Posted by: CeCe | July 20, 2012

5 Things that never happen to skinny people

Well here I am again after a much longer absence than I meant to take; I’ve been taking care of me more than other things, including updating here.  But the last couple of days I’ve had an idea for a post floating around in my mind, so I’d like to go ahead and put it out there.  Let me say this first though, and pay attention:
I am not writing this to engender pity for those who are overweight.  This is simply a response to something I saw, and something I’ve heard/seen other people say/write, which I think needs to addressed.

Recently, there was controversy over what a certain pro-skinny blogger said about model Kate Upton being a “cow”.  I’m not going to write about this, because I think it’s been done to death.  But there was something else that this blogger said that had me shaking my head and wondering under which rock she’s been living to say what she said, which is basically that people have no problems telling people that they’re too skinny, but they never say anything when a person is too fat.  As someone who has struggled with being overweight for most of my life (and I’ve only just now begun to take control of it and am seeing the number on the scale change for the better), I can honestly say that people who think this are deluding themselves.

Yes, I know that people who are super-skinny have to put up with being called names like “stick” and “beanpole”, and that’s wrong.  They also get remarks like how they need to eat more, “eat a cheeseburger”, “have a sandwich”, or “stop puking up everything you eat!”  And that’s also wrong.  However, to think that fat people never hear anything about their weight?  Wow.  Just… wow.  So here are some things that will never, ever happen to you if you’re skinny, so long as you fall within what is considered the “normal” height:

1)  You will never receive dirty looks if you choose to sit down on the bus or train.  Remember how I said that I’ve been overweight for most of my life?  I’ve worked in jobs that have had me on my feet for 8-14 hours straight.  And yet, when I dared to sit down on the bus after working such a long shift, people would glare at me as though I’d been sitting all day.  They’d assume that I was lazy, instead of thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was completely exhausted from working all day.  Which brings me to my next point.

2)  You never have to worry about people assuming that you’re lazy.  Even if you are.  Even if you really do sit on your butt all day and consume 3000+ calories a day, no one is ever going to assume that about you.  People will look at you and nod approvingly, and think, “See, here’s a person who takes care of themselves!”  They don’t know that your cholesterol and blood pressure are through the roof, and you’re on the verge of needing triple-bypass surgery because of your lifestyle.  They just assume that you’re perfectly healthy and you work hard to keep yourself that way, just because you’re skinny.  Even if it’s not true at all.

3)  You will never have to worry about being too skinny to fit in a spot.  The whole world is made for skinny people.  When you are fat, there are constant reminders that you are fat.  Seats are made for skinny people.  Seat belts on planes are made for skinny people.  Aisles on buses, trains, and planes are all made for skinny people.  I’m not complaining, I’m saying it because it’s true.  And the reason it’s important to remember this is because the fact of the matter is that if you’re fat, there’s no way you can forget about it.  You can avoid the scale all you want, avoid full-length mirrors, ignore the whispers and the pointed looks, avoid buying clothes in larger sizes, or whatever, but you can’t ignore the fact that your butt is too large to fit in a seat, or that you have to struggle to fit in the aisles between seats in public transportation.

4)  You will never have people glare at you when you eat out, even if you do so every day.  When you’re fat, it doesn’t matter if you’re choosing the healthiest dishes on the menu.  It doesn’t matter if this is a rare treat for you.  If you are fat and you dare to venture out to eat at a restaurant, people will glare at you and assume that you’re ordering the largest, highest-calorie, highest-fat food on the menu in quadruple portions and are going to eat every bite.  And still have room for dessert.  This will never happen to you if you’re skinny.  If you’re skinny and you order a Double Quarter Pounder meal large-sized with a regular Coke, it’s no big deal.  But if you’re fat, ordering the same thing makes you a pig.

5)  You will never have to worry about people being hesitant to touch you, or return your smile.  When you’re the opposite of what is considered attractive in society, and everyone has this idea that there’s some magic button you can push to make yourself attractive, people will not only find you repulsive, they’ll act like it.  When you smile at someone, they’ll look at you as though you’re a pile of crap on their shoe.  When you hold out your hand for them to shake it, they’ll act as though fat is contagious, and they’re going to catch it.  Even if your face is not what is considered attractive, many people will at least have enough sense to treat you with the tiniest bit of respect.  But when you’re fat, no one respects you, at least unless or until they get to know you and realize that you’re human after all.

Now I know what some people are thinking.  “Well, fat people deserve it, if they weren’t so lazy and stupid they’d be skinny like me!”  What you fail to understand is that if you have never had a weight problem, it’s like you were born on the summit of a very high mountain, and you’re looking down on those near the bottom who either fell, or never worked their way up.  When you’re near the bottom, reaching the top is hard.  And the reason it’s hard is because what often happens is a person doesn’t feel they’re making any progress, so they stop, and they wind up falling even further.  Imagine trying to climb up the side of a mountain with absolutely no idea how high up the summit is, or even whether or not you’re walking in the right direction, and imagine how motivated you would be to get there.  Not very, right?  That’s how it feels to be overweight and trying to fix it.  If you are very overweight, it can take months, if not years, to reach your goal weight.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.

My point, however, is this:  The blogger and other people who say that fat people need to be told that they’re fat are flat wrong.  There may be a very tiny percentage of fat people who aren’t aware that they’re fat, but the vast majority are very well aware.  And again, I’m not asking for sympathy/pity, because I neither want nor need either one.  I just think it’s stupid that some people have this idea that overweight people don’t know they’re overweight, and they need to be told.

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Responses

  1. […] 5 Things that never happen to skinny people (aseekersmusings.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponTumblrEmailDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  2. Well said, these are things the skinny never think about 🙂

    • Thank you!

  3. Cece, I need to add a 6th one here, which is just making me fume. Don’t assume that because an overweight person is sitting on a motorized scooter or in a wheelchair, that it’s because they are too lazy to exercise.

    On a Facebook wall is a picture of an overweight person sitting in a handicapped section and the comments are incredibly rude and insensitive. I’m outraged. Considering that many people don’t realize that a handicap can be something not visible, such as respiratory, cardiac or body joint problems,,,a lot of medical issues that require handicap parking or handicapped access are internal medical problems. Unless you see that person sprinting or walking briskly before or afterwards, don’t assume that the person is just lazy.

    P.S. Straight from the heart, as usual CeCe! Great blog.

    • I absolutely agree with this one. People assume that the person is using the motorized scooter or wheelchair because they’re fat… what if they’re fat because they’re disabled? There’s just no way to know.

    • And thank you!

  4. […] 5 Things that never happen to skinny people (aseekersmusings.wordpress.com) Share this:FacebookPinterestEmailPrintLike this:Like3 bloggers like this. […]

  5. […] a lot, and decided that it was time to write a post regarding this phenomenon.  I’ve written before about how there are things that will only ever happen to someone when they are overweight, and this […]

  6. that last point is wrong. as a 22yr old 5’5″ 97.2lb girl whose favorite things in the world are her camera, her dog, and hugging people, I can tell you, you’re wrong. I’ve been denied hugs because they thought they would brake me, and I’ve been told I couldn’t join a group to a concert because no one wanted to have to guard me if a mosh pit started, telling me I’m too fragile to take anywhere… also, in response to the first bit, maybe I’m just more accepting of others, but I definitely get glared at for being skinny more than I’ve ever noticed people mentioning my thicker friends’ weights… being overly small, I tend to like thicker people (they put off more heat in the winter) more than thin people, though I go out of my way to never mention that to them (I wouldn’t want them thinking I care about their weight, rather than them as individuals,) I’ve never met a single person who didn’t comment on the fact that I’m tiny. I had a girl follow me into the bathroom one day back in high school to see if I was throwing up my lunch, then asked me if I’m bulimic (I never missed school, but I was definitely sick that day, and I had only eaten 1 bite of my lunch before rushing to the bathroom to puke. for bulimia, you have to eat more than that… and throw up more than once a semester probably…)

    my question is this: why does one have to be better than the other? why can’t we call it “different,” and leave it at that?

    • Morgan, I had no idea. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I suppose I had no idea that “underweight” women were judged just as unfairly as those who are overweight.

      I agree, we should stop assuming things about one another, and just accept each other’s differences. I hope you’ll stop by again and share more of your thoughts. 🙂

  7. in response to the comments of wheelchairs, I have a friend who was once my size (5’5″ 97lb), fractured her spine (being run over by a drunk driver on her way home from work), gained 300lb while in the hospital, and is now in motorized chair because her body frame was literally not built to handle that much weight. she can’t walk anymore at all due to the sidewalk at our college being uneven and dumping her out of her chair… jarred her back, doc said next time she tries walking, she could paralyze herself.

    • Morgan, that’s so sad about your friend. I wonder how many people judge her harshly without knowing anything about her. 😦 Thank you for sharing that!


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