You'll Always Be Fat
He sent me a message that said “Remember, you’ll always be fat.”
When I read it at 6am on Sunday, upon waking up, I was groggy and confused. Why would someone I know send me that message?
I read and re-read the message. Suddenly memories of being called fat came flooding back to me: From my dance teacher when I was a kid, in high school PE class, at college when a boy was telling me he wasn’t interested in me, in an email telling me I was too fat to write a fashion blog, when someone else told me I was obese, when I was working out and someone told me I was too large to stand in front of them.
What I noticed about these incidents? The majority of these comments came from people I know personally.
Yeah, you read that right. People I know in real life were choosing to tear me down based on my physical appearance. What?!
I spent the majority of Sunday thinking. Years ago being called fat would have immediately brought me to tears. Then, once I’d pulled myself together, it would have inevitably been followed by some form of emotional eating to comfort myself. Sometimes that eating would go on for a few days or more. I’d simultaneously obsess over how to get that person to change their opinion of me, contemplate losing weight and how to do it, all while letting this one word permeate my every thought for days on end.
But this time was different. Sure, I did think about it. A lot, in fact. But I didn’t cry. I didn’t emotionally eat. I didn’t obsess over changing this person’s opinion of me. Instead, I realized just how much time and energy I’d put into worrying about what others thought of me over the years, how much I let it impact my personal development and emotional well being, and how much power I had given to those who intentionally tried to put me down.
Being called fat is an insulting comment about someone’s physical appearance and how another individual perceives them. The reality is, more often than not, when someone chooses to insult another it’s coming from a personal place of insecurity. What’s more than that is that your value and mine is not defined by size or shape:
If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement of your value as a person then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all. – Yogi Bhajan
At the end of the day, I’ll always be Kate. Just a girl that no matter her size or shape, has always loved a good twirly skirt.