I believe I am officially becoming an old codger who will not be celebrating any further birthdays.
Three years ago, I lost a large portion of weight. I will not say how, or how much; however, I will say that I have kept it off through a strict regimen of diet and exercise which has not exactly been fun, nor has it been easy to explain to others. The rapid loss of said weight was not a conscious choice to lose the weight, but a health decision made by a doctor, and now I stand as a very slender, very tall woman bedecked in tattoos.
It came as a shock to me that I had more freedom as a woman in my appearance as a woman of middling weight with my chosen body art, than as a woman of my current weight. As it stands now, with my wardrobe, I have been described as “scrappy,” “skinny,” and “heroin chic.” When it comes down to brass tacks, none of these words are complimentary.
Walking into a place of business, I have to dress strategically should I want to be served as a paying customer. Should I dress as I want to dress in warmer weather, I am shunned, ignored, and in more than one case, asked to leave the store, when I was planning on spending a good amount of money at the establishment.
Now, it was my choice to have the body art I have, and I do not regret it in the slightest. I do not regret my current weight either, although it comes with its own slew of problems:
1) many women I have met dislike me upon meeting me initially
2) I am considered less intelligent than average, to the point where should I make a common mistake, people make no qualms about insulting my intelligence to my face
3) I have been mistaken for a drug seeker when admitted to hospital, when all I had was a migraine, and just wanted to go home (let us forget the fact that I currently work in a hospital, and was highly insulted by this treatment)
4) males assume that staring is okay, and should I return with a less than savory look, name calling is appropriate
5) it is often assumed that my husband and I are not a couple, much less husband & wife
I wish to point out that several of these issues I share in common with several of similar points that women who do not share my body type point out in their blogs.
Why do I point this out? Because we should not be fighting an “us vs them” war when it comes to our bodies. Women on either side of the spectrum should not be at odds with one another due to a simple factor of size. I do not understand why there is such animosity thrown between camps of women dependent on something so personal as body type.
Just as I did not personally choose to lose the weight I lost, many women do not personally choose to gain the weight they gain. The body that one exists in is just that, a body. It is what one presents to the world, and women should make the best of what they have with it. They should celebrate other women, regardless of body type and not war with one another over it.
Hatred over such a thing is just that: hatred. And we wear it poorly.
Nothing makes a person look more hideous than a mask of disgust for their fellow human beings.
So why do we do this for our fellow females? Women, to put it mildly, put up with enough bullshit that we should not need to fear grief from our own gender based upon the size of the jeans we put on in the morning. We should be together as celebrating our bodies as the women that we are, rather than reviling our own bodies and those of friends and strangers.
When it comes to our own bodies, we must remember: the opinions of others are not swayed by our own actions. They are only mutable by whatever actions that person deems worthy of changing them. We have very little power over others. And by that token, very few people have power over us.
So for the dirty looks, the snide comments, the bad service, and whatever else may come our way due to whatever we may encounter as women of our given body type, we must remember: Very few have power over our emotions. No one is given this power freely.
So as we gather together as women, we must remember: We have power over our emotions. That asshole over there calling us names?
“Our kingdom is great. He has no power over us.”