Friday, May 8, 2015

Attack of the Body Shamers

     I'm so excited to share this blog entry with you! It's only going to have two topics because I got a little carried away on my Body Shamers segment.  I hope you feel enlightened, and do your best to be the best you! 

Favorite Tv Show:  Little People NY



     Please pay attention to this cab... it will be pretty useful.  I didn't think I'd really get into this show, but it's really interesting! I love to see into the lives and lifestyles of others, and this is one life I know very little about. I know people make jokes, because I'm only 5ft2, but Little People really have great stories to tell! 

   Last night's episode featured a little spitfire named Jordanna (3rd from the left), a frenemy named Misty (4th from the left) and a Drama Queen named Jason (not-pictured).  I was appalled at the behavior Jason exhibited last night. Jordanna offended him by telling him not to be a coward & embarrassing him in front of the group, when he mentioned he had changed his mind about moving out of his parents'.  I don't think that was her intention, but he was embarrassed, nonetheless. He had gathered Jordanna & Kristin (First from the right) together to sort of "soften the blow" when he was going to tell his parents he was moving out. Dude is 27yrs old, but due to his Filipino customs, 'children' don't move out until they're married. 

[Sidenote:]  I think the real issue,here, is that he's not ready to "come out" as gay. Even his close friends "aren't sure" what his sexual preference is [Really, Jason???] -- although I'm pretty sure they all assume he's gay.  If he won't come out, fine, I'll say it for him... Jason...honey... You're gay. So, you see why this "getting married (traditionally, I assume) would be a dilemma for him?  Even if he wasn't gay (which more than likely, he is) getting to know someone & having privacy as adults would be tough.  However, this is New York, and it's a lot more acceptable to live with your family or have roomates because of high rent.... Which brings us back to the gay thing... anyway- back to my story.

      Jason felt embarrassed that Jordanna told him not to be a coward and renege on moving out, after she & Kristin had to sit through this big emotional ordeal at his parents' house, regarding his moving out (but not coming out, lol).  Jordanna grew up with several (straight) brothers, so clearly this might have been the language she spoke to them, but it was obviously the wrong dialogue to have with Jason.  

       So, instead of confronting Jordanna about her words he tried to build an army against her.  At first, he tried Lila (second from Right) but Lila is a bit of a space cadet and really wasn't trying to take sides, when she had her own problems with Dawn (first on the left) and also with her sobriety.  Gathering no allies there, he decides to take another situation between Misty & Jordanna and feed off of Misty's jealousy.  So, he squanders every opportunity to talk to Jordanna like a man and instead, decides to gas Misty up, so that she's the one that goes off on Jordanna (because her own jealousy). 

    I despise people who cause problems because they can't face their own, which is exactly what Jason did. The entire episode he went around the group trying to gain co-signers against Jordanna, but because his petty little rift wasn't strong enough, compared to what they had going on, he took it upon himself to add fuel to an existing fire, rather to come out guns blazing on this own behalf.  Finally, though, Jason found his "Patsy" to forge the front lines and get the argument going. He started talking to her about all the opportunities she was going to lose out to Jordanna, and that this wouldn't be the last... and "Oh, she's also going to Paris! She stole your trip!" (Misty & Jordanna's dispute was over a Fashion Show) --  It was so clear to me what he was doing, and his actions screamed nothing but deplorable coward! Jealousy is an evil thing... 

Favorite Social Gripe:  Body Shaming



         I believe that body shaming has become such a terrible epidemic...however... it's not a new epidemic. Because of social media, it has become more hurtful & prevalent, but it is not new.  I'm sure some folks might be offended by things I'm going to talk about, but in 2015, who doesn't get offended? (That's another topic of discussion).  

       No- I don't approve or condone body shaming... however it irritates me so much when people all the sudden want to feel butt-hurt about it, now that some folks are actually saying [out loud *gasp!*] that they actually prefer curvy, thick or big people. Really? Oh, so you don't like it when people criticize your body or make assumptions about your lifestyle...oh....As if it hasn't happened daily for decades. I just think that they are just getting a tiny taste of what "curvy---thick--chubby--obese" people have gotten all their lives.. and you know what... Skinny people don't like it either!  I think, bottomline is body shaming sucks.  You see all the time when people ask this question:


"If it's not ok to Fat-shame, why is it ok to Skinny Shame???"

  The answer is, "Because people have not stopped fat shaming... " It's a "Chicken or the Egg" kind of thing we've got going on here. Both are wrong and both will continue as long as we're a self-absorbed society looking to gauge our personal self esteems based on how many people we think are beneath us. You'd think that the body shaming all together would decrease, as a result of folks finally getting a taste of their own medicine. But No. It just becomes an increasingly nasty debate (usually online) between folks who are considered overweight or waif-like & everyone else.  It's so petty, really.  And the realization I came to the other day, (while doing my second leg of my hour on the Elliptical...) is that, it's usually one main group of Gym Posers who actually are the main culprits in body shaming.  If they knew the real struggles about weight, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to judge or criticize.  I wrote about this in "Diary of a Phoenix" (My weight loss journal, that you'll never get your eyes one, lol) and I pegged it down to 4 types of folks:  



  The Gym Rat is the person who really gets how much hard work it is to stay fit or lose weight. These are the only people who actually LIKE to go to the gym, lol. People admire them. They probably were athletic in a past life. They know about Endorphins. They have had a Runner's High before.  These are folks who really have found their stride. They are inspirational, but don't look to them long term, especially if you haven't found your own stride, yet.  They're great motivators, but you really need to keep up with their routine, or get lost in the dust. They're not going to keep going back to pick you up, every time you feel like quitting. The determination is what you need to learn, from a gym rat.  Sometimes these folks fat shame- to feed their superiority complex, but most of them are too busy trying to stay fit than to fat-shame your journey. 




    Then, you have the Gym Hater (the group where I belong-- Wut up, GH! Represent, Represent!!!)... This group contains folks of all sizes who absolutely hate working out, or at best tolerate it, but would much rather be doing something else (or almost anything else)...however we go because it's a necessity. We are realists... we don't pretend that we love working out. We do it because we have to in order to obtain a certain goal.  We may have several "false starts",but we never actually give up. There are also a bunch of yo-yoers in this group, but the point is, we will always get up again when we fall down.  There might be a fat-shamer in the closet in this group, who hasn't come to terms with their own physicality... but in general, this group probably has the least amount of body shamers... unless it's skinny, then they might be skinny shamers out of pure jealousy... Like when, my co-worker eats nothing but fried foods, cheese, and junk, but still stays pretty svelte without working out.... *whoo whoo whoo* calm down, calm down...* Really, it's the hate of the gym talking, more than actual skinny-shaming, lol.





     The Gym Nemesis is the person who hasn't darkened the doorway of a gym (or worked out) in years...probably since they stopped requiring students to take "gym class".  These folks may or may not have been fat all their lives, but they've given up, somewhere. They may have obtained a husband, kids, money, friends, or even just decided to 'settle' for the way their lives are. They are living the dream and don't really care about losing weight because they feel they have it all, despite their size.  There are a lot of excuse makers in this group, as well. This group might have the most amount of actual Skinny-Shamers.  They might feel comfortable or content in their size, but still have a vendetta against  skinny or even 'Fit' people they feel need to be knocked down a peg or too... or tied to a stake in the grass, so they don't blow away... (ha ha-- Ok, fine... I'm not shaming, just joking).  




        The aforementioned "Gym Posers" are THE WORST, though... These folks are people who don't actually go to the gym, work out, or try to live a healthy life-- but feel they are justified in fat shaming people, or accuse others of skinny-shaming. These folks have hit the genetic lottery by never having to suffer through weight problems (either being too fat or too skinny). They are naturally thin or naturally "average".  They might go to the gym 2-4 times a month (not enough time for an actual effective plan for either weight loss or gain).  This person hides behind the fact that they don't really have to do the work, because they physically blend into society. They might even be more unhealthy than someone like, say, an overweight Gym Hater, who at least tries...These guys are the biggest hypocrites. They have no idea what it's like, yet feel they can judge and shame based on what they assume.

      I've never been "too skinny", but I can tell you that overweight folks usually have a story.  Their struggle is usually tied to some kind of emotional or mental block. For some, the extra weight becomes a barrier of some sort, between them and the world, especially if they've been sexually abused or molested in the past.  Especially if they've been verbally, emotionally, or physically abused... with any kind of abuse or trauma, in general.  The gym poser wants to point fingers at "fat people" and talk about all the 'cheeseburgers and fries they're eating and their lazyness that got them so fat', when a) they, themselves like to eat cheeseburgers and fries pretty frequently and do nothing besides happen to have a body that metabolizes it differently b) don't realize that type of behavior doesn't actually help. Gym Posers only look at the symptoms of a problem, not the actual problem. 

      I'm sure there are other Body Shamers from all categories... Gym Nemesis people who don't want to take responsibility for their physical state, or don't feel they should have to constantly defend it... or Gym Rat people who love working out who don't want to be criticized for their chosen lifestyle, because others are too lazy to keep up-- and are maybe just now realizing, "Hey, it does kind of suck to be told that you don't have the 'preferred' body type...

      Everyone wants to be accepted, period.  No one wants to be told that they aren't desirable (even if they aren't to you)  and have judgments made about their lives (that may or may not be true) when you don't personally know them or their struggle.  And out of anyone, the Gym Poser is the last person that has any right to speak on anything, because they haven't experienced the struggle and also haven't put in any work to maintain their figure. I'm so annoyed that people can't just be encouraging to others, in general. If a person could use meat on their bones, they probably try to compensate other ways... If they could lose weight, trust me, they probably beat themselves up about it more times a day than you might in a lifetime.  And in general... people just need to chill out. After all, you saying something nasty to someone about their weight or giving unsolicited advice might be thing that keeps them imprisoned for a long time.  


(Please Excuse Language)

      For me, it was extended relatives always talking about my weight, then when I finally did do something about it,  telling me [unsolicited] that I was "Slimming down, but not thin, yet"-- when I had worked really hard, at the time. I actually enjoyed working out, and really only had a few more pounds to go. But the problem was, I thought I looked great; I was working out all the time, and felt like I was really changing things. I actually did have the best figure I've ever had. Looking at the exact day, and knowing the  years since, that I've fought this battle, is staggering. 

     What he said may have been trivial, but at the time all I could hear was "you're not good enough, doesn't matter how hard or what kind of effort you've put in, you don't measure up to where I think you should be..."  I had lost 35-40lbs at the time, and it still "wasn't good enough"... I was in single digit clothes... "Still not good enough"... After that I developed a temporary eating disorder for a few months, until it was too painful, I didn't go that extra mile anymore. I was on dance team, which kept me "average"-- but Of course, feeling like a whale most of my life, I didn't even appreciate it then, because I didn't know how good I actually looked.  



(Here's a pic of me (blue striped shirt) of the day I was criticized... It's Blurry, because I couldn't scan it in, but it was me the most physically fit I had been in a long time... I didn't get to appreciate it, because I still felt huge. Sad...)

    I have a much thicker skin now, but at 14 or 15 yrs old, you don't really know how to deal with loved ones basically making you feel like you're not worthy to be loved by them, if you don't lose weight... and still at 34yrs old, it creeps up, because I haven't accomplished it, yet.  You get angry at the fact that now it has manifested into a problem & It's harder than it would've been had I been encouraged to keep going.  There's no reason to make things ten times harder for someone else.... especially if it's someone you say you love and ESPECIALLY if you don't even know that person... Words can be the most damaging weapon or the most strengthening tool...It's' all in how you use them. 

Ok- that's it! Comment Below, if you Like!! :)

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