and in fact some people even believe it to the point that they give up and say to heck with it.
If I hear people make those kind of remarks when I am within earshot, I have no qualms about setting them straight. I do it like you would educate a child – polite but firm. Some people just need to be told that their words have hurt someone, that they need to stop and they also need to grow up.
Everyone knows the old saying “All that is neccessary for evil to succeed is for good (people) to do nothing.” If you stand by while people make these kind of “fat jokes” and say nothing, you are just as guilty.
The other thing that happened occurred today while I was browsing in a local thrift store. I saw a size XXXL t-shirt that said “I Beat Anorexia”. That shirt said 2 things to me. The first was at a size XXXL, someone was very overweight and didn’t care. To be making a joke about beating anorexia is saying “I am fat and I don’t really care who knows it.” It is almost like being proud of being fat.
The other more disturbing thing is the fact that someone (in fact a lot of people considering someone designed it, another printed it, another sold it etc) thought that a dangerous condition like anorexia is a joke. In Canada, as many as 10% of people who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa DIE from medical complications or from suicide.
Would someone make a t-shirt making a joke about cancer or ALS? No, but because it is related to an eating disorder it seems to be OK with society.
People don’t realize how hard it really is to be overweight, especially obese or worse morbidly obese. I know there are some out there who figure they should just “put down the fork” and get over it, and yet these same people will condone or excuse addictions to drugs or alcohol as “just a disease”.
While I am at it – TV and Movie people – just because someone is fat, does not make them stupid, dirty, lazy, or less than human. Please stop perpetuating these stereo types by making fat people objects of ridicule.
I realize I am probably preaching to the choir here but I had to say these things. I realize if you are reading a blog about someone’s weight loss journey, you aren’t one of the people making these thoughtless remarks. For that I say thank you, but I bet you know at least one person who makes these kind of remarks or jokes about other people.
Maybe it is time you spoke to them as a friend and advised them that it is just not right.
One of the reasons I decided to take my skills as an entertainer and enter the world of Motivational Speaking was to get the message out. First, to let others struggling know that they can do this, and depending on the group I am speaking to, what it is like to be morbidly obese in today’s world, and the costs associated with it.
I try to bring a little humour and of course ventriloquism into the presentation because to be honest, parts of my story are NOT funny, and are difficult to hear and even more difficult to talk about, but someone has to sound the charge. Obesity is killing people. It could be you or a family member or a friend, but it will touch someone you know.
I hope you will help them in their journey, and not trip them up with unfiltered thoughts and comments. OK, I will get down off my soap box now.
Until next time, have a happy and healthy day!