I have been fat-shamed and this is my response.
Some details of this story were changed to ensure anonymity.
The situation you are about to read is told the way I remember it.
Out of nowhere, you told me that you hoped I don’t take my shirt off. I was a little perplexed and thought you were talking about me lifting up my shirt before injecting insulin. You made it clear that you weren’t. You were trying to make a joke that’s it’s awful seeing me shirtless. What a laugh. I answered that there are other people around who were not wearing shirts and you responded ‘Well, they’re in better shape than you are.’
My mind went blank for a second and I had to ask myself if that had just really happened. I didn’t know what to say, so all I answered was that how I look is none of your business. And also, that I would consider what you just said fat-shaming. Then, I shut up, acted as if everything were normal and became depressed. If I am being fat-shamed that means I am fat, right?
I have had body image issues most of life.
If you’re interested, you can read up about that in my article ‘I feel pretty if you don’t tell me otherwise’. There, I also wrote that, for the first time in a long period, I finally found myself more attractive again after losing about 40 pounds. Christmas happened after that, so I might not be in my very very best shape. That shouldn’t matter to anyone else though.
I strongly believe that everyone can be beautiful, no matter what size.
And I hate that there are still people out there who think otherwise. People who believe that being proud of your body or being naked is a privilege for slim people. I just can’t. This comment hurt me a lot, even if it was meant as just a joke. This situation reminded me of when one of my former employers told me that my way of dressing was inappropriate for the workplace. I don’t get it. I’m not wearing a leather harness or walk around bare, so why should my fashion style matter? I am not complaining about having to see your face either.
It is my right to be as dressed or undressed as I want to be (as it is appropriate in a situation). A right that everyone’s supposed to have. Sad that there are people out there who do their part to make people who don’t fit the standards of our society feel like shit. In a good world, these people would feel like shit.
P.s.: The person later apologized after he/she realized how deeply hurtful it was to me. Still, I wanted to share my thoughts on the situation.
Title photo courtesy of ModCloth