We love this powerful essay a woman wrote after being fat-shamed for eating cookies
It’s no secret that a lot of us are obsessed with our weight, and not having a “desirable body type”, according to the masses, can take a toll on one’s self-esteem.
Having diverse body types represented in the media has proven to be a hard task, and a constant battle for those who aren’t exactly a size two. And because a lot people live under the notion that “skinny” equates to “fit,” a lot of us are forced to prove that our broader frames are just as, if not more, healthy.
Rebecca Jane Stokes of Your Tango recalls her most recent fat-shaming incident in an article she wrote for the site. While riding the train home after a long day, and equipped with her favorite box of cookies, another passenger tapped her on the shoulder and said:
"You're so lucky, just eating whatever you want and not caring. I'm a dancer so I can't do that."
Rebecca, being a bigger girl her entire life, was fed up with the shaming, and lashed out the woman. Wanting to blow off some steam, Rebecca then shared the experience with her Facebook friends, but wasn’t quite prepared for the response from one acquaintance.
"I'm skinny," she said, "and I never think about my weight when I talk to people about food."
Rebecca found herself surprised by the response:
"I felt immediately ashamed. I started to replay the encounter on the subway in my mind. Was she right? Was it me and not this poor stranger who was in the wrong? Then I started thinking about the privilege involved. The answer to my questions was in my friend's comment already. I'm a fat person, she is a thin person, and so her relationship to the world is different than my relationship with the world."
The former colleague and writer helped Rebecca to self reflect, leading her to conclude that lashing out at the passenger could have been a little out of line — because not everyone shares the same relationships with food and body image.
We’re so impressed with the way Rebecca handled hert fat-shaming experience. Instead of gloating about finally having the courage to tell someone to “f*ck off,” Rebecca used this as an opportunity to start a discussion around body type acceptance for all. No two bodies are the same, and we shouldn’t have to apologize for being bigger or smaller than anyone.
And while understanding the complexities of weight and body types, it’s also important not to attach shame to our bodies for being the way they are, but to simply be who we are, instead.
Check out Rebecca’s full essay here.