Your Source for Feminist Discourse

My Size Is Not Up For Discussion

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.

  1. “I love how small you are” –So that’s what you love, huh?
  2. “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.
  3. “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.
  4. “Wow you are really small, are you gluten free or anything?” I responded with “No I’m not,” and this is what happened next:
  5. “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.

11 Responses to “My Size Is Not Up For Discussion”

  1. cervixsays

    Reblogged this on cervixsays and commented:
    I’ve been naturally thin my whole life and have heard all sorts of these same hateful, hurtful sentiments from people around me. From one thin gal to another, thank you!

    Reply
  2. runesandrhinestones

    I do agree with this – I love that in your post you didn’t do the awful “but what about thin-shaming” and focussed more on the fact that any sort of body shaming is awful. I don’t understand how anyone feels that it is their place to comment on the appearance of others!

    Reply
    • ChelleBelle

      Yes that was my goal so I’m glad it came across like that! I feel like most blogs surrounding this issue (fat or thin shaming) are taking sides against each other when it’s really the same issue –body shaming as a whole. I’m a big believer in saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Reply
  3. SarahStar77

    This is an an awesome post. I really like how you brought up that “tiny or petite girls” like myself and others get body shamed just as much. I have had similar experiences that you have had. Many people need to realize fat shaming is not the only form of attacking a woman for her appearance. All women no matter what shape or size they are have been critiqued and this goes for men too. Even skinny girls something that society seems to idolize get just as much criticism. Anyone and everyone can become shamed of their body and this really needs to stop. Nobody has the same exact body and that is what makes them beautiful. I also like that you brought up the breast size comment , as that has nothing to do with someone being pretty and YES size no matter what DOESN’T MATTER. You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
    • ChelleBelle

      aw thank you! You are beautiful too 🙂 glad some of this resonated with you! I actually had a conversation with my guy friend about this post before I wrote it which led to me adding the section about everyone receiving criticism about their bodies. If men and women, big and small, are all being attacked for how they look…shouldn’t we all know how it feels? And stop?? Thanks for the comment!!

      Reply
  4. mscherhorowitz

    I really appreciate the perspective that you bring with this article. True, sometimes we neglect how nearly all women are shamed for their bodies at some point no matter what size they are. However, I think it really is important to distinguish that from fat-shaming because there is a certain stigma society places on fat women that thinner women do not experience, because they are the so-called “standard”. This doesn’t mean smaller women are exempt from receiving negative comments, because men seem to feel they have a right to judge all women’s bodies, but the discrimination fat women face really is an entirely different issue.

    Reply
  5. cpowell92

    You are completely right when you say that people mostly talk about fat shaming and never stop to think that body shaming in general is wrong. People always put so much energy into worrying about how “fat” they are or how “large” other girls are in comparison. There are other body issues that people face too. Of course, it is sad that people have to face any scrutiny about their bodies at all. No one has to right to comment on the body of another. Their opinion does not need to be shared because there really is no right or wrong body. Girls are the worst in my opinion. Why do they have to tear each other down? If we felt respected and supported by fellow women there would be far less self-esteem issues which would then lower the desire to hurt others in the first place. I am so glad you blogged about this and it really speaks on an important issue for women and men!

    Reply
  6. V

    Late to the party, but I love this. I hate how trying to stand up to body shaming, particularly on the thin side, never seems to succeed. I’ve told people what they’ve said is offensive and the response: “Not really, it’s kinda a compliment.” “Kinda” a compliment means it is NOT a compliment.

    Reply
    • ChelleBelle

      Totally agree with you V. Thanks for your thoughts, I’ve received the same kind of comments so you are not alone!!

      Reply
  7. sextoytesters

    Late here as well but had to say I agree with self positive image and as a small thin woman always felt inferior almost like I had to come up with an excuse as to why I was who I was. I am always surprised at the comments that are made and seemingly acceptable, and many times made by someone who would be offended (understandably) if they were directed to them. Thank you for posting about this!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: