Women Share How People Treated Them Differently As They Gained Or Lost Weight
When I was 10, my sister told me that she overheard a girl in my school bus fat-shame me in front of my supposedly best friend. All of us were kids and I understand they didn’t know any better. But as a child who had no acquaintance with body shaming, it really bothered me. I was a chubby kid and after that, I voluntarily went on a diet, to lose weight without actually telling anyone about it. I’d give my tiffin away to my friends and eat very little. Within no time, I was skinny AF but it kind of made me very conscious of my body. When I went to college, girls would come up to me and say I had an amazing figure and all that. Guys would never see me as a friend and crush on me, just on the basis of looks. It felt all too shallow. Yes, the attention was flattering but I deserved real friendship and not being sexualised. Plus, I don’t want a person liking me just for my looks!
I have met people who very evidently spoke only to attractive women nicely and would want them to be around. And I disliked them! But my competence was undermined too. I remember a fellow woman contender in a college competition that worked on the same principles of Roadies saying I was not a strong one because you know, I looked fragile. PS: I was the only girl in top 10 and won it performing all the physical and mental tasks well!
When I got into my 20s, my weight has fluctuated. I experienced a lot of fat-shaming from my well-meaning family and friends. They thought it’s okay to constantly comment on my food, and my body “jokingly” and expect me to laugh at it. Suddenly, I became the butt of all fat jokes, and honestly, my body image issues were born out of people making me feel bad about having gained. So much that even when I was just 48 kgs (I’m 5’3) I thought I needed to become thinner. I didn’t feel comfortable wearing anything that even remotely showed that I am a human with a tummy. Eventually, when I realised that in the end, you just have to love your own body and be healthy for yourself, my relationship with food and my appearance improved.
During the time I was like skinny AF, I didn’t struggle with having to tell people to keep their nose out of my appetite. When I gained weight, the struggle to not let snide remarks affect my self-esteem was very real. I took me a lot of self-assurance and self-love to politely tell my loved ones to back off and be happy. I lost weight again but this time, it’s for myself and not so a bunch of shallow people can treat me better.
So when someone asked on Reddit, how weight changes made people treat them differently, and several women came forward to share their experiences. And here’s the thing, when you’ve experienced both sides, you know how pathetic society is.
“I was chubby before and I’ve lost a bit of weight lately and yes, thin privilege does exist. I was called names in school when I was fat and ignored in college and now it’s totally different treatment that I get,” a woman shared. Another lady spoke about back-handed compliments, “My moms friend came up to me at a gathering just to say “you look so much better now. That weight wasn’t pretty on you.” Like…. can you be more rude,” she wrote. Really, compliment a person’s progress but don’t go in the past and fat shame people!
“I was a normal weight, though curvy, through high school and gained a good amount of weight after dropping out of college. I also cut my hair short and didn’t tend to wear makeup at the time. The transition from being smiled at, doors opened, people going out of their way to help me, to sometimes feeling like people were angry at me for making them look at me, was jarring. I have lost weight now and returned to being fairly ‘conventionally attractive’, but I don’t trust the kindness of others the way I used to,” a woman wrote. Same, dude, same!
“In terms of dating and relationships, I know many women who are into “teddy bears” and larger-sized guys. I have known almost NO men in my entire life who will admit to being into larger girls, and the ones that do are often treated terribly by other men. A guy I previously dated is only sexually and romantically attracted to larger women (and wanted to have a secret fat fwb) but will only publicly date thin women because it’s that socially unacceptable to date someone fat,” a woman shared. I have seen a bunch of such people too. I have known men who would happily date bigger women but not many of them would do it openly. If you are ashamed of your girl then please either grow some balls or find someone else.
“Oh, and men who do find you attractive tend to act like they are doing you a favor. Thanks Rick, but I’ll pass,” a woman wrote.
A woman asked if that’s the reason her skinny friends can make friends with strangers easily? “As a woman who has never been skinny, these responses terrify me. Am I really missing that much warmth from the world? Is this why my skinny friends can go to a bar alone and make a pack of new friends, when that has never happened for me,” she questioned.
There’s a lot of skinny shaming too and while women said they don’t have it as hard as women who are fat shamed, they still have their own body image issues to fight against. “Here are some shitty things that have been said to me (by men and women): Thinner women are easier to rape, Can you even have kids?? Wouldn’t you just snap in half if you got pregnant?, You’re just skin and bones, nothing to cuddle at night, You should put on more weight, it would make your man happier!, You need to eat some burgers!!, You’re so thin you could pass for a preteen boy, Do they even sell bras in your size? I mean why even wear one? You don’t need the support.,You look like you have cancer or something lol, I could just throw you and pin you down, you wouldn’t be able to get me off! Are your parents feeding you?” a woman shared.
“When I worked in person, I would regularly get comments about my food if it was relatively healthy, like my chicken and rice was somehow an insult to my coworkers lunch when I really didn’t care what they ate. If I ate something they deemed “unhealthy” I would have to listen to them insult their own bodies for 30 minutes and proclaim me as so “lucky” while I just wanted to enjoy my own food. They would make comments about how thin and alternate between saying it was unfair (if I was eating something “unhealthy”) or implying that I was starving myself (if I was eating something “healthy”). It sucked and made me feel like I did not belong,” a woman wrote. “Don’t comment on people’s food – I get that the insecurity we all feel as women is real but it’s not right to push it on other women who just want to exist. The worst was one of them seeing I had a thigh gap (which I had at my heaviest because ITS DUE TO BONE STRUCTURE NOT WEIGHT!), and she started sharing “articles” about how having a thigh gap means you have a loose vagina,” she added.
ALSO READ: Woman On Twitter Called Out Fat Shaming But Ended Up Invalidating Thin People’s Struggles. Empathy Has To Be Inclusive!
Another woman added how she now gets catcalled, which is just as pathetic as being invisible when she was bigger. “I get harassed a lot more on the street too. It really contributes to my eating disorder in so many ways. Thin privilege exists, but it doesnt mean thin people dont have their own issues. I was treated REALLY badly as a larger person. It fucking sucks,” she wrote.
Why are women so scrutinised for their weight? We are autonomous beings and what we do with our bodies is no one’s business. If you not give me attention because I gained weight, you’re a piece of shit. If you give me attention because I lost weight, you’re still a piece of shit. And people who think they can comment on whether you are eating too much or too little, make jokes about your size, can take their shallowness and shove it where it belongs.