March 12, 2014

Societal Yo-Yo Dieting

Can I walk up to your kid and say, "She's so fat!"?  Can I compare my daughter to your younger daughter and wonder aloud what you're feeding your younger daughter so that she's so freakishly huge? No, not that one either?  Maybe, "Oh my gosh! How did she get so fat?" or "Is she ever going to lose all that baby fat?"  As long as I say it in a singsongy voice, it's OK, right? Oh wait!  So, you're saying that would upset you? Huh?  Why would people think it's OK then to walk up to me with my daughter and say things like, "She's so tiny!"? Or think it's funny to compare their 3 year old to my almost 5 year old daughter and say things like, "I can't believe she's almost 5!?!? My 3 year old is bigger than she is!"  Oh, and I guess I should be OK with hearing, "Is she ever going to grow?"

I totally understand all the talk about not shaming kids who are heavier or the kids that are awkwardly tall and yet, since Daughter is in the 5th percentile in both height and weight in her age group, I should be cool with people saying these things?  Oh yeah, I forgot!  If you're smaller than average those kinds of comments can't damage your self-esteem because…?  OK, yeah, I think it is just as bad and as damaging to a kid's self-esteem to point out if they're on the small side of the "perfect" chart, so I have no justification for those people who think it's OK.

You want to know what one of my daughter's biggest fears is?  That she's never going to be "big".  Yep, cuz she has heard so many people call her tiny; say she's little for her age; compare her to younger kids that happen to be the same size; had people with younger kids offer, while laughing, to pass clothes down to her, that's her biggest fear.  She honestly believed she was not growing so much so that she came to me in tears asking why she was the smallest one in her class.  So, while that other mother is calming her child's fears about the monster in the closet by showing her there's no monster in the closet, what am I supposed to do?  I can't reassure her that the next time we're in public nobody will come up and make some comment cuz it's not true, people are stupid and one of those stupid people will probably open their mouth.  Her monster isn't some make believe thing in the closet. Her monster is real and she's seen it many times.  What really sucks is she hasn't hit a growth spurt in a little while so I can't draw some line on a the wall to give her concrete proof that she's growing either so thanks for all your comments creating a real monster that I can't chase away by turning on the light!

If I were to have turned those comments around and said something along the lines of, "Man, what are you feeding that kid?";  "Is there any food your kid doesn't like?"; when someone asks why Daughter is so small, turn around and say, "I don't know.  Why is your kid so freakishly huge?" yeah, that'd be wrong.

So, just because you're not calling a kid fat, ugly or stupid it's not going to hurt their feelings? Tell that to my crying daughter!

It even goes into adulthood.  I have friends that are just naturally skinny.  They eat plenty and sometimes even junk food, they don't avoid fast food like it's the plague, they don't exercise obsessively, they are just built that way, they are skinny.  Some of these friends have to deal with stares and glares due to their small size, they're asked if they're anorexic, they're told to eat and they should not be offended by this, I mean, they're the skinny ones! Yet, if you were to stare at a fat person, you're rude.  Tell a fat person to put down the burger and jump on a treadmill, you're going to get ridiculed for the asshole you are.  Hi, double standard! I thought I recognized you!

I think it's so sadly hysterical that we can't have each body type be celebrated.  Curves are good today but 15 years ago the waif look was in.  Marilyn Monroe was the epitome of beauty and then came Twiggy. Usher in Cindy Crawford but pull her when Kate Moss shows up and now there's Kate Upton. Our whole societal outlook is on a yo-yo diet and then we wonder where our body image issues come from!?!?

So, in our culture at this moment, we can criticize the skinny ones.  We can look at them with judgmental eyes and make snide remarks because at this moment curves are in. Let's all hide our judgement and remarks under a veil of being worried about the skinny girl having an eating disorder or not being healthy though.  Curves are only in if they are healthy curves. No one wants to be skinnier, we all want to be healthier…I call B.S.!  When's the last time you looked at Sofia Vergara and thought, "Man, I wish I was that healthy!"?

Now that we're talking about being healthy, guess what Daughter's doctor calls her?  "A perfectly healthy little girl."  So, if you're worried about her health, worry no more! I have multiple doctors' reassurances that Daughter is healthy.  One of the doctors even said, "Yep, she's petite and healthy.  Nothing wrong with being a petite girl."

Well, here's what I've been telling Daughter.  She's healthy.  I was one of the smallest girls in my kindergarten class and now I'm pretty average.  My sister was one of the tallest in kindergarten and she only stands 5' 1" now. I tell her, that even if she stays small, she can have a personality and confidence so big that people can't believe it's contained in such a small package.  To quote one of my favorite people, "She's an amazon warrior trapped in a pygmy body." I tell her she's awesome just the way she is and not to worry about how fast she's growing.  I told her to worry about her brain growing and her confidence in herself growing, her body will grow in its time.  I also told her some of the other kids' energy is going to grow their bodies while her's is going to her brain. I tell her this is so she can come up with the sarcastic comebacks and she'll have time to walk away before the giants even realize she's insulted them.  I promise her that part will be fun!

I sit here with tits and ass to spare.  I'm a classic hourglass figure, big boobs, big butt and hips and a small waist.  I spent years wishing my butt away.  When I was in high school, the waif look was in and there I sat on my badonkadonk with my tig ole bitties wishing that I could somehow lose weight in just those two areas.  Now, some of the perceived "most beautiful women in the world" are hourglass figures and I flaunt mine and laugh at those days that I was told that I had a big butt cuz now I like being recognized from behind! What I like just as much, if not more, is the fact that I'm strong and fit and healthy and confident in my own skin and I usually have a smile on my face and I have those sarcastic comebacks that leave the insulted person smiling for a few minutes before they get pissed.  I know that the next time being rail thin rolls around as the "in" thing, I'll rock the tight fitting, low cut tops and ass hugging jeans cuz I've learned one wonderful thing about our society's fickle ways: what's in today is out tomorrow and what makes you happy will piss somebody else off, so live the life you want to live, love the body you have, strut with confidence cuz confidence is one of the most alluring things about anyone and always have a sarcastic remark in your back pocket, whether those pockets are on a size 0 or a size 20, cuz sooner or later you'll meet some moron who deserves to be bitch slapped with words.

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