So I’m browsing the Facebook home feed and someone posted one of those “I can’t believe they are out and about in those clothes” pictures. One comment noted that it had probably been photoshopped to look worse than it was and then added, “But she is waiting in line to eat…”
Maybe I’m a little more sensitive to comments like this since my adventure in weight shaming, but my eyebrows shot up and I almost commented. I managed to restrain myself. Posting with my morning brain is never a good idea. But the photo and the comment stayed with me. A sign a blog post is incoming.
Here’s what I didn’t say: So, if you’re carrying a few extra pounds, it is no longer good enough to be seen eating the right foods. Now you must not eat at all? (Note: the photo showed this person waiting to order at some sort of counter — no indication what sort — but not eating.) (Yet another note: it is a scientific fact that starving is not a recommended weight loss program.)
Ironically enough, in that same news feed was a cute story about a kitten and some ferrets and how they managed to live happily together because they “didn’t judge each other by how they looked.” (I won’t comment about how they knew what the kitten and the ferrets thought, because this blog isn’t about that.)
Was it the person’s tacky outfit that opened the door to weight shaming comments? Or is weight shaming an auto-reflex? We go around deploring what magazine ads and almost invisible models do to our—and our daughters’—self-image and then almost reflexively judge each other by our size, eating habits, what we’re wearing or not wearing, and how we’re handing aging.
And we aren’t just saying these things about others. Inside our heads, we are often even more unkind. There is a huge disconnect between what we want to believe about ourselves and others and what we actually believe. There are valid health concerns about weight, but those concerns are actually no one’s business but our own. As I noted in my original weight shaming post, weight is not just about what and how you eat. It’s much more complicated than that.
Judging someone only by what you can see is like judging a book by the first word in the first chapter. (This book started with “the.” I’m SO sick of books that start with “the.”) And it’s not, IMHO, enough to tell yourself that you won’t judge. If I am thinking, “it’s not my place to judge,” then I’m actually judging.
No one can know our struggles and challenges just by looking. But we can know more about someone by looking in their eyes first. I picked the photo for this post because of his eyes. So instead of a resolution not to judge…
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Don’t just be kind to others. Be kind to yourself, too. 🙂
Any plans for November? I plan to eat some good food and maintain my “ideal” weight. (grin) Okay,k one way I try to be kind is by hosting a monthly giveaway of an AnaBanana gift basket for the awesome people who visit my blog. This month I’m boosting the yummy to a $50 value. All you have to do is comment to be entered. Winner is announced the first blog post of the new month.
There is one place Pauline is not kind and that is to her characters. Some get happy endings, but they all get to go through fictional fire. And some of them die. O.O To find out more about her adventures in fictional hosing of characters, you can browse this blog or her website.
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