I thought a lot about how I wanted to write this, IF I wanted to write it at all. It’s a bit more of a personal post, but I feel also can speak more to the general way that society thinks about and treats others. I’ve changed some identifying details, and I absolutely don’t begrudge these people for saying these things. I just think it’s become so ingrained as being the “norm” that they don’t realize the weight of their words. Here, I recount some recent encounters of things that people have said to me which, to me, should not be okay to say to anyone.
“People who don’t want kids are selfish.”
No. Just, no. Especially after I had just told this individual that I, like more and more people I know, don’t want kids. I know this isn’t a rare occurrence as there are countless articles online debating this very topic. Why is knowing what you want (or don’t want) considered selfish? Someone’s reproductive views should not be anyone’s business but their own. How do you know if a childless adult is that way by choice or by unfortunate circumstances?
“What did you do to him?”
This was in response to me telling a male acquaintance about this encounter on the train with an increasingly irate guy.
— Michele (@JustALilLost) March 12, 2015
Because of course it’s the victim’s fault for being yelled at and shoved for just turning around to see who was being creepy and standing way too close behind her. *insert eye roll* Like I told a friend later, I was annoyed by the close-stander but more angry that this guy seemed to be compensating for something and felt the need to get more and more aggressive to try and intimidate me.
“If I had your body…”
This, said several times in one moment about my choice of daily breakfasts, while I was getting my usual morning caramel macchiato from Starbucks. I know it’s not meant to be mean, I know the person meant it as a compliment and maybe some people would like hearing that stuff. But people forget that not everyone who is thin chooses to be that way. It’s not a humble brag, and even for saying that people may get angry and throw hatred towards me as is often the case with “omg I hate you, you’re so skinny” kind of comments. As I wrote about a while ago, it’s a touchy subject with me. I don’t eat that healthy, I don’t exercise and am very much not physically fit. I’ve gone to the doctor’s and was only told that I have a mild iron deficiency. Of course I would love to be a bit bigger, so I can fill out my clothes better and not be in my 30’s and be mistaken for an 18 year old. I get scoffs and laughs when I talk about wanting to gain a bit of weight Sometimes people are just born that way. My go-to response is always, would you ever ask a larger person if they ever stop eating? Then don’t ask skinny people if they ever eat.
I know there are bigger problems out there in the world and the shifting of attitudes can be a slow-going process. Like a friend recently said about another friend’s physical ailments.. it’s taken so many years for it to affect your body, it can take years for it to heal itself again. Change will come, it’ll just take time. Here’s hoping to a better week.