The Skinny Girl Rant

It was your typical last day of school. I walked hand in hand with my three year old daughter, enjoying the breeze of a warm sunny day lightly tease her golden curls. I let go of her hand and watched her run to her best preschool friend as I joined the girl’s mother for the rest of the walk to our cars. We exchanged the normal small talk and answered questions about plans for the summer. Then she said, “We should get the girls together sometime over the break.” I suggested swimming because it’s summer in Texas, and it’s hot.

She stopped in the middle of the parking lot, looked down her nose and scowled at me as she said, “Well I’m not going swimming with you. Maybe if you had more of a mommy body,” and then walked to her car like she didn’t just insult me. In front of my daughter.

I said nothing, waved her farewell, and buckled my daughter into her little safety seat. Then I sat in my car, hands firmly gripping my steering wheel, shaking my head wondering what gave that other mother the right to talk to me that way, to make me feel bad about my body, to look at me with disgust.

Why is this acceptable?  Why did I not say something to defend myself? Why did I let her talk to me that way? Not only did she shame me in front of my daughter, she did it in front of her daughter, too. She pointed out our differences as if appearance is all that matters. What does this say to our girls?

I’m angry.

I’m disappointed.

I’m hurt.

And I’m sick of it.

differentTruth: people have been saying things like this to me my entire life. Some things were worse. As a teenager, I was mocked for being thin, for not having boobs, for not having curves. Kids teased me relentlessly calling me “twiggy” or “lil’ bit” or my favorite “mosquito bites.” Girls constantly said, “Why don’t you eat a hamburger…or two?” And when they felt kinder, they said things like “You’re so skinny,” which was not a compliment.

Today I often hear, “You’re just so lucky because you’re naturally thin.” “It must be nice to get to eat what you want and not gain weight.”  “You must have good genes.”

What if I turned the table on the other mother at the school? What if I said, “Nah, I don’t want to go swimming with you because you haven’t lost all of your baby weight?” What if I said, “Maybe you should eat fewer hamburgers?”

That would be called fat shaming. We’ve read the articles. We’ve nodded along, appalled at the audacity of people to hurt other people for their weight. We argue that it needs to stop. Yet, when we flip the coin, and the skinny girl sits in the hot seat, it is suddenly okay that she gets berated for her body type.  It’s okay for that mom to tell me that my body isn’t good enough to be in a swimsuit in front of her. It’s okay for someone to tell me that my figure is disgusting. It’s okay for someone to say to me, “Eat more.”

And that is the definition of a double standard.

I have a confession to make. I absolutely hate to wear a swimsuit in front of another woman, and it’s not because I don’t like my body. I hate the judgment. I loathe the looks, the whispers, the mean girls who so clearly are talking about me, so this summer, I even bought a special swimsuit to wear around the other mommies.  And then I took it back. Because I refuse to cover up my body for the sake of someone else. I refuse to allow another mom to make me feel bad about being fit. I refuse to succumb to the mean girls.

Let me clarify something. I work really hard to maintain my weight. I spend hours in the gym. I go to bed sore every night. Every.Single.Night. I don’t keep junk food in my house because I have no will power. I don’t eat fast food (often). I drink about 130 ounces of water a day. I don’t eat after 8:00 pm (except for date nights). I make healthy choices most of the time. I work really hard to maintain my weight, and it doesn’t come naturally.

As a teenager, yes. I was naturally thin…to a fault. Try being sixteen and the only girl without boobs in the locker room. Try being the girl whose ribs stick out no matter how many “hamburgers” she eats. Try being the girl who’s different and can’t do anything about it. Try being the only girl who doesn’t get noticed by the boys because she looks more like them than the girls. While my closest friends were buying sized C bras, I was crying in my bedroom. While they were getting felt up for the first time, I was playing basketball with my brothers.

As I got older, I finally began to gain some weight. When I had a car accident, I was forced to be in a wheelchair, and I gained the much needed freshmen 15.  I missed my legs. I missed aerobics, and as soon as I gained the ability to walk again, I went straight back to the place where I always found solace. The gym.

In my twenties, my metabolism slowed down, I experienced the heartache of infertility, and I gained thirty pounds. I was unhappy. I didn’t feel good about myself. I didn’t like who I saw in my reflection, so I made the decision to lose the weight, to pull out of the darkness, and to carry on with or without a child. I lost the weight. It was a struggle, and I worked really hard to do it.

Several months later, I saw the two lines on the stick for the first time. I gained thirty five pounds, and when I delivered that beautiful baby boy, I only lost 7 lbs. 9 oz.  The other twenty seven pounds didn’t come off over night. I worked my ass off to lose that weight.  And then as soon as I was back in my skinny jeans, I got pregnant again and had to start the process from the beginning.  Why? Because it’s important to me that I like what I see when I look in the mirror. I do it for no other reason. Three years later, I’m in my skinny jeans again, and I’m proud of my body.

I still have insecurities. I still see the places on my body that are forever changed by the precious beings that it carried, but my love for myself is what drives me.  How dare someone say I don’t have a “mommy body?” This body carried two babies, delivered two babies, and nursed two babies from my breasts.  Does it look different than other moms’ bodies? Yes. Is it better than their bodies? No.

Different isn’t better or worse. It’s just different.

It doesn’t matter whether or not I have good genes, or if I’m “naturally thin.” It doesn’t matter if she isn’t thin. None of this matters. It’s not a competition.

We are women.

It’s time we take a united stand and stop shaming each other.

We must break this cycle of meanness. We need to find the good in each other, to point out the beauty that we see, whether it’s external or internal beauty. We need to teach our daughters to do the same, to build someone up rather than tear her down, to make her feel good about herself rather than break her spirit. To remember the Golden Rule. To be proud of her reflection whether or not she sees curves or flab, cellulite or bones, muscle tone or baby weight.

It is our jobs as mothers, aunts, sisters, friends, women, to teach our daughters. We are the ones who are responsible for breaking this mean-girl cycle. We must let our younger generation hear us find value in other women. Stop gossiping. Stop pointing out each other’s flaws. Stop allowing your insecurities to fester into bitterness. Don’t let these girls hear you say, “I’m fat.” “I’m ugly.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not pretty enough.” “I don’t fit in.” Be proud of yourself. Praise yourself. Applaud yourself out loud in front of these girls.

Allow them to join a world where they can find safety and solidarity in the presence of other women rather than shrink or retreat away from them. Pave the road to better self-esteem. Show them they are valuable, no matter what they look like on the outside, by finding value in yourself first.

My name is Mandi. I’m 36.  I’m 5’3”. I weigh 120 pounds, and I’m not ashamed of it.

*****

unnamedMandi is a happy-go-lucky  Texas girl. She loves tell stories, laugh, and have dance parties in her kitchen. She tries to keep life simple and to live on the bright side. To learn more, visit her at: Cellulite Looks Better Tan and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

74 thoughts on “The Skinny Girl Rant

  1. This is everything I’ve always wanted to say. At the end of the day, whether a person is over-weight, skinny, has big boobs, narrow hips, freckles, or green eyes….when we look in the mirror and we aren’t happy we all suffer in the SAME EXACT WAY. I grew up so thin. I wanted to gain weight. I was teased and tormented. Ah this brings back so many bad memories.

    The thing is, it happens still today. Because we can’t say how hard it was to be skinny without someone making less of our pain because we weren’t fat. Pain is pain.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. 1. Nobody should be shamed because of their weight, body type, whatever. Period.

    2. It seems in my limited experience that while “thin shaming” happens among women mostly, “fat shaming” is still considered fair game.

    3. Why do we have to be each other’s worst enemies? I am highly jealous of every woman who is smaller than me, but I recognize that is my issue and not anything they can help, so I don’t let it get to me when interacting with them.

    If anything, I am thrilled that they don’t have to deal with the things I have to. Besides, again, none of my business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t need to be a competition, and I really hate that you would feel jealousy. Even I look at girls at the gym who have better muscle tone or better butts or whatever and sometimes get jealous, but I finally decided that I needed to just stop, to find love for myself, my own reflection, and instead of scoffing at their perfect asses, I walk over and say, “You look great. Keep up the good work.” I can always find something nice to say. In a perfect world, we (women and men) would be able to look past the physical appearance. I can tell you, I may be fit, but that doesn’t even begin to make up who I am. I am the most supportive person you will ever meet. I will always find a way to make someone feel good about himself/herself.

      I don’t know what it’s like to be “fat shamed,” but I think either way, it hurts. It’s not okay, and we have to make it stop. Bullying is never okay, and it needs to end.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I probably should have said, I have had one eating disorder or another since I was very, very young. So “jealousy” of body types is an automatic thing for me and not just limited to “thin” necessarily. I would never hold it against someone or bring it up though.

        I get what you are saying, we know the full story of ourselves and others can’t begin to see or understand. Which is why they need to pipe down.

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    1. I think it’s important to discuss. I doubt there is anyone out there who can look in the mirror and be perfectly happy with everything we see. It’s in our nature (unfortunately). I just hope eventually we can all recognize that in one another and be more supportive, regardless of body type.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this! I have always been skinny (read: no boobs) since forever. I’ve been called stickgirl and other hurtful terms.
    I get it I have no boobs or butt but my body has served what I know is my purpose in life, to carry my babies (and hold beer ((but not while carrying my babies (((nor when I was breastfeeding them))) and that is fine with me. Well, except the boobs. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love to hold beer. And mine aren’t babies anymore, so does that mean that I can hold it all the time? My mom once told me that beer would help me produce milk. I’m not sure how much of that I believe, but let’s just say I had a generous supply.

      I got stickgirl too. I always wore baggy clothes to try and keep those comments away, but as soon as I changed into my basketball uniform…

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  4. I’ve heard all of those comments for my entire life as well….and have learned to just let it roll off my back. I’m 53 yrs. old, 5 ft. 4 in, and weigh 130 lbs. I love who I am, and that’s all that really matters

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is what really matters. It’s sometimes more difficult to make the decision to love yourself, and I don’t think you have to look a certain way to do so. Having said that, it is still not okay at all for others to make those comments to you.

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  5. Beautifully written Mandi, and I’m so sorry you had to experience such venom from that mom. That should never happen. You are one of the most determinedly positive people I know, and your talent for building others up is incredible.

    This is a brave and wonderful piece. Good for you ♡

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    1. Thank you, Lizzi. I really did have to put on my big girl pants to write this one. It’s been heavy on my heart for so long, but the comment from that mom really sent me over the edge. I’ve seriously been talking about it to everyone I know. I needed validation for my feelings, which is so unfair. The truth is, I really like(d) the other mom, and I’m sure I will be kind to her when I see her again, but I am not going out of my way to spend time with her.

      I do try so very hard to be positive. I truly believe that if I can make someone smile, I win. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else feel good about her(him)self. It goes so much further than we know.

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      1. I can see why it’s been a piece which has been bursting to be written. I still think it’s such a shame that she let her own insecurity and self-dislike get in the way of allowing your two kids to play together – not to mention the damage that could cause them to hear that kind of input, not to even BEGIN to touch on that bullying and ostracism is just NOT alright.

        She could have just kept quiet. Or been polite. Her response was hideous and I can only assume that it came from a place of deep pain (which I can understand, but definitely not to the point of letting it out, to attack in that way). But I am quite sure you will continue to be kind to her, even if you don’t seek her out (which is a shame, if you liked her before) – you have huge compassion for others, and a great deal of understanding and mercy towards them.

        As to the last bit, you have it down to a fine art. Whatever the mirror on the wall, you have the biggest heart of all.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Very well said!! I never have understood the double standard in anything! People don’t pick on the smart kids or the good-looking kids, only the not as smart and the average or the plain looking. As for the skinny thing, I never was over 100lbs till I got pregnant the first time. Now after 2 kids, stress, middle age and the joys that go with that phase of life, I am heavier but still just as happy in my own skin, even if there is more of it!

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    1. That is fantastic! I don’t think there is a certain mold of skin that creates happiness. You have to find it in yourself. Appearance doesn’t matter at all to me. I’m much more interested in a person’s heart, and when I can see the beauty there, I know I’ve found gold. And you, my dear, are 24 karat. You are always so kind and upbeat, a breath of fresh air.

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  7. This is awesome. I get that sometimes, too. I’m about 5′, 130 lbs & proudly back in a size 4. After moving to the suburbs I climbed up almost all the way to a size 10! I make no apologies; I do not shame women who like hamburgers or who have “Mommy bodies” because they follow a different regimen than me.

    My sister-in-law wears a one-piece swimsuit with a t-shirt over it because “other mommies” might get “offended” if she struts around in the bikini she can so easily pull off. She also has 2 kids. I would NEVER hide. If other women feel ashamed or wanna be mad at me for “showing off” in perfectly appropriate beachwear that is THEIR problem. I’ve earned this!

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    1. It’s not showing off, or if it is, good for you. I don’t care what anyone wears at the beach. I just hope they wear sunscreen. And frankly, why does your SIL have to worry about offending others? Because women are mean, that’s why. My point of this post is that it doesn’t matter whether or not your short, tall, big or small. Nobody should judge you either way.I applaud your hard work, and if you do want to show it off, go for it, girl! And if anyone has a problem with that, it’s their problem not yours.

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      1. LOL I’m with YOU! Pretty much all someone has to do is hint that they don’t approve of or want me to do something, especially for THAT reason, and I will sho’nuff DO IT. I’m not so easily discouraged like when I was a plain-Jane teenager. There is power in yourself so USE it. Be proud…

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  8. Very well said Mandi! I cannot believe the audacity of that other mother, seriously!? Oh my! I think you are one of the most beautiful and sweetest people I have the privilege of knowing…and I have never once thought badly of how wonderful you look, because your beauty is inside and out! You inspire me, and thank you for your wonderful words.

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    1. You’re so sweet, E! I think the privilege is mine, but that’s just cuz I have a crush on you. Can’t wait until next time we can share some Malbec. Thanks for sharing this, and thanks for visiting my girl Laura’s blog. She’s amazing, and so are you.

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  9. Mandi, I love you for one reason and one reason alone. It has nothing to do with your “not mommy” body or your lovely, long blonde locks. It honestly wouldn’t matter to me if you were fat, brunette, or a different ethnicity. I don’t even hold the fact that you’re from Texas against you. No, you are amazing simply because you stalk me. That fact alone endears you to me, because no one else will stalk me.

    Seriously, though, there’s something wrong with that woman. I couldn’t fathom dismissing someone simply because they had a better body than me. Honestly, physical appearance means very little to me. Do you know what does matter to me? Do I have fun with that person when I hang out with them? Do they make me laugh? Do we have things in common which we can discuss passionately? Will they laugh at my juvenile jokes? That’s what matters. I don’t care what you look like if we have fun together.

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    1. The thing is that I don’t think I look better than she does. I don’t care what she looks like. I just like that she and I usually laugh and enjoy playful sarcasm with each other. So many people have told me that she was just projecting her insecurity to me, and others have said that it was a back-handed compliment. No, it was said with malice, and it was mean.

      Having said all of that, the only reason you don’t have any other stalkers is because I will shank them. I don’t like others to stalk my stalkee…

      And thanks for loving me. Right back atcha!

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  10. Funny how I love everyone I see around me but I don’t love me. I “fat shame” and every other kind of “shame” myself more than others do. But I never, ever look at someone else and think wow they need to dot dot dot. I love how different everyone else is. I did have a best friend who worked hard to gain muscle but it didn’t matter how much he ate he was skinnier than he wanted to be. If someone said, “you don’t understand because you have always been skinny” it made him angry. While it is true none of us really understand what being different than we are is like, it doesn’t give us the right to judge anyone elses journey…no matter what they look like or believe.

    This is beautifully written just like you are 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot even begin to understand who you see in the mirror. You’re so incredibly beautiful on the outside, in every stinking picture I’ve ever seen of you, and since getting to know you, I’ve seen even more of you inner beauty. Don’t shame yourself. You are stunning, both inside and out.

      “While it is true none of us really understand what being different than we are is like, it doesn’t give us the right to judge anyone else’s journey…” So very well said and so true!!

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  11. OH and I compliment people all the time when I think to myself there is something I really like. Men or woman, and many times I just get a “thanks crazy lady” look but I know it made them feel good no matter what they think my intentions were. 🙂

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    1. I tell you truly, Hasty, you and Cimmorene are kindred spirits in that regard… she LOVES to give compliments, even when she gets uncommon stares that seem to ask “so, what’s your hidden agenda?” Thankfully, she gets more smiles and “thank you”s than stares.

      The men tend to be better about it than the women.

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  12. Twice I’ve been mad enough to write about this topic on my own blog, but it’s been a while since I had a good old fashion body image rant. My name is Melanie. I’m 36. I’m 5’2”. I weigh 110 pounds, and I am very, very ashamed of it.
    I have a woman I work with who, every time she comes in town and into the office, tells me she hates me because I am skinny. She’s a VP, so I can’t stop her. I have a man I work with who has made it public that he intends to fuck me, because, as he puts it, I’m the one with hip bones he could use as handles. When I complain, I’m told he’s harmless. I just want to hide.
    I want so badly to be fat. (I say this, yet I run five days a week, go rock climbing once a week, cycle when I can, walk before I drive, and eat relatively healthy, so I’m not trying all that hard.) It’s so hard, so so hard to be American, a woman and mom, and not-fat.

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    1. Okay – I have so much to say about your comment. First of all, in regards to your VP. You need to speak to HR. That is considered harassment (not sexual), and it is unacceptable in the workplace. Secondly, the man who you work with is sexually harassing you, and that too is unacceptable. This is not a healthy environment, and you should not have to subject yourself to it. You deserve to be there. They don’t if they are going to treat you that way. If your complaints continue to get ignored, you might need to speak to an attorney. I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I know what you just described is wrong on so many levels and that it needs to stop…yesterday.

      It is not okay for any man or woman to be shamed for his/her weight. But I can completely understand and relate to this statement: “It’s so hard, so so hard to be American, a woman and mom, and not-fat.” And if we flipped that coin, I’m certain that the same is true for the opposite. I think what’s even more true is this: “It’s so so hard to be a woman.”

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      1. Thanks for answering!
        That VP is over HR, so not much chance of getting anywhere with her special brand of evil. I talked to our general counsel about the sexual harassing jerk after everyone else responded that “he’s harmless”. He may be harmless to others, but he isn’t to me. I’m beginning the search for a new employer. There’s too much disrespect not to.
        It is hard to be a woman. Life is hard. There’s a lot we can do together to make it less hard, and body comments is one of them. I hope you enjoy every one of your trips to the pool this summer. 🙂

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  13. First: Laura, you are ROCKIN’ the guest posts– your guest posters are just rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ with the women’s issue discussions!

    Second: Great article, Mandi! It still amazes me how much women can nitpick their own appearances and the appearances of others. As I said before, I honestly don’t remember men doing that to each other– those that do tend to be lampooned as douchey brotards.

    My response to this

    She stopped in the middle of the parking lot, looked down her nose and scowled at me as she said, “Well I’m not going swimming with you. Maybe if you had more of a mommy body,”

    would be:

    “Hey, if you want to be a MILF fantasy for the guys at the pool, I won’t judge.”

    I mean, seriously. Where Cimmy and I aren’t exactly of *cough* straight orientation, we really have to put on the blinders at the pool. Even when we were at a gym, we saw all sorts of strange flesh. And Cimmy and I aren’t skinny… we’re horrendously fat. Screw that other woman; she’s small minded.

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      1. It’s rolling thunder, Laura. Hopefully this wave will last a LONG while.

        Was going to make this reply longer, but I realized I should put it into a blog post. Hope to see you.

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    1. We have no idea what she was feeling that day, so I hate to call her small minded (even though she certainly sounds like she’s small minded and I could have come up with a number of other terms that she was that day.). I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and I’ve covered all of my shoulda woulda coulda’s. At the end of the day, I’m glad I didn’t play into the conversation. So many times when people say things like this to me, I turn it around and try to make it positive for them, and I may have missed that opportunity by getting mad. We will never know.

      I will see her again in the fall, and I will speak to her as if this never happened because she probably has no idea how much this got under my skin, and our girls really do like each other. In the meantime, I will strive to be better on my end, to compliment (as you and your Cimmy do) and to uplift. My mom always said, “kill em with kindness.” There’s never anything wrong with that.

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  14. Mandi, you emanate the kind of beauty that an unsighted individual would recognize as well, which is what bugs me even more about this woman’s terrible response to your outer great looks. At first I thought she was complimenting you – you know, saying the same phrase with a wink and a smile. But that she was serious and said it with a scornful tone, is beyond me. I can’t understand some of the ways human beings allow themselves to act toward others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GG, one of the reasons I wrote this was to try to encourage other women to find their own beauty. I know we all struggle with insecurities. Lord knows I have plenty of my own, but at the end of the day, what good does it do for anyone to express them by putting someone else down? None. And women are so catty and horrible to each other. I just want us to please get over ourselves and try harder to be better.

      Thank you for such a beautiful compliment. I don’t always think I have “outer great looks,” but you’ll never hear me say it out loud.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh Mandi… I love, love, love that you chose to write about this. At 5’3 and currently around 124 pounds, I get this constantly. I got it constantly a couple months ago when I was at 130. At one point I almost felt ashamed to go shopping with some women because I didn’t want to be the one to make them feel bad about their size. When I was younger, I used to say things like, “I’m so small!” until a friend told me I needed to stop saying that because it was making other people feel bad.
    I LOVE my body. I am super proud of how much I love my body. But I absolutely hate the size shaming that happens. Please don’t think that because I’m skinny, I didn’t have to learn how to love this body, because I had to put a lot of work into it, and I put a lot of work into keeping it in shape, too.
    Sooooo glad you wrote this, Sisterwifey. So glad to be part of a community with you that celebrates women in solidarity, as you put it. Love.

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    1. What you say is so true. “please don’t think that because I’m skinny, I didn’t have to learn how to love this body.” That pretty much sums it all up. The grass is always greener. We always want what the other has. I’m guilty of it, particularly in my teenage years. We, as women, have so many other obstacles to deal with that we need to let this whole appearance thing go. Love back to you.

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  16. Hell! Yes! Mandi! Wonderful, awesome rant here! (and I LOVE a good rant!) I have a friend who just posted on FB last week about how she had two people say to her in one day “You’re so skinny, I hate you.” She said it was said as a “compliment” by people she considers friends. But she went on to say that you don’t know what people have been through. That person you may be “skinny shaming” or “fat shaming” may have spent years struggling with an eating disorder or struggling with their own body image. I was thinking of writing a post about it, but after reading this I don’t have to. I will just share this with her.

    The bottom line is we ALL (especially women, mainly women) deal with body image issues. Whether we’re big or small. And to compare and measure ourselves against other women is destructive and counterproductive. And how DARE her say you don’t have a Mommy’s body!

    Your last few paragraphs, they are brilliant. Thank you so much for this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gretchen, thank you so much. I hate that so many women can relate to this, but if I reversed the roles and I was shamed for being larger, it would be the same. There’s a common denominator here, and it’s us…women. We must stop this behavior. It is “destructive and counterproductive,” and it only makes us look worse. I find the most beautiful women are then ones who smile from their soul, and some of the women who would be considered beautiful by most, I find disgusting when I see their true character.

      Also, thanks…I do have a Mommy’s body. As you know, pregnancy is not easy, and this body lived through two. She can at least give me that.

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  17. I love this Mandi. It’s hard for me to read because I’ve always had body image issues. If I’m being honest, I’m sure at some point I’ve said some of those things. But when I was growing up my best friend was always so thin and I was so jealous even though I was actually thin too….just curvy. I didn’t understand that at the time. Anyway, she taught me (through many tears and late night talks) just how hard it was for her to be skinny, to be the “to, boy” while I was off dating and never without a boy on my arm. If you were to look at us as an outsider, you would see how much we both wanted something the other had. We ALL have our own struggles. That’s why we should love each other MORE. Great post as always, SW.

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    1. It’s hard for me to believe that it is even possible for you to have any kind of issues with your appearance because you are divinely pretty. I’ve said this in so many comments, but the truth is, we are all guilty of looking at someone else and wanting what they have, but instead of saying, “you look nice,” we say something catty. Something that is meant to make us feel better about ourselves, but I just don’t see how that works. I personally find it so much more satisfying to see someone and pay her a compliment rather than jab her with something hurtful. Making someone else feel good feels good. Simple and true.

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  18. “Different isn’t better or worse. It’s just different.” <–This pretty much sums up all we need to teach our children.

    I was furious while reading the first part of this. Even before I got to the part where you said this, I was thinking, "How DARE she say Mandi doesn't have a mother's body?!"

    I've been on a crusade for a while to stop this whole "real women" bullshit. All women are real women. Isn't that obvious by now? And it's isn't an easy thing to be a woman in this culture, and what we need to do is help each other through that (or stand together to change that) instead of feeding into it and keeping ourselves right where we've always been.

    I love your writing, your body, and YOU.

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    1. It isn’t easy to be a woman in this culture. We face so much adversity, which is why it is so very important that we seek solidarity with each other and fight this issue together. It will take all of us to do it, and when we do, look out. Because the roar heard round the world will finally show what exactly “real women” are.

      I love your writing, your body, and YOU, too!!

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  19. I proudly have friends of all sizes. I don’t see size. I just see people. Some of my closest women friends are big. I wouldn’t even think to judge them for their size.

    I’m sorry you’ve been judged for yours. Of course, it’s jealousy. It doesn’t make it hurt less. xo

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    1. I know that you have had issues with this, too, Samara, and I’m so glad to hear that you don’t fall into the trap of shaming others. I don’t see size either. I don’t see a lot of things. I see character, and when a person has the kind of character that is beaming with light, I am drawn to her…like how I’m drawn to you. I’m so glad to know you, lovely wonderful Momma bear. Thank you for all of your support with this topic. I wouldn’t have written it without your pushing me.

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  20. Mandi….this….this is so amazing. I’m so glad you wrote on this issue because you hit the nail on the head: different doesn’t mean better or worse, it’s just different. I love different. I want to live in a world where one size doesn’t fit all, because that’s such bullshit and everyone is unique. I’m fighting this stigma every day by learning to love my body, as well as everyone else’s similarities and differences. Like Hasty, I’m so much harsher on myself than I’d EVER be to anyone else, so I try to look at myself with the same kindness and love.

    You are such a beautiful human, and your heart shines like the sun. xoxo

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    1. You are always so positive and so supportive. I have no doubt that you would ever do that. I know you better than that, and I hate that you sometimes have issues with loving your body. You already know how I feel about that and how I feel about you, and like I’ve said so many times, if you could borrow my eyes, you’d see how very beautiful I see you in every single way. YOU are a beautiful human, and you are pretty much the sun. So glad I know you here and IRL. I’m so incredibly lucky to be in your world.

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  21. I agree with Lizzi that the comments that mommy made probably came from a place of self-loathing and shame. She probably imagines that, if the two of you were in a pool together, the whole world would be judging her (and she might be right). I really appreciated reading YOUR side of the story – because as woman who is not model thin, I probably have been guilty of similar behavior – not realizing that it might be hurtful to the other person (in my self-focused unhappiness with my own body, I wouldn’t even think it was an insult – I would think it was a compliment!) But the tone and the words still probably conveyed a disrespect and insult – and I don’t want to be that girl. Thanks for the eye-opening post!

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    1. Jana, so many of my friends said the same thing, that she was complimenting me, and maybe she was. If that was her goal, it came off as very back handed. I felt as though she was disgusted by me, and that in itself is quite hurtful. I am so glad that you found this eye opening. That was my goal. We are all different, and differences can be beautiful.

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  22. There is some kind of flaw in humanity, where we take delight in the misery of others and manifest our own insecurities over to others and you are very right this cycle of destruction must end, as we teach the next generation to live.

    Also reminded me of a friend, she could never put on weight, would moan like made that she could never get clothes to fit, or shoes, she was just to slim, but tall with it, was a big big issue for her and we all knew. We went out for dinner one eve, met up with some other friends and one of the larger girls, made the mistake of saying Owwwwww you lost weight, not one for mincing her words, my friend came back with owwwwww you have out on a few pounds may be lay of the pies……to which everyone was shocked…….but exactly what was the difference? Everyone there knew her issues with her weight yet the big girl choose to highlight it, then became the saint!

    Glad I was born a guy, yet even though it’s not the same, I watch my weight, work out and watch what I eat, there is a lot of pressure these days on both sides……and we miss the importance of the person…..like society it’s all become face and image…..where is the real depth of any of that?

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    1. That is such a shame that either of the girls felt they had to put down each other. And the fact that the larger girl “became the saint” just shows that most people can sympathize with the other side of this argument, which is why I wrote this post. It’s important that people realize that when we flip the coin, there is hurt on both sides. Thank you for reading. You are correct that we miss out on a lot of depth by focusing on image.

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  23. This was wonderful to read. It’s funny some of things people feel entitled to say. I hate eating out with people I’m not close with or I’ll have to hear comments about how little I eat or how I should eat more. Just knowing I’m going to hear those comments, ironically makes me lose my appetite.

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    1. I always get the eye rolls when I am at restaurants with friends and I order something healthy or when I decline dessert. Girls are cruel and will say things like, “come on, if anyone at the table needs dessert, it’s you,” but the truth is, I choose not to eat it. I choose to eat healthy so that I can maintain my size because I’m happy with my size and want to stay this way. It’s my choice not to eat it. It’s her choice to eat it, and it’s neither of our business.

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  24. I just don’t understand how people think it’s okay to criticize another person’s appearance – it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Worry about yourselves, people. I’ve been generally of average weight most of my life, so I haven’t heard the kind of obnoxious comments you have. But I don’t like when I chat with friends about wanting to eat better and lose a pound or two, and I see eye rolls from those who feel like I’m being silly. We all have our own issues, and we’d do best to respect one another instead of belittling. Great post, Mandi!

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    1. Thank you, Dana. I just said in my last comment almost this exact thing. It’s none of anyone’s business what you choose to or not to eat. It’s your body. We do all have our own issues, and it’s incredibly important for the sake of our younger generation that we get over it now.

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  25. I love this. Thank you for writing it. I am sad to say that I detest my huge, uncomfortable, lumpy body, and it just hurts SO MUCH that I don’t seem able to stick with any program that will change it. But … it’s MY body. No one else – NO ONE – has any right to express an opinion about it. And I get beyond fed up with people who think they’re complicating me when they say “Wow! Have you lost weight?” Sometimes I have and sometimes I haven’t, but either way it is NOT their business, and it really should not be the first thing they think of when they see me!

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  26. I feel every word of this post to my soul. I was the skinny girl in school and heard all the same things. Literally. ALL the same things. I couldn’t gain weight no matter how much I ate and, thanks to many bad choices and a ton of stress, I was painfully thin into my thirties. A decade, two more children, and forty pounds later I feel just fine. I have a real body. It isn’t flawless and it doesn’t look as good as it could because I don’t like to work out and I love food. But you know what, It’s healthy and strong.
    I wrote a body image post a bit back and I realize now how kind you were in your comment. You may have wanted to ream me just a little but you didn’t. I’ve never met you, only seen pics of your face and really don’t care what you look like anyway. You are one of the most beautiful and incredibly real people I have ever ‘met’ on the inside. The outside is a pretty good bonus.
    It is a complete shame we have to feel envy of other women and their physical appearance. I doubt that woman feels ashamed of herself for her words and actions, but she should.

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  27. I feel like I could have written this myself. I’ve always been naturally thin, and after having my daughter, hired a personal trainer to get back into shape. I did and I looked great. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with cancer in January 2013, which caused my weight to plummet to 94 pounds. I still have boobs and a slight shape, but the comments… Oh my God, the comments! “You’re so skinny!” “Why so skinny?” “You need to eat!” And the stares from the other Moms in my skinny jeans and boots in the winter and summer dresses and high wedges in the summertime. Add the black cat eye, lipstick, full face of makeup and the tattoos and I am officially a pariah. Nobody asks me to join them on play dates, my responses to class e-mails are ignored and I stand alone at the doors of the school while I wait for my five year old girl to be dismissed. What worries me, is that my daughter sees this 94 pound version of me as the standard of beauty and I can already see some body issues emerging. I showed her some photos of myself at a healthier weight and had a talk with her about being “in shape”, exercising and eating right. Women can be so cruel to each other. I’ve written two posts on this subject (can’t link because I’m hooked up to an IV and writing from my phone, but if you feel like taking a look they’re titled “On Being A MILF” and “Stay Away From My Boyfriend (!!)
    I’ll try to link when I get home. In the meantime, thanks for making my time hooked up to this IV fly by!!

    Like

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