Have you ever experienced weight discrimination? HELL YEAH I HAVE
By Sarah Little
Now I could bore you with the many ways I have experienced discrimination because of my weight over the years:
The doctors telling me I should consider losing weight when all I went in for was a repeat prescription of my contraception.
The numerous clothes shops that don’t stock enough clothes in my size – or when they do, I try on that gorgeous skirt to find it won’t go on past my thighs.
Or the countless number of times I have been told to “shake my big fat ass” by some wretched guy in a white van as I innocently walk home.
Yawn. (I mean these things are TOTALLY not okay, but we’ve heard them all
I want to talk about something much more important than that. I want to talk about the discrimination I gave myself. Yep that’s right. I, Sarah, have
discriminated and body shamed a fat person – myself.
• I told myself my ‘friends’ didn’t really like me because I’m fat so I always
cancelled plans with them.
• I told myself that boys didn’t want to talk to me because I’m fat so I stopped going on night’s out.
• I told myself I wasn’t allowed to wear certain clothes because I’m fat so I covered myself up with dark, baggy clothes.
• I told myself I should be ashamed to show my body off on a holiday with friends so I stayed inside fully clothed.
• I told myself I’ll only look beautiful on my wedding day if I am skinny, so I punished and restricted myself on a crash diet for six months.
• I told myself I could never be a yoga teacher because I wasn’t skinny or flexible enough.
• I told myself I wasn’t sexy or desirable so I never used to let my husband see me naked.
Now, I can cope with some dickhead in a van shouting abuse at me, or the doctor telling me to lose weight – these voices don’t matter to me. However, that discriminating voice in my head – the one telling me I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve to be happy, that I don’t deserve to be treated like everyone else because I’m fat – this was the voice that needed attention.
This voice had been conditioned for 24 years to believe that I deserved to be treated like crap because of my weight. By diet culture, the media, society, even my own family and
IT IS NOT OKAY that at 11 years old I started starving myself to fit into a prom dress I was only wearing to impress other people.
IT IS NOT OKAY that my daily mantra throughout my whole teens and early twenties was “I’ll be happy when I am skinny”.
IT IS NOT OKAY that I punished myself in the gym until I passed out just to look thin on my wedding day. Have I ever experienced discrimination because of my weight? Yes. Every day. For 24 years. In my own head. In my own personal hell.
But all that changed 2 years ago.
Two little words that gave me freedom. That allowed me to feel accepted and loved. That allowed me to shine my light brightly again…
Once I started to change that voice in my head from a voice of hate and loathing to a voice of love and acceptance, everything changed.
I tell myself I am beautiful and enough exactly as I am. I tell my body she is strong and healthy at any size. I tell myself that I can be anything I want to be and do anything I want to do. I tell myself that I am loved by friends and family for exactly who I am. I tell myself I do not deserve to be treated any differently because of my weight/size. I tell myself that I LOVE MYSELF DAILY (and mean it!)
So, start a revolution, a riot and tell them that we won’t stand for this body shaming or discrimination anymore, but don’t forget to tell the most important person of all – YOU. Love yourself please.