Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tall and thin isn't great

I normally try to keep the blog a complain-free zone.  Today you're going to have to excuse me while I throw a temper tantrum.

"Oh my gosh, you are soooo skinny!"
Every single one of us have said it at some point in time.  Please, let's every single one of us erase this sentence from our vocabulary.  As well-meaning as it may be, it is often not well-received.

1. You wouldn't walk up to someone who's overweight and say, "Oh my gosh, you are sooooo fat."  Would you?

2. A lot of times it's followed up with a concern--either verbally or mentally--about how much the "stick" eats.  I understand and appreciate the concern.  Eating disorders are a problem in today's society, absolutely.  But do you really think your question about how much he/she eats is really the best way to approach the (suspected) problem?  I have a close friend who has strugged with an eating disorder.  She says comments, even complements, on her weight now are well-meaning but they make her cringe.  She hates words like "healthy" and "well" because of the connotations they have, even if those connotations are ones she's put on them.

As someone who has always been skinny, the question about what I eat is down right obnoxious and, frankly, borderline rude.  If you want to know about my eating habits, watch me devour a steak dinner.  It was delicious the first time.  There is no possible way I'd like to taste it a second.

3. "Try finding pants that fit." 
That's usually my response to people who feel the need to give me this counter-productive complement.  I've written many a blog-rant from fitting rooms as I'm choking back tears of frustrations.  It happened again today.  Before we left on our shopping excursion, Laura, Mom, and I took measurements.  My waist?  Yup, ended in a .5.  Hips?  --.75.  Inseam?  --.25.  It's no wonder clothes don't fit me!  We arrived at the store, and I picked out a pair of jeans one .5 larger than my measured waist.  They were great... if I were going for a muffin-top look.  I searched for pants one size bigger (which is really two sizes since all of the pants were even numbered).  Perfect, if I wanted to store a book in the back of my pants.  Mom miraculously was able to find the odd number, the middle size.  Too small in the front; too big in the back.  Just my luck!  Discouraged, we left, and I realized I have one alternative to this constant fight: nudist colony.

Please, I beg you, just leave the weight subject alone. If you must make a complement about a physical aspect of a girl's body, pick her hair, her eyes, her smile.  Tell her she's beautiful but don't use her weight to justify your opinion.

Thanks for letting me vent.  I'd love to hear your thoughts, if you agree or if you think I'm crazy.

<>< Katie

3 comments:

StorytellERdoc said...

LOL...Katie, you are soooo funny. Oops, I mean sooooo not funny (but I would be lying). The heck with it, you ARE sooooo funny.

Hope all is well, skinny girl! LOL

Jim

Casey said...

Great point, Katie! I'm sorry you had a hard time finding pants, but it really is a good reminder to everyone - let's leave the weight subject alone! :) Blessings to you!

Casey

April Shelton said...

Who doesn't want to store a book in the back of their pants? :) My students over here are all the time going "Teacher - soft!" Apparently being squishy isn't a bad thing to a 7 year old who wants a hug!

Weight is just one of those odd things that make us who we are.