Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Body, My Business

I work in the airport behind a counter full of chocolate. It's not glamorous, but it pays the bills. This post is for all the people who ask me, "How do you stay so skinny?" "Wow, I'm surprised you don't weigh more" or my personal favorite, "Thin girls shouldn't be allowed to sell chocolate."

I hear these comments and variants thereof every single day. To all those people: Who exactly do you think you are?

Where did you dig up the idea that you have the right to make any sort of comments about my weight? You wouldn't (I hope) tell the cashier in an organic foods market that she weights too much to sell vegetables. (Actually, I'm afraid there are more people willing to do that than I'd like to believe.) If my appearance is making you feel insecure enough that you can't buy a treat for yourself, that's not my problem, it's yours.

I am the only one who has to deal with my body. Trust me, I am one-hundred and eighty degrees away from being anorexic, not that you were concerned. I am gripped by very strong positive feelings about food-- if you want to get me somewhere just tell me that they'll be providing cake. I'm there.

That someone would make comments like these-- and I'm sure the majority are meant as compliments-- completely baffles me. I, believe it or not, spend too much time feeling fat and insecure and unattractive. Just because your comments are meant to be "positive" ones does nothing to change that. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take "too skinny" as a compliment. What if I was battling anorexia or some other illness? This national obsession with 'thin' is giving us millions of women with eating disorders, warped self-images, and self-esteem that can best be described as non-existent.

And anyway, I'm not actually that thin. I'm average, and could do with being in much better shape. If you are surprised by the concept that someone can work at a chocolate shop without being morbidly obese, I think you really need to rethink your worldview.

And in a note to all those men who feel entitled to call me "sweetheart", "honey", "dear", and all the other little endearments because those are the words you automatically associate with women: Shut up. Seriously. You are offensive.

Sincerely,
Rebecca


2 comments:

  1. Amen. People are stupid. No matter the intention behind a comment about a complete stranger's weight, it's going to come out sounding offensive. So do everyone a favor and just keep it to yourself. And men are pigs. The end.

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  2. so true! what great insight on people and their careless comments. i hate hate hate it when people use those ridiculous terms of endearments. nothing is more awkward that someone you don't know calling you sweetheart, what do they mean by that? are they being sarcastic? rude? demeaning? i feel like there's no good time to use a term of endearment on someone you do not know.

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