This post is probably going to be annoying and uninteresting. I've had something roaming around in the back of my mind for several weeks (OK - more like a couple decades) and I think I just need to LET IT OUT.
This past weekend, I was approached by a woman at a cookout. She walked up to me out of the blue and started to tell me how cute my kids were. It seemed like a harmless conversation. But the conversation took a turn for the worse when she quickly followed up by asking me how much I weigh.
I didn't tell her. What I did tell her was that I've had four consecutive surgeries since February and that I have lost weight through all of that. I thought we would go back to talking about my cute kids, but we didn't. She wasn't done yet.
She proceeded to ask me if I was going to try and gain any weight back. I took a deep breath and kept my manners in check. I told her that "Yes, I would definitely like to gain weight and I am trying to do just that."
She responded with: "You really should do that. Fifteen pounds would look really good on you."
I took another deep breath and managed to say, "I agree." I gave a weak smile and walked away.
Let's flip the script for a second. What if she had walked up to someone else and told them that they should lose 15 pounds? Totally inappropriate, right? Right.
Well, this is a reoccurring scene in my life. Don't get me wrong - I do not have acceptance issues nor am I obsessed with my appearance. I don't try to be "skinny," but I am. And I am told that I am on a regular basis. You would be amazed at the some of the conversations I have to sit and smile through as women openly discuss me being "skinny."
Many will assume I enjoy looking the way that I do. Many will talk about my appearance negatively. Some people, like the woman at the cookout, will openly tell me that they don't necessarily approve of the way I look.
Growing up, the word "skinny" made me cringe. Sometimes, it still does. But I brush it off now, because I'm beyond seeking physical approval from others.
I'm not happy with the way I look right now, but that is between me, myself and I. And my husband still thinks I look good (God bless him - he's a good man).
Unfortunately, since my body has taken time to adjust to medications and overall recovery (4 times in a row), I lost weight when I certainly didn't need to. I don't look healthy right now and I am certainly aware of that. I will get back to a healthier size. I had hip replacement surgery on May 24 and I just got my full appetite back about two weeks ago.
I know that the world is full of people who promote "skinny" as a good thing. I know that criticism goes in all directions. But for some reason, it seems socially acceptable for woman to openly criticize skinny women. There might be some loons out there who enjoy looking skeletal and like to be called "skinny," but most do not.
It is not OK for you to ask me my weight because I am skinny. It is not OK for you to bash skinny women. It is not OK for you to openly discuss a woman's size, because she is skinny. Unless you know for a fact that someone is purposely TRYING to lose weight, it is not OK to address a woman's size (and even then its not always OK). It is not OK to call someone "skinny" and assume that they think it is a compliment. Chances are, "skinny" is a word that has been used to put them down many times before.
How about we (I'm talking to women especially) just be a little nicer to one another, eh?
Here are just some "skinny" statements that I've seen online.
And in response to the "Real Women Have Curves" comments and photos that are popping up all over Pinterest. Um, I may not have curves like yours, but I'm pretty sure I'm a real woman.
Phew. I feel better now. Thanks for bearing with me.