Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words could definitely kill me. As a communications major, this is the saying that I go by. Words hurt, worse than any kind of physical pain I have ever felt.
“Wow, I bet you can really throw her around.” –An actual statement that was said to my ex-boyfriend by one of his friends. I was sitting right there. What did I say? Nothing. I said nothing. I was so shocked that he could even say something like that upon first meeting me and I felt so awkward, uncomfortable and self-conscious that I couldn’t even formulate a comeback. This is something I have had to deal with countless times since. I decided to compile a few of the many comments I’ve gotten over the years into a list so I can expose this phenomenon.
- “I love how small you are” –So that’s what you love, huh?
- “Well it’s good for you; anything will look big to her.” –Really? Let me tell you something, just because a girl is small doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what big is…if ya know what I mean.
- “You would be really pretty if you had tits” –Because tits and your approval are totally what I live for. This was said to me by a female.
- “Wow you are really small, are you gluten free or anything?” I responded with “No I’m not,” and this is what happened next:
- “Oh yeah my roommate is really tiny too, but she’s gluten free so it at least makes sense.” –Once again, this was said to me by a female. I would never, never ever think of saying something like that to someone. If I called someone out on being overweight, everyone in the room would freak out. This happened at a get together where many people heard, yet no one said anything. I was mortified.
So from men, I get the message that my body is the only thing valuable about myself. From other women, I get the message that my body is weird or ugly. Mixed messages much? How can anyone have a positive body image when they keep hearing all of these different, conflicting comments?
I find that I really needed to put this out there because I’ve read a lot of blog posts about fat shaming, yet no one talks about the fact that body shaming has nothing to do with fat vs. thin. Commenting on someone else’s body is offensive and hurtful no matter what. My theory is that everyone has endured harsh (sometimes brutal) critiques about their body, so we should all understand how awful it is. It doesn’t matter what size you are, we need to end body-shaming all together and stop focusing on “fat” or “thin” shaming and which is the “real issue.”
It took me a long time to accept and love my body and realize that I am more than my appearance. I am a sister, a daughter, intelligent, ambitious, a writer, a singer, a hairstylist, a great friend and many many more things. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, this is what makes humans such a unique species. Love yourself and your body no matter what kind of scrutiny you have received. You are beautiful, you are unique and you are you. Nobody can take that from you, even if they try to with their hurtful words.