I met someone this week who is around my age and probably weighs fifty pounds more than me. I didn't even think about it much. Until she was nasty to me for no reason. I asked myself, "Am I being rude"? "Did I say something offensive"? (She did) After the conversation ended, I realized what her problem was: she was mean to me because I am thin and she is not.
So I am telling the story of the mean girl to some people this morning and they beg to differ. But I cannot tell you how many times I have been in this situation. Yeah, so studies show that thinner women may have a better salary, make heavier women feel worse about their bodies, get more attention, yadda yadda. Why would they want to be nice to us?
It is slightly infuriating to be the victim of insults and put downs because the other person is so insecure with their own body image. I have had people tell me that they notice their "heavy-set female co-workers" are extra condescending to them on days when their thin bodies are more noticeable.
So I ask the sister psychologist "Don't you think it makes sense that someone I meet in a "competitive" setting who is around my age and heavy is going to be a b#$%h to me"? "Yes, absolutely", she replies.
Just this week, I received a message from an old friend. The last line stating, "PS you look nothing like Arlene, you skinny b*tch. (love)" (Arlene was some heavy-set Italian woman she told me I looked like when I danced in college....)
There is a stigma with skinny. The next adjective following is a bad word. Think Parisian women. I am not bragging here. I am thin. And I don't consider myself a female dog at all. I am caring and compassionate and thoughtful. Here, I will quote my boyfriend, in an e-mail he just sent me:
"I think you're a smart, extremely generous,
passionate, honest, reliable, confident, sensitive and beautiful
Nowhere in there do I see that I am cruel. So why do skinny women have to have this reverse discrimination from heavy set women? Heavy women can tell me I don't understand. Or I have no idea. Or they can't get a date and I don't have that problem. Or anything. But I gained that weight in college. I have been a lot bigger. I am lucky now. I will blog about it sometime - how I maintain a small figure. But not now. So I know.
There was an obese woman at my gym who would never, ever look me in the eye. I am guessing she weighed somewhere around 300 pounds and was maybe two inches taller than me. The whole time I would see her there, she absolutely refused to make eye contact with me. In the parking lot, crossing paths, she would look down. Passing on the way to the shower, the same situation. I can say in the years that I was a member there, she never looked at me. If it was just the two of us, I would intentionally say "hello" and smile. She always looked away. I know why. I went out of my way to be nice. But it's hard when the other person won't look at you.
I am not trying to brag. I just think that all women are created equal. So why be mean?