I was having lunch with a friend yesterday who I consider absolutely normal size-wise (and most other ways too). She’s not Gisele - because Gisele isn’t really even Gisele - but she’s not a heavy hitter riding an electric scooter in Walmart stuffing her face with bacon-wrapped Twinkies.
Which is to say, she's not any sort of "extreme" - she's just a perfectly average-sized woman.
So I was shocked - absolutely, unequivocally shocked - when she said that she has been called out by complete strangers for being fat. More so, even, that it had happened more than once. It was obviously a very painful set of memories for her and it made me mad as hell.
“You know that shit’s not about you, right?” I asked her.
She nodded her head, but I’m not sure she really heard me. And I get it - it’s hard to hear clearly in the midst of such pain. But it is an important lesson - if not one of the most important lessons - and it bears repeating…
That shit is not about you.
“Fat” was never really intended to ever make you feel less than - it was intended to make them feel “more than.” And, honestly, do you really care about them?
You wouldn’t base your wardrobe on the opinion of a person wearing platform sneakers.
You wouldn’t base your investment strategy on the advice of someone collecting cans on the side of the road for gas money.
You wouldn’t buy toothpaste based upon the recommendation of a man with rotted teeth.
So, you sure as hell shouldn’t be basing even a modicum of your self-worth on the opinion of a person that is so ignorant that they think “fat” is a value judgement and so psychologically-damaged that they want to intentionally cause harm and distress to another person for no good reason.
My precious snowflakes, hear me. Anyone - stranger or not - that tries to make you feel “less than” because of your body is a psychologically-damaged, ignorant, platform-sneaker-wearing, can-collecting, toothless bully. A stunted child that has never learned how to self-regulate. Do not give them any power. They do not deserve, nor have they earned, it. If they have earned anything, it is your pity.
Being “fat” means, essentially, nothing. It doesn’t define who you are - your mind, your heart, your values, your contributions or your essence. Maybe it defines your body size - maybe it doesn’t. Even if it does, it is just a descriptor of one facet of your being - not your entirety.
And, yes, it is a facet that our culture places an amazingly stupid amount of emphasis upon. Does that make it right? Remember, this is a culture that once touted cigarettes as a cure for asthma, asbestos as a fire retardant in children’s pajamas and - sigh - platform sneakers as a perfectly acceptable form of footwear. Curse you, Baby Spice!
Point is, sometimes we get shit wrong. And then we evolve.
So, you can continue to buy into what you know is wrong or you can choose to reject the ill-conceived notions of the psychologically damaged, ignorant, platform-sneaker-wearing, can-collecting, toothless bullies of the world - including those living in your own head.
Reject those notions that you are less than - and then reject them again. Reject them every day, 100 times a day, until you believe it.
You were never less than.