This morning I came across this excellent column from Jezebel, called “Being Mean to Fat People is Pointless.” (click the title to read it)
(apologies of curse words get your roos in a wad, because there are a few in it – but it is so worth your time, regardless)
If you’re overweight, read it. If you know someone overweight, read it.
For years I took for granted what good friends I have. We laugh at our own mistakes or just us being goofy – never at the expense of others. But lately, outside my circle or with complete strangers, I’ve heard people laugh at, be mean toward and openly use derogatory words toward others. I guess I’ve been lucky enough to be friends with such good people – and I have enough sense to stay away from most websites’ comments sections, where hatred and pure meanness grows like kudzu – and I guess I’ve been naive, but this behavior has really shocked me. I actually believed bigoted language was going the way of the dinosaur because I didn’t know anyone who used it. I’ve gone months without hearing the “n” word or the “f” word – until lately, and this just plain breaks my heart.
Unfortunately, these folks have made me see otherwise. But just because it happens doesn’t mean I have to listen to it, watch someone be subjected to it or put up with it.
This column deals with how overweight people are treated, and in my weight loss journey I’ve really seen how people treat me differently with 50 less pounds on my body. I won’t lie: people are nicer. Guys hit on me more. I get more compliments. And I hate it. What, I wasn’t worthy of your kindness before? I wasn’t pretty before? I accessorized exactly the same way before, but it wasn’t “cute” when I was more overweight? What sense does that make?
Let me say this, too: I know I’m sounding preachy here, but I feel I can write this post with confidence because I’ve been there. I’ve been the mean girl. But I also stopped myself, realized how absolutely ashamed of myself I was. I knew better, and I promised myself I’d never behave that way again. It didn’t take much effort. I just swore I’d never try to make myself feel better by making someone else feel worse.
I’m sure I’m sounding super preachy this morning, but really, I’ve had enough.
I’m not even asking people to be kind to one another. I’m just saying, be civil. Think before you speak or act. Put your ego aside and consider about how what you’re about to say or do will make someone else feel.