June 20, 2010

Casual Remarks

I put on a new pair of pants, yoga pants, something new for me. Grey-and-white striped, comfy and soft. I showed them off to Paul and he said "What's this, Sassy Pants?" and I said, "They were on clearance and I thought I'd try them!" Usually I wear men's pajama pants for evening/bedtime. He petted them and declared them comfy and soft and cute.

The children were surprised by the new pants and wanted to know what was going on, and I told them about it as I went into the other room to load the dishwasher. Rob, my eldest, my 11-year-old son, said in a jokey tone, "I'd have thought you wouldn't want to wear stripes! Because..." and his voice cut off abruptly. I went into the room and said, "I don't know what you were going to say, but it sounds like maybe it was something hurtful," and he said "That's why Daddy cut me off." Which of course was worse.

It wasn't even so much that I had my feelings hurt by what he was saying, though of course I did. And it wasn't that what he started to say was something that would diminish my enjoyment of my new comfy pants, though of course it did. It's that in 5th grade, at 11 years old, growing up in a household with a loving, good, plumpish mother who eats with enjoyment and doesn't go around saying negative things about her body, he has nevertheless learned from the culture that there are assumptions to be made about fat people. That it's okay to assume They should want to look different than they do, should want to minimize the fatness element of their appearance. That it's okay to suggest that there are certain things They shouldn't wear, since those types of clothing emphasize what is clearly a negative thing to be hidden. That it's okay to remark on that in a jokey tone. That it's a subject for discussion at all.

He doesn't mean it, he doesn't really mean it. But he needs to be taught that it is not okay to make jokes about other people's appearances, and that fatness isn't comical or scornable even if it's shown that way in cartoons. That fatness has in fact ZERO to do with what's in a person's heart or brain, and zero to do with a person's value as a person. I'm weary at the thought of being one person teaching him this in the face of a GIANT CULTURE relentlessly teaching him the opposite.

*****

I commented that our cat Mouse is now SO SMALL. Her head is one third the size of her body. She is tiny. I showed in the air how her body used to be, and how it is now. And Paul said, "Yeah, but she's at her healthy weight now."

Let that remark hang in the air for a moment. Consider that the reason Mouse is now 6 pounds instead of 12 pounds is that she has thyroid disease and kidney disease and is getting elderly. She throws up much of her food. She takes medication twice a day to keep her from consuming her own body.

She is half her size not because of health but because of illness. When she was "fat," she was a healthy cat carrying some extra weight---and that's making the huge assumption that the words "extra weight" make sense as opposed to judgments. Now she is thin, because she is ill and elderly.

It's not just that he would assume that one single measure of health would be the most important one, and in fact the only one worth considering. It's not just that he would fail to think about other measures and how important they are. It's not just that his opinions about the cat likely reflect his opinions about fatness in general, and about his own wife's fatness in particular. It's that he's a well-above-average-intelligence person, the kind who studies college-level physics for fun, and he would nevertheless say such a TRULY, DEEPLY, PROFOUNDLY STUPID thing. And it's that he's not alone in such stupid thoughts, not even CLOSE to alone.

He doesn't mean it, he doesn't really mean he believes she is healthier now that when she was plump and ACTUALLY healthy, and he doesn't actually think stupid things about my body just because he thinks them glancingly and thoughtlessly about the cat's body. He's just not thinking it through. But he SHOULD think it through. As should all mentally-competent adults. The fat attaching to a body has no correlation to the brain and heart inside it; the words coming out of that body's mouth are another story.

54 comments:

Amanda said...

I am sorry.

The word fat is not allowed in our house because it is hurtful. Because we made it a bad word, my kids are all the more aware of when someone else uses it.

Lis said...

Oh Swistle. Unless Paul meant that comment in a ironic, making a point about society's view on healthiness type way, I would have slapped him. (I am overly sensitive about people making comments on sick pet's health though)

Joanne said...

Oh wow. You are so right, but how do you change so many people's freaking minds and hearts?

Erica said...

I've made a HUGE effort to never, ever disparage my own body or anyone else's within earshot of my daughter. Even when I weighed 300 lbs, I never uttered the words "fat, chubby," etc. Even though I'm no longer technically "fat," I have lots of extra loose skin that's pretty unsightly. Maddie likes to jiggle my loose belly skin and, honestly, it's humilating. But I take one for the team and let her without negative comments.

I dread the day that she picks up on society's fear and hatred of fat. I dread the day she comes home from 3rd grade crying because she thinks she's fat. I want to wrap her in bubble wrap and never let those hurtful words anywhere near her.

B said...

I'm so sorry :( It sucks to deal with hurtful crap in what should be the safest place from the people that should be the most understanding.

"I'm weary at the thought of being one person teaching him this in the face of a GIANT CULTURE relentlessly teaching him the opposite." really hit home for me in a broad sense. I hate feeling like I am up against society with certain things I try to teach my kids, i.e., gender stereotypes.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Swistle. I always have a hard time explaining my thoughts on this subject to people, so I point them to your posts, haha. Keep wearing those dang pants, I bet they are comfy and super cute.

CARRIE said...

I associate thinness with sickness. Prior to my antidepressant, when I felt anxious or depressed, which was ALOT of the time, I didn't eat much. And when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she couldn't eat due to her anxiety. And when I had my nervous breakdown, I dropped down to 112 lb (and I am 5'7" tall).

And Paris Hilton is thin, and she has the IQ of a fruitfly. So thinness can also be associated with utter dumbness.

Mimi said...

As always, you have such an awesome way with putting these sorts of things in words. This post totally took my breath away.

I wonder in hindsight how many times I probably hurt my mother's feelings unknowingly. And I wonder when my kids will start to hurt my feelings. I wish they never had to leave the house and learn stuff like that.

Joanna said...

I think you're changing/modifying a lot of people's mindsets by writing so eloquently on the subject. So maybe you can't undo the damage that this Giant Culture inflicts, but you can pick away at it and influence us to do the same. (As you have done here, perhaps without even intending to?)

Jenni said...

I'm not looking forward to the day my kids realize I'm overweight.

Great post.

Jenny (Bring A. Torch) said...

Gulp. Ouch. Sometimes I hate being the type of person who carefully parses words, because remarks like that set me off in a tizzy for DAYS, and occasionally cause me to break things. Grrrrrr.

Kathryn said...

How I wish I could memorize this and recite it back when my husband says something un-thinking or un-feeling about anyone being fat. I just get red faced and head-explody and stomp out of the room telling him he's a fattist.

Superjules said...

Wow, I can't believe how often people do this. People we love, who have good intentions do this!

Example: My sister's baby was a lovely chubby little girl. Adorable, with dimpled elbows and neck rolls and thunderthighs and chubby cheeks and a big round belly. A friend told my sister "I'm sure she'll slim down once she starts crawling." And she MEANT IT. She was trying to REASSURE my sister that her 6-month-old would lose weight.

My sister told me later that it had upset her, that she wanted to say "No no, I am HAPPY that my baby is so big and healthy and such a good eater." But she didn't. Because she felt like she couldn't....

JEN said...

I used to be 86 pounds heavier than what I am now. I was the same person, but my life is completely different. Mainly on the way people perceive me, and thus I perceive myself.

Lasha said...

This is such an important post. Thank you.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

You are right that the bone-wearying, soul-crushing part of it all is the hugeness and pervasiveness of that mindset, not those two specific off-hand comments. Blergh.

Amy --- Just A Titch said...

As a bigger girl myself, one of the things that sticks with me the most is the way my mom talked down about her own body---it made me feel that I should do the same. This post is so important. Thank you for writing it.

Jen said...

Just tonight, Deven parroted some commercial back to me about Zone Perfect (what is that?) not making her fat. She turns 3 next week. What the EFF?!

I was so shocked by those words coming out of her little mouth - even though I knew they were just parroted - that I totally didn't know what to say.

I asked her what fat meant, which is sort of my default when she says something that I don't think she understands, and she didn't have an answer. It mostly was the end of the conversation but I wished I had something more pithy to say to her.

But still!
Not even three.

(In other words, thanks for writing about this.)

Jess said...

Ugh. I keep turning these comments over in my head and first thinking that Rob's comment is more upsetting, because he is so young, and then thinking that Paul's comment is more upsetting, because he is your husband and a smart man and should know better, and really they are just both very upsetting, and I'm very sorry. And yes, I too have found it shocking how many people make comments that imply that despite how educated and aware they think they are about body size and body image, really they've bought into the FAT IS BAD mentality that is shoved down all our throats. And can we blame them for it? I mean, it is ubiquitous. And I worry about this for when we have kids someday too, because there are certain things that we will insist on (like not talking about weight loss and health in terms of weight, and leading by example, and not allowing anyone to make disparaging comments about their own or anyone else's bodies), but unless we lock our children in a closet under the stairs for their entire lives, they will hear it from every other source in their lives.

And sometimes it's so SUBTLE. Like, the closet under the stairs thing made me think of Harry Potter, books that I love, and yet look at the portrayal of fat people in that book and movie set. Who is fat? Dudley, Uncle Vernon, and Evil Aunt Marge or whatever her name is. And their fatness is used as a signifier of their general greed and selfishness. Harry certainly isn't fat, and neither are any of his friends. Even Neville is only chubby, and his chubbiness is again representative of character weakness. And in many ways I think of JK Rowling as so enlightened, and also I think that this is just one random example of many many many where nobody SAYS anything about fatness being bad, but it is implied, the same way that you know that a character who is described as having a "weak chin" will turn out to be a bad guy in the end. And you WANT your kids to read and be exposed, but even there, in lovely, family-friendly books, you can't escape it. So how can you help them escape it when it's even more blatant?

Hotch Potchery said...

My 3 year old nephew sweetly quizzed me the other day on when I was skinny, "when you were 24 were you skinny", etc. Then he told me I was fat now. But he wasn't passing judgement, just stating a fact. His mother was mortified, and I am so glad that I wasn't. (this time. )

Anonymous said...

Hey,

What a wonderful (not the hurt feelings, of course, just the expression of it) and honest post by you, Swistle.

I'd like to make a point here if I may: I think we should be really careful about banning words like "fat" from our vocab in front of kids. I say this as someone who used to consciously avoid it, or use more polite euphemisms until a student of mine who is doing their thesis on the Fat Acceptance Movement made the really valid point that using "fat" is in fact the more correct, value-less word to use, as it is simply part of the fat/thin dichotomy. To avoid using the word or to use less "confrotning" euphemisms such as curvy or whatever, actually buys into the argument that fat IS bad. But if we just see and use the word "fat" as the opposite of thin, in the same way we see tall as the opposite of short, and not really having a huge amount of baggage associated with it, then it's part of actually, REALLY accepting fat-ness, and even reclaiming the term for an idea (non-judgement and acceptance of people who are not thin) who otherwise have to rely on watered down terms to describe their physicality. Other terms such as "overweight" still imply that there IS a single, ideal, healthy weight and that fat people (or cats!) are over that.

Now, I can understand the argument that we shouldn't even think of it as a term warranting discussing, and I think there's merit in that, but I think so long as we think that, we are still subscribing to the idea that weight IS either good or bad, and thus better not to mention. In the same way we don't feel conflicted about describing a person as "the one with straight hair" or "the one with curly hair" because we recognise there is no value judgement inherent in those descriptors, perhaps until we re-claim such words, and the dichotomy of fat/thin to be truly valueless, we will always have to utilise euphemisms or silences. I just wonder if us refusing to use the word "fat" or insistence on using euphemisms is in fact validating this mentality.

I should add, I'm not a spokesperson for the Fat Acceptance Movement or anything like that; my eyes were just really opened by one of my post-grad students to the way we use language when we discuss fatness, and all the judgements we often insert into it without even realising.

Sam said...

Oh dear. I am so sorry. My Dude weighs sixteen-ish pounds and I cannot imagine him at half his weight. Poor you, poor kitty. BAD BOYS.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing your journey Swistle.

Your family may have expressed themselves badly, but what is clear on this blog is how much they love you and you love all of them. And we all love you because you are such a great gal, stripes or no.

StephLove said...

I bet you look great in those pants.

Julie said...

Yes! Everything you said here!

One of our ministers at church has lost a lot of weight over the last two years due to a series of life-threatening illnesses, and she's talked about the number of people who've told her they wished they were her. She NEARLY DIED from breast cancer, nearly died again from an infection that led to a hysterectomy, and they'd rather have all that if they could just be thin.

It boggles the mind.

So many smart, well-meaning people really have bought into the idea that skinny=healthy, that diets work, that people just need to buckle down. And that's just not how it works. Thanks for being another voice in the darkness.

Saly said...

My kids think it's pretty funny to bury thier hands in my belly fat. It's not funny to me, but I grin and bear it.

They ask me all the time, why I go to the gym? Why do I work out. And I tell them the truth: to be healthy; to have a healthy heart; so that I can run around and play with them.

Bud told me last week that after his field trip his friend said "Wow, your dad sure is fat!" and asked whether that was an ok thing to say. Gaaah! Kindergarten.

I know.

Mairzy said...

It's a dream of mine to write a novel in which the heroine's love interest is thirty pounds overweight.

My son is rather plump. Distressingly so to me sometimes (only after four children do I have any problem with extra weight) especially as I keep running out of pants and shorts that fit around his waist. But I make sure I never, ever say that to him. It's his body shape and his genetic heritage. I just hope to teach him how to eat well, so that when he's older he will be healthy EVEN IF HE'S NOT THIN.

I like these posts of yours because it's helping as I re-teach *myself* that thinness doesn't equal health and intelligence.

Rah said...

How painful--I'm sorry you were hurt. Your soapbox is one I've spoken from countless times. Like Julie, above, I had a friend dying of cancer who kept having people say "Yes, but you look so good," because she had lost 60 pounds. And these were people who KNEW the weight loss was because she was dying. How screwed up is that?

Everybody has some problem they are working on, biting fingernails, smoking, etc.. How would it be if people had to wear signs around their necks saying "Cutter," or "Abuses alcohol" or "Can't give up cocaine." Unfortunately, when our problem has to do with weight (either extreme), we WEAR our problem, no sign necessary, so the world feels free to comment on it.

Enjoy wearing those pants!

sara said...

Ah my little Swistle...that sucks. I have had a number of comments from my nephews, once they started school anyway. It's curiousity more than anything, but it doesn't make it less hurtful.

Tess said...

Love this post, just like everything else you've written on the topic.

It's hard to do the Policy thing while at the same time FULLY REALIZING that it is almost certain to be offset by outside influences. However, I still feel good about it, because I think that while ALL comments like this are damaging, they are PARTICULARLY and UNIQUELY damaging coming from parents, and so at least we are avoiding that.

I try to also remember that it's not completely hopeless, though it may seem that way at times. My mother held a similar view, and I consider my sister and I to be about as well-adjusted as it gets re: body image.

At any rate, it IS worth thinking about, and writing about, even though I'm sure you get a slight case of Nervous Tummy every time you publish a post like this.

artemisia said...

Oh, Swistle, you hit this nail on the head. Absolutely.

This is going to be a long battle, I am afraid.

Anonymous said...

I can see the beginning of body consciousness in my 5 yo. She has made comments about her "belly" and I have learned that it has been talked about among her friends. She is probably not genetically predisposed to thinness and my heart breaks when I think that someone is already making her feel bad about that. I love what you've written and I hope more people will begin to consider more carefully their words and attitudes about body shapes. And to teach their children the same.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I am sorry that you're dealing with that. Go ON in yo' new pants, girl. Comfy pants are a joy to behold.

Not to belittle your situation AT ALL, but you can be glad this wasn't your dinner table:

Last night my stepdaughter was showing off her hew hair cut and said witheringly that the stylist layered the one side but forgot - FORGOT! - to do the other. To me it looked like the stylist had figured it out before my stepdaughter left, 'cause it looked OK to me. I was returning my attention to the animated toddler to my right when she said, "Mexicans. Can't trust 'em." Holy hell, you could've heard a pin drop around our table. I hate to sound mean, but I'm glad it wasn't my kid that said that. I can't imagine where she picked that up but when I find out, she won't be spending time with that person again. Unless it was her mother, and then I guess we're f.cked.

missris said...

Oh Swistle, I'm sorry. This is such a hard issue, for kids, parents, everyone.

Maggie said...

I don't have anything to say on the body issue that other commenters haven't already covered much better than I could. I just wanted to comment and say I'm sorry about Mouse. I've hated it every single time one of my pets has become old/ill and I know the end isn't far away and it's going to hurt like hell. It never gets any easier.

Nervous said...

Ugh. I know, and I don't know what the answer is. I hate the stale old joke (is it, even?) and variations of it, of "Guys, if your wife asks if that makes her look fat, you're supposed to lie and say no!" or stuff that gives the message of "I guess we can't insult people like the good old days, unless it's just among us hehheh" rather than realizing WHY those comments are hurtful or just poor taste. Not that I think your son or husband are like that - like you said, it's a cultural thing that's hard to avoid. My (male) boss has made so many remarks about heavy people that are just as cringe-inducing as homophobic or racist remarks (which he also makes!), but I imagine he finds it more socially acceptable.

It's funny you mention the cat weight thing, because it really bothered me when my mom was so obsessive over her cat's weight (which was pretty typical for an older female who had had kittens - not so much fat, but had a hanging down pouch) and would restrict her diet and make these kind of mean comments about her being so fat and lazy. Which, I know - it's a cat and all, but I think it said more about my mom's fat-phobia. (She obsesses about her weight too even though she's always been small, but has always been negative about her self-image, perhaps where I got it from!)

the new girl said...

I'm sad that there was decreased enjoyment of the pants. I still want you to love those pants.

Slim said...

@Jess -- Yes yes yes on the Harry Potter thing.

@Rah -- You're still casting fatness as a sign of a problem, and maybe sometimes it is. But all you can be sure of is that it's a sign of fatness.

There is hope, though, if you talk about society's reaction to weight enough. I'm not sure how long it takes to kick in: My first grader, in an attempt to hurt my feelings, called me fat. My fourth grader leapt in to say that I was not fat (which I realize is irrelevant, and also iffy, because I am in-between) and then to go on to say that even if I were fat, it would not matter, because being fat doesn't make you a bad person.

It occurs to me that perhaps my first grader will just use the information to come up with a better insult. Let's ignore that possibility and focus on the fact that a nine-year-old Gets It.

Alice said...

i think Tess has some very good points (you can't make them never hear it, but it's DIFFERENT if they never hear it from YOU) and anon #1 has some very interesting points re: using the term "fat." it's one of those things that i think i agree with intellectually, but i'm not sure i can handle in practice.

in any event: i think it's important and - as evidenced by all these comments - SO SUPER AWESOME that you continue to be one of the voices speaking out about this.

Tara said...

Excellent post. I am so sorry about Mouse--I know how I felt when I found out my beloved Tigger was down to "a healthy weight," but only because she'd had undiagnosed kidney failure for months. And now I have another kitty fighting both the thyroid & kidney problems, just like Mouse.

It is hard--and dealing with the other weight-related crap just makes it worse. I was aghast at the irony recently when flipping through some parenting magazine and seeing one article about "loving your mommy body," and then--at the end of the magazine, as part of a "funny" bit--something about how summer makes all moms realize that "the only body parts that are smokin' hot in your tankini are your thighs, when you sit on the hot car seat." WTF? Talk out of both sides of your mouth much, people?

Hugs to you & to Mouse. And enjoy those comfy pants.

Jen said...

I was telling my mom the other day about a Biggest Loser contestant who said the show gave her an eating disorder. My mom's response? "Well, at least she's not over-weight anymore." WTF mom? And my mom is a smart woman, a kind woman, a woman who has struggled with food issues and body image issues her whole life. I think her reaction is the same one that a lot of people would have to that story. It's really sad.

I'm sorry you felt bad about your new pants. I bet you looked super cute in them.

parkingathome said...

WOW. If my husband had said that to me, I would immediately become bulemic. IMMEDIATELY. Because in my head it would go: Ok, so healthy weight means sick and throwing up everything and he loves the cat and says he loves me so he must think i'm not healthy and therefore grotesque and I need to be ill and throw up everything I eat until I'm half MY weight. Which...I guess is pretty much what I think all the time anyway so I guess it's not too far of a journey. But damn, if my husband said it, I would be DONE.

Luckily, my husband uses the term "summer selves" as in "When we're our summer selves, we'll be able to go hiking easier." I like the phrase because it makes me laugh and doesn't hurt, like the extra pounds are just insulation waiting to be removed when it's hot.

One thing that kills both Hubs and myself is the fact that every time Hubs' father calls him, he mentions not raising MM fat. This makes me so irate because THEY raised HUBS fat. Their gross negligence, food as apologies, neglect with "here's five dollars go get yourself some lunch" and of course the CHILD buys a SUPERSIZED BIG MAC meal EVERY DAY, and the general lack of or fucked up nutrition knowledge his parents have, I am sometimes amazed he's alive. HE is the one that went vegitarian, started exercising, and got HEALTHY. All they saw was that he lost weight. And they still call him his nickname, Pig. PIG. Can you imagine?!

I'm sure MM will go through his own version of learning about weight issues. There's Hubs' life, there's my mom who was told she couldn't eat this and that and nitpicked to death by her mother, there was me who wasn't nitpicked but instead was told that HER mother would have said blah blah so the message was still loud and clear, and then there's my brother-in-law, who was so offended he almost hated me when, in the early days of knowing him, I told him he was so skinny! To me, a huge compliment. To him, it was like if someone said I was HUGE. We all have our crap we have to deal with with how we look, and just have to muddle through the best we can, I guess.

Mama Bub said...

I try to avoid all comments about size, fat, thin, short, tall, because I worry that at three he's attaching value to those words. But, the reality is that he IS tall for his age and everyone says so. I have no idea how to create a world in which tall isn't better than short (do we have to start saying LESS TALL?) much less thin better than fat.

Then there was my husband calling the maxi dress I was wearing yesterday to disguise my post-pregnancy body a muu muu that really confused the issue for me. Was it fair because I was definitely trying to hide something?

Nobody puts this in those What to Expect books.

willikat said...

Oy. I can only imagine how that felt. And only because you wrote about it so eloquently.

I have a couple of points... science is discovering that actually many "fat" people are healthier than "skinny" people. They have lower cholesterol, etc. I am only using "fat" and "skinny" because those are the words society uses and they hold no value judgment from me.

Two: as a style editor I can safely say that actually stripes often slim people down, even horizontal stripes. :)

You are wonderful. Just remember that. ...I'm sorry about your cat. That is never easy.

Anonymous said...

"That it's okay to suggest that there are certain things They shouldn't wear, since those types of clothing emphasize what is clearly a negative thing to be hidden."

I think it bothers me more that we live in a society where people wear inappropriate clothing. In your home is one thing, but when you are out in public - regardless of size - it is disgusting that people dress in form fitting clothing that shows every nook and cranny of their bodies. I think it is certainly ok to suggest that people not wear certain things, and I'd rather hear it out of love from my 5th grader than know that everyone is thinking it without expressing it while I am out in public. You're being too harsh on your child - he loves you and wants you to be healthy.

Caitlin said...

Anonymous, are you kidding?? Did you even read what Swistle wrote? This had nothing to do with health. Her son's comment was a remark about WEARING STRIPES and not about HEALTH.

I don't even understand what you're saying. On the one hand it seems you think that it's okay for Swistle to do as she wishes inside her home, WHERE THIS COMMENT TOOK PLACE, and on the other hand, she should NOT wear the pants and be glad her 5th grader made an off-hand comment that made her feel badly and maybe even THANK HIM for it?
Also, By your logic, if someone told a skinny person not to wear that hoochie mama belly shirt, or a woman with ample cleavage to cover it up it would be because of HEALTH reasons. ...LOGICAL.

Slim said...

"I think it is certainly ok to suggest that people not wear certain things"

Oh, definitely. I do not let my children wear parkas in the summer, because that is a health risk. We're only concerned about health, right?


"I'd rather hear it out of love from my 5th grader than know that everyone is thinking it without expressing it while I am out in public."

And these are the only two options in your world? Because if no one is saying anyone, I am able to think the best of people and assume that the whole world has better things to do than evaluate my fashion choices.

Swistle said...

Anonymous- You have got to be kidding me. There are so many problems with this, one of which being, are you familiar with 11-year-olds? Mine at least has zero concern for my health, and was only discussing some cruel remark he'd heard about stripes and fat people and how they don't go together. Also, since I'm talking about loose, comfy pants, and since I made it clear I wear them for evening/bedtime, I don't know what the part about gross nooks in public is about.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I'm sorry. It is hard to change the way people think about weight.

LoriD said...

I have a nine-year-old daughter - she and her friends are *obsessed* with height right now. That's right... height! I was getting an almost daily report about who is taller than whom and who has a bigger shoe size (bigger is better in their world). My daughter has made comments about someone's eating habits accounting for the fact that they are short. It seems ridiculous, but it has given us a forum to discuss how people can't control their height, body type or shoe size and how comments about these things can be very hurtful. It's very sad that children so young are already focussed on such superficial matters.

Swistle said...

Hi, anonymous! Want to leave that comment again with some identifying information? No? Then we know where we stand, don't we.

goingloopy said...

I think you should post a picture of yourself in the pants, and tell us wherefore you procured said pants. My fat ass needs some new jammies, and I too usually wear the men's versions, but am open to soft, comfy, striped suggestions.

I feel you about the kitty thing...my cat has thyroid issues, is down from 9 lbs to 6.5, and my other (old) cats are getting smaller too. It kills me. And it kills me that people think that being fat is like, worse than cancer.

All you can do is try to change people's viewpoints, one person at a time. I think it's personally awesome that, out of 50 comments, only one was from a fat-hating, anonymous troll.

d e v a n said...

stupid society. Seriously.

Val said...

Ow and yes. I've been a size 6 and a size 24 and everywhere in-between, and it's just. . .Where to begin? Huge subject. And that kids learn about "stripes" at such an early age.. .Geesh.