Judgmental Women

Ask any heavy woman and she’ll most likely admit to have some (or many) moments of feeling a perceived shame against her, just for her weight. I say perceived because the majority of people are not rude enough to say to your face how disgusted they are by your excess fat or your healthy appetite. And by “to your face” I mean in person. Bloggieland gives many people false bravado and arrogance.

Why do we assume they’re giving us the body-check-glance and thinking all sorts of negative things? Probably because of the internet, to be frank. Because we can read their thoughts that they feel safe in saying to the faceless nameless crowd. Perhaps some overweight women were also overweight in the years of primary school and high school, when children can be downright mean.

We might feel like shit when we realize we’re the largest person in the room.

We might purposely under-eat when in the company of thinner acquaintances for fear they’ll think we’re a pig for eating like a normal, healthy person.

And…..we might unfairly be judging people. That which we fear and assume is happening to us.

This weekend I found myself at a family reunion wherein half of the family are people I wouldn’t recognize if I passeed in the street – heck some I’ve never met! There were two women there a little younger than me, both thin, both gorgeous. I felt intimidated. I’m sure they were very nice people but I unfairly assumed otherwise; assumed they were judging me. This didn’t occur to me until I spoke out loud how I felt more comfortable speaking to one of the afore-mentioned women after hearing that she’d spent some time pretty overweight herself and struggled to lose it. Granted, her weight issues and weight loss were nothing like mine. But I still had this newly-perceived camaraderie. Comfort.

I need to fucking stop doing this. I have more than enough friends in this community who are thin and who are NOT judging me based on my weight alone. And I need to lose the pointless body-envy.

12 Responses

  1. This is such a great post – I’ve got my own issues, so can totally relate. I’m still the guy who thinks that when a group of people are giggling and laughing they’re laughing at him – even though that ‘him’ is somebody I haven’t been for years.

    We all make assumptions about people – one of the worst is that people who are big are ‘lazy’ or ‘greedy.’ Since losing all that weight last year, though, I’ve had larger people telling me that I’m ‘lucky’ because I have a ‘fast metabolism and can eat what I want and be thin’ when the truth is I eat 1,600 calories a day, run two miles a day and lift weights twice a week. Each day is a struggle.

    Good for you to be a little more aware of this than most people.

    ~ yeah, it’s hard and it won’t be the bed of roses I once thought. Not sure how to combat that.

  2. Topaz says:

    It seems like this post is your milestone for a step in the right direction. Assuming the ill-intentions of others can really hold you back from shining. Congrats on this realization :-)

  3. Sarahbear says:

    We are our own worst enemies when it comes to this sort of thing. As an aside, because I know you’re currently working on your weight, we have to be happy with us the way we are. If we’re not, we may lose weight and be different outside, but we’ll still be the fat girl in our mind. It’s a very difficult process because we have to shake this thinking that everyone is thinking what a few assholes said on the internet.

    ~ I know. I have no clue what my mental status will be when I’m finally looking “better according to society”. My best friend has warned about this, so I know it’s comin. I just don’t know yet how to work on it.

  4. Nadia West says:

    I’ve been having the same sorts of epiphanies lately. I’ve come to realize that ALL women in this society are made to feel bad about their bodies. And that pitting women against each other is a way to keep us down. I’m still working on accepting how someone thin or beautiful could desire me, but it happens.

    You’re awesome, Lilly. Don’t forget that.

    ~ You’re right, we are. Not feminine enough, not curvy enough, not thin enough, not model-beautiful enough, too “alternative”, too traditional, etc. The perceived-as-perfect women get glares of jealousy, I’m sure. We really do have a long way to go against supporting each other as women.

  5. Darling Dove says:

    I generally do not assume something like that UNLESS they are actually giving me a look. I hate people that give you looks and WONT say to your face that they have a problem with you.
    I’m sorry for being fat and being outside, but I have to go to the store too, so yeah.

    I wish I could be as accepting as you seem to be, but unfortunately I can’t ignore ‘the look’.

    ~ No, I can’t either. But my point was that I’m assuming ill thoughts no matter if there is “the look” or not. I’m finding myself just assuming they’re going to think badly of me simply because they’re thin and beautiful and well put-together, etc.

  6. Coy Pink says:

    While I do believe that there are some people out there who may judge us/think less of us because of our weight, I think a big part of *our* problem is projecting our own dislike of ourselves onto others. If I am bothered by the way I look then SURELY that person over there is bothered. Or not… I try to be mindful of this when those nasty thoughts start to creep in. I also know that I have good qualities that people enjoy, otherwise they wouldn’t choose to be around me on a regular basis. We all have worth, regardless of how many pounds we carry around on our skeletons.

    I love you, my beautiful friend!

    ~ Thank you darlin. And you’re right….our assumptions about what they’re thinking are entirely based on our own self thoughts. If we were 100% confident we’d just assume they were admiring our {insert whatever fabulous thing here}. But….chances are, not all of us are.

  7. Chris says:

    I wonder why it is that online people feel much more comfortable talking poorly about other people, but telling people what we like about others is so rare. I really believe that the people who think you have to be thin to be attractive, healthy and beautiful are very narrow minded idiots. Certainly there are lots of media outlets that perpetuate this idea, and certainly there is a limit on how much overweight a person can be while still being healthy. However, it seems to me that more people like for a person to be on the larger side than for them to be skinny. I have often looked at women and thought that they were way too skinny to be healthy or attractive. No one seems to go behind their back and talk crap about them for being so skinny though. Nor is anyone’s glares construed as criticism. Such people just assume that if someone is staring its because they are admiring the stick figure’s… um, curves? Instead we tend to leave the idea of too skinny alone which further condones the idea that skinnier is better. I’m not saying that we should get all catty like people do about someone who’s overweight, but I really think that society should promote the idea of a healthy weight as attractive since that is most often what we tend to really want both in ourselves and in a partner. Just as there is the idea of being too fat there should also be the idea of being too skinny. However, neither should be the basis for judging a person. After all, I’ve known a few very skinny people who were actually really great to be around. Which means it is possible to be way too skinny and not a total bitch, however rare. Although, the majority of people I have enjoyed hanging out with are either a very healthy weight or overweight.

    ~ I can understand the point you’re trying to make, but yet you’re substituting “fat” for “skinny” in the judging by looks. The fact is…nobody can be judged by their looks alone. Not their size, their face, their manner of dress, their hairstyle. You can look at me on a bad day when I look like a complete sourpuss and unfairly judge that I’m a coldhearted bitch, as an example.

  8. Sarah Bear wrote: “If we’re not, we may lose weight and be different outside, but we’ll still be the fat girl in our mind.”

    I have a friend who lost literally 200lbs and looks AMAZING, but even a decade later, the fact is she STILL feels like ‘the fat girl’ even though she’s been thin longer than she’s been fat. I don’t think you can ever avoid that.

    But in some ways, that makes her a much nicer person than people who’ve always been thin and do ‘look down’ on bigger people. She’s been in their shoes and actually understands.

  9. Britni TheVadgeWig says:

    I have the opposite experience. If I find myself dazing off or making eye contact with an overweight woman that I don’t know, I immediately think, “I hope she didn’t think I was staring at her because she was fat!” But it’s because friends of mine have expressed what you expressed in this post, so it makes me overly conscious of trying NOT to offend or give off the impression that I’m judging. It’s such a dysfunctional circle, and I, too, need to just tell those voices to STFU. Because *I* know I’m not judging, and that’s really all I can do.

    ~ I think that in your case, a friendly smile if you’ve accidentally caught her eye would be enough to make her feel “safe” that you weren’t judging. At least it would for me.

  10. Garry says:

    Some of us men like REAL size women. We appreciate the curves and the softness. I have a painting in my Dining room painted by my grandfather back in the 20’s, it features 4 Rubenesque women. The old Masters knew what a real woman looks like. Look at any museum and the painters depict women as they should be not as modern society portrays them. My girlfriend has wonderful curves,,,,,I wouldn’t have her any other way. I don’t do skinny.

    ~ I can understand where you’re coming from here, but also my point is that no one should be judged on their size alone….and being a certain size doesn’t make a woman any more or less female. I know that everybody has their preferences for physical attraction, and that’s fine. But for every woman out there who starves herself to stay skinny for societal reasons, there’s another one who can’t gain weight, who can’t look any other way.

  11. Just A. Girl says:

    Great post. I can definitely relate about body envy. When I was super skinny, I was jealous of women with breasts (mine were completely flat). Now that I’ve grown curves, I find myself jealous of women with flatter tummies. It’s endless and unhealthy.

  12. Awesome post. Sometimes I do feel alone and very conscious. I am so glad too when I find someone in my same boat. It’s very hard to break the habit of thinking people are judging you. Human nature I suppose.