I want you to watch this clip. It is not very long, but it is very important. After you have seen it, then finish reading this post.
OK, So you watched the video right? Now let’s talk for a moment.
First off, the body image issues people have these days makes me ill. I don’t see fat people, or skinny people I just see people. However, when I was in India, this happened…
It was the holiday Holi, and it was my first visit to India, I have always felt a connection to the country even before stepping foot there. Now I was there for reasons beyond being a “lookie loo.” I went to have some dental work done as it was way too expensive here in the US. But I figured, “when in Rome.”
To make a very long story short, I’ve always had issues about how I look, I was a child of a mother who placed for more importance on looks than brains. She still does, but she is getting better. I don’t blame her, her own Mother was the same way, and I’m assuming my Grandmother’s Mother was like that as well. Being raised where your appearance is given such scrutiny I had hang-ups to start with and I was very tiny, as in at least 20lbs underweight and I was still called “Chunky” and “Tank” There were other terms, but they are not words I care to reiterate now or ever. At Fourteen I had open heart surgery, I was in the hospital for a week, and not surprisingly I lost weight, about 10 lbs. My Family thought this was “Fantastic” and that I looked “Better.” I felt like poo on a stick, but I’ll be honest, I don’t know how much was from the surgery and how much was from weight loss. But I tried harder to maintain this new accepted body weight, however, since my heart was now functioning nearer to normal than it ever had my body was now getting what it required to work properly and eventually the weight crept up.
It is not something that has stopped to be honest, as my heart begins to decline again, it makes exercise a tricky problem. I won’t get into details, but for my whole adult life I have felt poorly about the way I looked and by extension myself.
I married, divorced, remarried and traveled to an exotic land that I have longed to see since I was a child. I finally felt in control of my life, and that things were pretty close to perfect, save for the lingering body image issues that while I had managed to fight back and become comfortable with myself still cropped up from time to time.
So I’m in India, and my heart is acting up, I see a cardiologist, and everything checks out about the same as it has always been. But, the Doctor’s advice was to not get my heart rate above 150bpm, unfortunately I do that in my sleep… Arrhythmia is so much fun!
I’m enjoying my visit, doing the things I came to do and all is going well for about a month. Along comes the holiday, one that for years I have wanted to take part in. I jump into my friends Jeep, and his neighbor’s kids are in the Jeep and she is maybe Six or Seven, her sister is younger, perhaps four or five. I won’t get into the issues I had with these children while I was there, but their parents were some of the biggest stuck up, self-centered, egotistical, jerk wads that I’d ever had the bad fortune of meeting. Monkey see Monkey do right?
Anyhow the eldest of the girls looks at me, and says “My Daddy says you are very fat, and Mommy said fat is ugly.” So when the girl’s Mother gets into the back of the Jeep I’m mad, offended, and kinda hurt, I mean her kids were brats, and I was nice about the worst of the situations and now she has the gall to talk about me behind my back like she knows something about me? No, doll, not this chick, and most defiantly not today! She gets seated and I look at her and inform her that then next time she wishes to be a catty B!^(# she should make sure her kids don’t overhear it because the kids have not learned to filter what they say.
She made up some BS to try to validate herself and said she’d not be offended if I talked about “how tall, ” she was… Yeah like that is such a problem… >.> Bite me Barbie.
In the end, I said I’d rather be fat and happy than thin and so utterly miserable that I had nothing left to do, but build myself up by tearing people down. I also added that my kid would never behave like hers to anyone because my kid was raised better than that.
But, because of this incident, I felt poorly about myself and it made me rethink my seemingly happy life. Was I in fact ugly? Ugly people don’t succeed in life, and most def does not make it as an author, not women at least. Have you ever seen a woman Author who was utterly unattractive in modern times?
So, I’m talking with my dentist and I tell him about the thing’s mouth-wise that I am self-conscious about. We extend my treatment beyond the normal care that I had come in for. Now we are doing caps, and veneers and all kinds of things, we even talked about in the future when I return doing surgery to extend my lower jaw. I’m sitting there and I hear myself talking, and I can’t believe it. ME? The most grounded person I know when it comes to being realistic about one’s self, did I really just ask for and agree to these painful and unnecessary procedures?
I even went through with them! 😮
Words have a lot of power, remember that the next time you speak. You never know what someone is going through and you never know how your words will affect someone and what they will do because of the effect those words had on them. If I were a weaker person would I have considered something more self-destructive?
I’m glad I am as strong as I am and won’t have to find out, but it was a lesson in how words can drive people’s actions as well as forcing me to examine my own reactions to words spoken by someone who really I already had zero respect for.
Try to learn to just see people, please! We can do better than this can’t we?