Body & Soul
Lovin’ The Skin You’re In: Shout It Out, Sister, Loud and Proud
As a big, curvy woman, living in a thin obsessed society, it’s no doubt that you’ll often find yourself the target of people’s fat phobic ridicule. Whether you’ve known them forever or just met these trash talkin’ diet lovin’ fat chick body haters recently, it’s up to you to teach people how you want to be treated, and remember it’s never too late.
Here I want to share a few tips that I shared to respond to a reader’s question wanting to know what to do about the seemingly fat phobic new guy she’s been dating.
Question: I’ve been on a few dates with a guy I met on a dating site. We’re not exclusive or anything, and he’s kind of fun to be with. But almost from the beginning of our relationship, he’s been critical of my appearance, particularly my weight. He’s always making little comments about how thin people behave or remarking on how much better my clothes would fit if I’d join a gym and shed a few pounds. What’s really funny is that he has a bit of a belly and love handles, but I don’t mind stuff like that. The other night at dinner, he actually asked if I should be eating a salad instead of hamburger! I really liked him at first, but these comments are getting old fast. Should I stick it out and let him get to know me and see if he’ll accept me the way that I am?
Andrea: Here’s what I’ve learned over about a million years of dealing with fat phobic peeps who are often creeps -We teach people how to treat us. Taking that into consideration, give this guy a break and look at him as a blank canvas. First let me say that it’s a well known fact that it’s not easy to change people, but since this person doesn’t really know you, you’re really just setting the ground rules.
Just like an untrained puppy, if you don’t teach him that peeing on your sofa is not okay, he’ll go ahead and do it because he knows he can. If you haven’t actually stepped up and told this guy that you’re not okay with his comments, and you don’t appreciate having him piss all over you, then consider giving him the benefit of the doubt. If you’re truly comfortable lovin’ the skin you’re in, then you’ve just got to make it clear to him. Tell him that this is who you are. No apologies. No excuses. No regrets-just you lovin’ yourself, right now as you are.
As with all of us, he’s developed his beliefs by what he’s learned from his experience. His behavior is most likely the product of a man who was raised to value women based on how they look. Whether that came from hearing his sisters or mom hating on themselves for being overweight, or being a guy who is just insecure around women, or one who just does not like curvy women in general, that’s up to you to find out if he’s worth the time and trouble to retrain.
My suggestion is to take the bull(y) by the horns and initiate a conversation letting him know immediately how you feel, what you expect from him and what you are willing to accept and what your deal breakers are. Then based on how that conversation goes, and then what follows, that will tell you everything you need to know.
I’ve got to tell you when I made the decision to love my thighs at any size, and stop dieting everything changed in my life. That’s when my confidence really started to soar, and yours can too.
Hey gals, as you probably know, I’m all about self-esteem and teaching women how to love and respect themselves more. if you want more support standing up and feeling the love for your body and shouting it out to the world, I’ve just created a new Facebook group for women. It’s all about the importance of embracing ourselves as we are right now. Empowerment from the inside-out. Lots of great conversations going on here.