NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Self-conscious About Your Size?

February28

I heard a concept on the Body Love Revolution Telesummit with the Curvy Coach a couple of weeks ago that struck me as both wrong and true: Being Self-Conscious about your size carries over to other aspects of your life. Wow! At first I was all like (inner dialogue here), “What? No! That just can’t be!” which quickly turned into, “Oh man, you know what? That’s totally true! *headdesk*” Ugh! It IS super true! I/we just don’t look at it from this perspective regularly.

You may not even realize it, but if you are often or even sometimes self-conscious about your size, you can almost bet it’s affected other aspects of your life. For a very long time I was aware of my size, but not necessarily how my size might be perceived by others. Then I started to assume (you know what happens when you do that?!) that everyone KNEW that I was OMZOBESITYFATZDEATH! Case in point: I used to shop at Whole Foods and would find myself and my little handy-basket squidged into a tight corner up against a column or pillar so that someone else could get by me on an aisle. This may sound like nothing out of the ordinary, but when you look at the size of the aisle, the size of the other person plus their full-size cart and the size of me and my little handy-basket? Well, it’s ridiculous that I would feel the need to contort myself in such a way for someone else to get by me when there was actually plenty of room for all to move about. Part of this was because of my own feelings about my size and how I must appear GINORMOUSLYGIGANTIC to a “regular” person. The other part is how those other shoppers made me feel (stink-eye, the up-down, eye-rolling, nose-in-the-air-in-disgust, etc). I now boycott WF because of how they treat their employees (thinner workers get a grocery discount while those with higher BMI #’s do not), but I get similar bullshit reactions from other shoppers at Trader Joe’s. However, I no longer contort myself for the benefit of anyone but myself while shopping at Trader Joe’s or anywhere else!

While I was working a corporate job I often felt left out or looked over. I assumed it was due to my size. I think now that it was because I was too damned quiet! Hindsight being what it is and all. Ha-ha! My boss would often say, “Whoa! Keep it down over here!” joking about how quiet I was. My husband has often said that I can be loud, even just talking (I don’t wholly agree, but wev) and because my dad is always loud I just figured it best to keep my mouth shut until I had something good/important/worthy to say. Now I see that I didn’t want to bring attention to myself because OMZ!I’MTEHFATZ! My first few forays into public speaking were a total nightmare, but I had such love and support from my boss and colleagues that I eventually loved it! I got over my size being my focus and started to really hone my skills and have fucking fun with it! What a wild ride it was, too!

Such a simple thing, but sometimes we just need something explained in a way that speaks to us or is brought to our attention so subtly or simply that we suddenly get that “Ah-Ha!” moment and learn from the experience. This happens to me more often now than ever. Perhaps I’m simply more open to alternative opinions and ideas than I used to be. But having a peer tell me that no one wants to see another fail when in attendance of a workshop or seminar, we all just want to learn whatever it is we’re supposed to be learning about. Simple as that. What? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Yeah, I know! But it’s true! Public speaking would be hard for me now because I’m so out of practice, but I don’t think that I would be as concerned about people judging my body over my performance as I was back then.

When we are constantly concerned with our body image and size (consciously or not) it does affect the rest of your life in ways you may not see yourself. I never asked for a raise in my life. I would rarely be the first person to speak out or about anything in my career. It wasn’t until I was welcomed into a creative group of people that needed my input to make a project work that I was able to use my voice and later own it! Yes, I took ownership of my own voice. Sounds funny, but I think, especially with women, we’re often told or simply believe that we should be quiet so as not to offend or what have you. It’s bullshit! Being my own boss has taught me that no one will help you or be on your side or whatever until you speak the hell up and out and be heard, even if you must demand an audience! And thanks to FA and friends and my husband and a lot of self-work and care (self-care is vital in this journey, I promise you that) I rarely even think of my size as possibly affecting someone else except for a few rare circumstances.

I no longer squish myself into small spaces for the visual comfort of others. If you want me and my girth to move, you must ask, and be polite about it! Manners are Free, Use them Freely! Because you can give me and my giant ass all of the dirty looks you want, that is not going to get me to do a damned thing for you and your judgy face! That is your problem. It really is Ms. Lady with the scrunched up nose looking down on me at Trader Joe’s! I can buy wine and cheese and gummy bears and you can fuck right off with that look of “oh, this is how she got so fat, everyone look!” bullshit! Ahem, sorry. I just don’t see the point of visibly judging people right to their face this way. If you have something to say to me, SAY IT! I will happily give you my thoughts on any given subject. I welcome your concern trolling, if that is all you have for me. And I will quickly, politely and confidently engage in a conversation that is not based on faux facts and media buzz words. I will!

Has being self-conscious about your size affected other aspects of your life? Am I using affected when I should be using effected? Ha-ha! Tell me about it! =0)

Thanks,
<3
S

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16 Comments to

“Self-conscious About Your Size?”

  1. On February 28th, 2011 at 3:39 pm FFC Says:

    Being self conscious about my size has made me perceive (sometimes totally crazy, irrational) judgement from others whether it existed or not. This obviously can have some pretty broad repercussions – from thinking my in-laws were judging my dinner choice, to being offended by things my boss says, to overall shyness, even in business settings and at conferences. I can mostly put this in the past tense because, for the most part, I no longer believe my size is something worthy of being self conscious of, and also, I have taken on the mantra that other people’s thoughts are none of my business.

    I’m with you in that I wish people would just say what they have to say, and then I would never have to concern myself with wondering if I’m being stinkeyed or not. So many don’t though, I think because most of the judgey a-holes don’t have the nerve to handle a response, so by silently sneering, there’s no chance for us to voice our shutthefuckuppery.

  2. On February 28th, 2011 at 3:51 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Well, yeah, I mean, if you’re judging someone you’re already in the wrong and you wouldn’t want that judgment turned against you?! Ha-ha! Perhaps it is best they keep their lips shut. I know I sure have plenty to say to haters. =0)

  3. On February 28th, 2011 at 3:47 pm G Says:

    “I can buy wine and cheese and gummy bears” Haha, does anyone really buy anything else at Trader Joes? I don’t (and mine doesn’t even sell wine!) Oh, I do buy coffee there, but that’s really it.

    I survived the rigors of adolescence by being completely invisible and it became a habit. Now as an adult, I catch myself saying “Am I invisible or something?” when things happen, and I have to stop and check to make sure I’m not falling back into that old pattern and remember to speak up.

  4. On February 28th, 2011 at 3:53 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh my gawd! Yes! invisible: me always at a mall or grocery store situation and I get my feet run over by some oblivious person with a cart or stroller. I always look at them like are you seriously not seeing my fat ass over here?! But now days I think it has more to do with people thinking the world revolves around them and forget that others do exist!

  5. On February 28th, 2011 at 4:57 pm G Says:

    Oh, also, there seems to be a thing on your website called ‘sociofluid.com’ that is causing the comments to take forever to load… fyi 🙂

  6. On March 1st, 2011 at 11:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you for letting me know. Never heard/seen it before. Bummer.

  7. On February 28th, 2011 at 5:15 pm descrito Says:

    I think this post is so spot on to what I’ve been thinking about lately. See, I just got out of college and I’m really getting into the job search and submitting applications to different places. I have this worry in my mind that I won’t be hired because of my size and have been really self conscious about it. I mean, there are a million reasons why someone might not choose to hire me which has *nothing* to do with my looks, but still. *bites nails* There are are a few jobs that although I qualify for them, I did not apply for because the job description included things like “good appearance” because I’m just outright paranoid about it.

    I guess this is my chance to snap out of it and just give it a shot regardless.

    😀

  8. On March 1st, 2011 at 11:53 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh hun, I have been right there! And I know in my heart that I didn’t get at least three great positions because of my size. But you know what? Fuck ’em! It is their problem, not yours and not mine! I know that sounds nuts, but seriously? If someone is so shallow, you probably wouldn’t want to work there anyway. I was out of work for 18 months and I went on hundreds of interviews. At first I felt the same as you do. But as I dove further into my FA journey (with all of that time on my hands) I found myself becoming more confidant and happy that I began to walk into these interviews as though they were interviewing me for a big time music magazine (a gal can dream). It started to feel different and I saw a difference in the interviewer’s responses, too. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so should the workforce! =0)

  9. On February 28th, 2011 at 6:59 pm Ashley Says:

    I have gained body confidence now but in high school I would wear layers and baggy clothes since I was so skinny (I couldn’t help it), and I was doing that to try to make it look like I had some extra weight on me. So even when it was 85 degrees outside, I would still throw a jacket on. One time I was sitting in class and I got so hot that I finally just took off my jacket and within 5 seconds people were staring and I heard from the seats behind me, “Omg she’s way too skinny.” It was pretty humiliating.

  10. On March 1st, 2011 at 11:58 am Not Blue at All Says:

    My two BFFs (since Jr. High, so over 20 years, ahem) are very thin. So thin in fact that people do often yell at the to eat a cheeseburger. It breaks my heart and I will be the first to fight back on their behalf (though they are both quite talented in this themselves), but ignorance is just that. I even had to put a friend of mine in-check while watching the Oscars because he began to say the cheeseburger thing about someone accepting their award and I was just fucking shocked! He knows better. He got an earful from me and shut up about people’s sizes pretty quickly. I know none of this helps you, but I want you to know that it’s something I deal with on both ends of the size spectrum. People are semi-programmed to judge each other harshly (not sure if this is instinctual in some way). Especially on TV, I mean with Joan Rivers and Perez Hilton? Yikes! Nothing but Meanies! And I useed to eat that shit up. Now? Now I don’t stand for such judgment and I won’t give my time, attention or money to anyone or any company that promotes it. I can understand how you must have felt in HS. Funny, for me layering was cool (grunge had just hit) and helped me look the same even as I gained weight throughout my teens. Thank you so much for sharing your story. =0)

  11. On February 28th, 2011 at 7:13 pm Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    Check out The Fantasy of Being Thin— the author realizes that she thought she’d become an adventurous extrovert if she became thin, and explores the complex nonsense that the culture teaches. There are hundreds of comments from people who resonate with the issue.

  12. On March 1st, 2011 at 11:58 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes! I haven’t read the book, but I have heard raves from so many in FA. Thank you!

  13. On March 1st, 2011 at 2:25 am Kath Says:

    I have always felt apologetic for the amount of space I take up in the world. I still do sometimes. I am getting better at not apologising for my size, but it’s still there.

    It’s particularly silly for me, because I’m Australian and we’ve got shitloads of space. More space per capita than anywhere else in the world. So I need to take up my bit of space proudly and comfortably and to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it!

  14. On March 1st, 2011 at 11:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I didn’t realize there was such a statistic as space per capita. Pretty cool if you ask me. I say flail about Kath and let everyone see you can use the space you want and the rest can fuck off! =0)

  15. On March 1st, 2011 at 6:43 pm Kath Says:

    Here you go:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/geo_are_lan_percap-geography-area-land-per-capita

    Australia is No. 8, the US is No. 62!

  16. On March 2nd, 2011 at 9:02 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow, thanks! That is pretty neat!

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