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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fat Ass

Last week someone called me a fat ass. I will clarify that and say 'he' called me a fat ass because I find that this sort of comment often comes from men. Of course I am a woman and am more likely to be ridiculed by a man but I doubt that a noticeably slender man would ever be called a fat ass by a woman.

The other thing I want to say is that I hope my daughter heard this comment.

And why would I wish for such hateful words directed at me to be heard by my daughter and every other woman and girl-- so that they will know when someone directs these words at them, and it will happen if it has not happened already, that these words have nothing to do with physical appearance. These words directed at women or girls are meant to sting and shame. They play on our insecurities and make us hate our bodies no matter how they look.

And I wish my daughter had heard them – heard them directed at me – all 115 pounds of me.

A few months ago I found my daughter standing in front of a full length mirror and she told me she didn't like how she looked. She said she was fat and what is more a male friend of hers had called her fat several months before that.

I remember that incident well; we had talked about it at the time. They had been playing and the boy wanted her to move off the slide and when she didn't he called her fat. She was visibly hurt by the comment and I told her that people say these things not because they are true but because they know those words are hurtful and mean. I told her that people had called me fat and asked her if she thought I was fat. She quickly said that I was not fat and was astonished that anyone would have ever called me that. I wanted her to understand that when someone calls a woman or girl fat it is not about their actual appearance it is about trying to hurt the woman or girl's sense of self worth.

So last week when this ignorant man told me to get off my fat ass I was hoping my daughter heard him so she could fully understand the explanation I had given about the senselessness of these words when they were directed at her or any one else. They do not reflect reality. They only highlight the ignorance and baseness of the person who chooses to hurl them like Molotov cocktails.

Do not let others create the image you have of yourself. It's a tall order. As the mother of two girls it will be a battle I will be fighting for years to come but I hope discussing such thoughtless words will help pave the way for them towards a body positive future.

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