“You’d be so pretty if you lost some weight” … I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one while growing up. So I’d like to dedicate this piece to all those “helpful” souls who offer this advice to their chubby friend/sister/daughter/cousin/co-worker/whoever.
Telling us we’d “be so pretty if …” is NOT FUCKING HELPFUL! What you’re really saying is that we’re NOT pretty. You’re telling us that our worth is based only upon our weight, and we’re NOTHING unless we conform to what YOU believe is “normal.” In other words, you’re NOT helping, not one bit.
You’re NOT the first person to tell us that we’re fat. WE ALREADY KNOW! All you’re doing is killing what little self-esteem we have. If we’re foolish enough to listen to your “advice,” we’ll be allowing you to treat us like shit because we think that we deserve it. We’ll also end up fatter, lonelier, and more depressed, causing us to take stupid health risks and have risky sex in order to regain some semblance of our shredded self-esteem. News flash: being fat does NOT mean we deserve ANY of this!
I listened to this advice and it fucked my mind up something fierce. I thought of myself as something less than human, unworthy and unlovable. I blamed my weight for everything that went wrong or didn’t happen as I wished because I never thought there was any other reason. This made me close myself off from people, causing me to be unapproachable. Assuming no man would find me attractive, I used humor as a shield from their perceived rejection. This caused men to view me as aloof, and THAT was why they didn’t approach me!
As I got older, I continued to blame my unhappiness on my weight, even though it was never the problem. I put damn near every man that was interested in me in the friend zone because I did not believe they saw me as worthy. My self-loathing was boyfriend Kryptonite and I became very cavalier about men. I never gave any man more than two dates … often less. Sometimes I just randomly made out with guys at bars, took their numbers and didn’t call. I was afraid of being hurt, so I gave no one a chance, and I used them so they wouldn’t use me.
I eventually decided I should marry because I did want a family. Naturally, I chose someone who found my weight to be a problem. I’m not going to bash my ex-husband because we have two sons together and are on good terms. Really, my own belief that I was less than is what led me to choose that path. I think on some level I did this because I figured that would motivate me to finally be thin. It didn’t. You should not ever be with anyone who doesn’t think you are all that and then some; it’s a dumb thing to do. He should have chosen someone else, and I should have too.
Considering all the mistakes I made, here’s some advice that will actually help my fellow big girls: Be yourself. Love yourself. Tell yourself daily that you are awesome, beautiful, and sexy and eventually, you’ll start to believe it. It took me 40 years and plenty of tears to realize what I should have always known – that I’m beautiful, sexy and a damn good catch – and I write this with the hope that I can reach someone and help them get their self-esteem sooner rather than later.
Just remember, you’ll be so pretty if … you ignore the opinions of others and simply believe it’s true!