You could bounce quarters off my husband's butt.
At this moment, I'm sure his coworkers at ATK are gathering their change, aiming, and throwing it at him. Brian owes his new svelte self to Ben Lomond Crossfit, hard work, and his fear of growing old. Never one to get fat, he mostly wanted to build muscle. Everything he's done, he's done for himself, not looking for approval from other men or women. He looks fantastic, and he's mine.
People rarely comment on the state of a man's body. This isn't anything new; we know that women are expected to appear a certain way. I can't go a day without reading or hearing a quip about another woman's image. Sadly enough, women are usually the ones doing the commenting. We are our own worst enemies.
"Fat shaming" is a new trend used to push overweight people into losing weight. It's usually a stranger attacking another because they think they get to have an opinion. Those on social media proclaimed last week to be "Fat Shaming Week" wherein people posted negative comments about the overweight on Facebook and Twitter. For the most part these nasty comments seemed geared toward women. Surprisingly enough, it was started by men, single men.
Yet again, women -- more so, mothers -- are their own worst enemies, shaming one another for who we are and what we look like. Didn't these people ever read Dr. Seuss -- the Sneetches people!
Case in point, Maria Kang posted a photo of herself in a tiny black and red bikini, her insane abs front and center, her three little boys at her feet, and the caption "what's your excuse" brazen on top of the photo. Within a day the picture went viral. Maria Kang's message, meant to inspire, turned into accusations of fat shaming. Thousands commented on her photo, some supporting her hard work, others questioning her as a mother, woman, and person. She was accused of putting the gym before her children, making herself a priority. How dare she.
Here's what really ticked me off: Because some people carry some extra chub around (me included) they couldn't bring themselves to cheer on this mother of three. Instead they ripped her down, telling her to cover up because "not everyone can look like that after having three kids."
Um ... don't I know it? I'm carrying around an extra 30 pounds, and the second I saw that picture of Ms. Kang I thought, yeah, what is my excuse? Mind you, I quickly came up with one -- my feet hurt.
On the flip side, Melissa McCarthy, the hottest actress in Hollywood right now, is getting accused of fat shaming because she didn't wear a sports bra, opting for a green trench coat on the cover of Elle magazine. The plus-size actress looks gorgeous and glowing with the fact she's rolling in the millions. McCarthy worked with a stylist picking out the outfit, saying she felt most comfortable in the coat. Does this mean the plus-size actress fat shamed?
Backers of fat shaming say it's a way to cut down on the proclaimed obesity epidemic by motivating the overweight to exercise. But does it work? A study by Florida State University found that those who faced weight discrimination were more likely to gain than lose weight. My experience with fat shaming would actually negate that study.
While writing for the Hers section I received some nasty comments from a person who didn't have the guts to post his real name. Horrible enough, it motivated me to get running just so I could tell commenter guy to go to hell. He had a point; I was unhealthy, giving up because now I carry the title of "mom." He shamed me, cut me down, made me embarrassed of my body, but it got me moving. He changed my life. I hate him.
I'm not saying fat shaming it right. It's not. Inspiration, support, and remembering that we are people can actually create a positive change in a person. For once I'd like to read or see women rally around one another, stopping the ridiculous diatribe against a person without knowing the full story.
Fat shaming is man's invention, one that women are buying into, and slapping each other around with, deleting any of the inspiration we need to make it through the day.
"They decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars."
Simple, but genius.
Meg Sanders fell down the rabbit hole of motherhood four years ago quitting her job as a news producer. Now she spends her days grasping onto her sanity, striving to be a good person, and fighting the urge to eat her young. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org