Let’s NOT Talk about Each Other’s Bodies, OK?

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“You gross whore.”
“YOU ARE SO BIG.”
“HA! I don’t want anyone to know about what we fucked!”
“What a fat pig!”
“Should you really be eating that?”

Even all these years of living as a larger than average person in our society, it is still surprising to me what people will say to a fat woman.  Isn’t it terrible? Feel lucky if this isn’t something you have to think about every damn day. However, for the rest of us, how do you handle shitty comments that come into your head from outside sources?

People who have bodies that are different from cultural standards face commentary from family, friends, partners, employers, medical professionals, salespeople, and strangers. From concern trolling to crude sexual invitations to straight up random negativity, I have heard it all and I bet you have too. Here are a few suggestions for how to handle this situation.

Keep calm and take a breath
It is important to keep your head about you and realize that these comments are often less about you and more about the issues of the person saying them. When you hold onto that thought, it makes it easier to disengage and not personalize it. Take a few breaths and clear your head. These comments see to come out of the blue so often that it can be hard to figure out how to respond.

Make a decision
Not everyone merits a reaction. Strangers on the street, internet, or wherever? Fuck no. Anything you say to those assholes is ok. Your mom or doctor? Different situation as you will have to deal with those repercussions so a more thoughtful response is a good path.

Respond or not
There is a multitude of ways to react when someone says something shitty and invasive about your body. Again, you don’t owe anyone anything. If you want to react, here are a few approaches to consider:

  • Turn and walk away
  • “I make it a policy not to comment on people’s bodies (health, appearance, etc.) and would appreciate if you do the same with me.”
  • “Are you familiar with the Health at Any Size movement? Here is a linkso that you can educate yourself. http://haescommunity.com/”
  • “My body is my business and not yours.”
  • “Fuck you”
  • “I do not want you to comment about my body. If you do again, the consequence will be x,” with x=something that works for you.
  • Humor. “You wish!” or “More to love!” or “I wouldn’t fuck you with someone else’s vagina” are good standbys but “I will outlive you when the world goes dark and industry ceases to exist” is a nice dark spin.

Remember this
The most important thing is to realize that these comments do not have power over what you think or how you feel. You can pick a thought about these comments that doesn’t leave you feeling devastated. Terrible people are out there but how they affect you is up to you.

If learning how to fight off the effects of negative comments appeals to you, come to the Beyond the Curve retreat in NOLA, October 7-10, 2016!  We will teach you all this and more!

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