Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Letters to The Girl Who Thinks She's Fat and Won't Stop Talking About It
Dear Girl Who Thinks She's Fat and Won't Stop Talking About It,
I would have an easier time believing you and sympathizing with you-- really, I would-- if you would refrain from lifting your shirt and showing off your belly button rings in public.
"Aren't these so cute?!" you said. "But don't look at my belly. It's so fat, isn't it? It's huge!"
I'm trying to be understanding with you, but I'd really wish you'd stop making everything about your weight and calling attention to it every four seconds. First of all, you're thin, and even though I know this doesn't mean you have good self esteem, I hope you'll come to realize you really do have a lovely figure that is well within the norms and standards of today's society. As someone who's been chubby most of my life, and even as someone who feels she mostly loves and accepts her body, your thin-ness gives me little pangs of jealousy. Doesn't that make you feel a little better already?
I also wish you'd stop because people like you who do nothing but talk about how fat they are make other people feel bad. When you complain about how you're so fat and so gross and so this and that and the other thing, it starts to wear on the people around you-- including myself. I find it tiring to be surrounded by negative energy, and it has to be tiring to spread it.
I suppose that's what makes me most angry: that you go around calling attention to your own flaws in the apparent quest for verbal validation without realizing how it hurts other people. You keep going and going until someone tells you how pretty and skinny you are and then you blush and say "no, I'm not, but thanks" while the whole time all I can think about is how disgusting I must seem in comparison. Your negativity and body hatred tears me down, and though I know it's my responsibility to take care of my own emotions, you could at least be a little bit considerate of the other (chubbier) people when you start hurling insults at your size 3 waistline. I have never understood how or why thin people take such joy in complaining about their gross fatness to people who are actually fat. I want to make this letter all positive and happy, but it sucks when you do that and it makes me want to harm you.
All in all, I don't know how to say any of this without sounding like I'm saying you're skinny so you shouldn't feel bad. 'Cause that's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that you and people like you need to think before you fish, because you aren't the only ones who want to be told you're pretty and perfect just the way you are. You are, for sure, but the fact that you need to body snark to get someone to praise you demeans and hurts everyone around you. We're all human and flawed and we sometimes feel awful. We're all human and we're beautiful and we're ugly at the same time. I wish you would show how beautiful you can be-- from the inside out-- rather than spread so much ugliness. I wish you would realize that we're all in this together and that by not sniping at your own body in public in the hopes of a compliment you would be promoting the kind of world in which we wouldn't even feel the need to snipe.