Oct 03 2012

It ain’t easy being….fat

By now maybe you’ve seen the above video, and heard about Jennifer Livingston’s response to her weight bully. I embedded the video from Youtube above, and if you haven’t seen it I would urge you to check it out.

I applaud Jennifer for standing up to her bully. She delivered her response like a true professional – she could have been more angry, she could have cried – but she was a professional, all the way, and used this as a learning opportunity about bullying among children.

In my opinion, should she be even MORE of a role model to young girls (and boys), for overcoming society’s view of the “perfect woman” as slender to represent the majority of U.S. women in such a public role as a television anchor and reporter.

I also applaud her husband, a handsome, fellow anchor at the same station she works at who valiantly went to her defense when she received the offending email from a local man.

This whole thing has fired me up in a way that generally only happens once or twice a year. And here I am, standing on my soap box (my blog) and about to lay out my opinions and feelings. Because that’s how I deal with being fired up – I spend my lunch hour writing about it! LOL

If you’ve been a BeautyJudy follower for a while, you may remember I share my weight loss journey with readers in The Beauty Loser through weekly posts.

You know that I had so much success the first couple months I was doing Weight Watchers and losing weight last year about this time. But then earlier this year, after my gall bladder attack in December 2011 (and then surgery January 2012 to have it out), I struggled to find my mojo and eventually put The Beauty Loser back on hiatus until I could.

The truth is, I haven’t gotten my mojo back; in fact, yesterday I ate a Wendy’s small cheeseburger and French fries for lunch, and I just had cashews for breakfast with my coffee (gross, but I forgot breakfast and it was what I had in my drawer). Mike and I continue to be horrible about planning meals, and I never know how to eat during the day, because I hardly ever know how I’m going to eat at night. So I try to limit my food during the day and completely fail when I get home.

I haven’t been to a Weight Watchers meeting in three weeks.

Yes, I admit that I struggle because I do not regularly exercise and I make poor meal choices. I am also finding that it’s harder now than ever before to lose weight. I’m seven or eight years older than I was the last time I lost weight.

Despite the fact that I know my faults and my choices, and I mentally bully myself every day for it, I know I shouldn’t NOT love myself – or expect people to love me less – because of it. And I have to tell myself that, every. Single. Day. Sometimes, it’s not enough and I get home at the end of the day and I cry because I hate how uncomfortable I feel in my body and how much it actually, physically hurts sometimes. Painting my toes? My stomach/middle hurts when I bend down to paint my toes.

But, frankly, if you think I’m ugly because I’m “fat,” or you don’t want to associate with me because I’m “fat,” then I don’t really need that kind of poison in my life.

A person who’s overweight or obese already knows that they are “fat,” just like Jennifer pointed out. I don’t need your ignorance to point that out. I live with it. I see myself in mirrors ALL THE TIME. However, I choose to try and accept myself. I choose to try and love me, just the way I am.

I run a beauty blog. I put pictures of myself on the Internet. Before a post appears on BeautyJudy, know that I take TONS of pictures so I can try and eliminate my double chin. Or so you can’t see the wrinkles in my neck as much.

I blog about beauty and I try to see it in my face beyond the fat. You have no idea how much it takes to put those pictures up here, but I try to feel, deep down, that I am pretty, and I share those pictures because I want to share how I use certain products, and how those products help make me feel prettier (and frankly, arm swatches aren’t enough for me, I want to see how makeup is USED, too)

I am blessed that I’ve never received hateful comments on my blog. But trust me, I’ve received them in real life. I know there’s no context to these, but here’s some of the bullshit I’ve had to deal with:

  • Someone said to me, “You probably would find a husband if you lost some weight.”
  • In my 20s I made eye contact with a cute guy at a New Year’s event, and we smiled, and when the crowd parted and the guy looked at me up and down, he abruptly went the other way.
  • Someone told me I looked like I’d gained “400 lbs or something.”

You see, there’s no need to be like this.

I refuse to be defined by my weight. I want to be defined by how I treat others. I want to be defined by my talents. My weight should not – does not – factor into whether or not I’m a beautiful person.

Thanks, Jennifer, because not only did you stand up for yourself, and against weight bullies, but it felt like you were standing up for ALL of us who struggle with weight.

*steps off soap box*

Thanks for hearing me out, guys.

  • Pingback: The Beauty Loser is Back October 5, 2012 » BeautyJudy()

  • Skin Scrubs

    Someone tell why anyone would choose to be obese? I’m surprised he doesn’t ask people who are disabled the same thing! I got bullied in school for being from a different state, then it was my weight, then it was my hair the list goes on…..

    At least those girls can hold their head up and be proud of their mum!

  • http://twitter.com/KimberlyIsHere Kimberly

    Girl, I know you through the Internet, blogging and in real life. You are beautiful and the one thing that really stood out when I met you is that you are real and a heart-warming person. To hell with anyone that thinks differently. Whether we wear a size 16 or a size 4, we are the same person inside.
    When I was a kid, I was raised by a woman that was over 325#. Kids in school bullied ME about her being fat. I wasn’t fat at all. But, it has haunted me my entire life. It just seems there is no caring, only contempt, in our fellow human beings.

  • Elise

    I commend you for sharing such a personal post with all of your readers. That in itself shows the strength of your character, which, to me, is what ultimately defines a person (and it speaks volumes). It pains me to see you and/or know that you “mentally bully” yourself about this every day. You are such a wonderful person and as your friend (or simply a decent person), I don’t want to see you hurt. You know I think you’re beautiful (inside and out), but if you’re not “feeling” it, those words will fall on deaf ears. Nevertheless, I will continue to say it. 🙂 While I have not struggled with weight issues my entire life, as you know, I gained quite a few pounds between 2008-2011 for reasons beyond my control. Now that I’ve dropped the weight, it’s nice to hear compliments from people, but they can be so invasive with their questions and it kills me that they automatically assume I just gave up on myself. And then it makes me think, “Gee, if you keep going on about how ‘thin’ I look again, what did you think I looked like when I was heavy? And, thanks for judging.” I was dumbstruck to read the comments people have said to you over the years (“You probably would find a husband if you lost some weight.” REALLY????). But then again, look at the behavior of SOME of the people in society…so is it really that shocking? But obviously there are good people in the world, and I am here to support you when you are feeling down or discouraged—and clearly you have other supporters, too, when you need that extra hand. Love ya, beautiful! Nicely done! XOXO

  • imperfectpaint

    We both were clearly moved by Jennifer Livingston’s video. I really enjoyed this post, and I commend you on your courage to share these feelings. I can completely relate to all of the things you share. Thank you for sharing this. I think posts like this though they are not the easiest to write, are so freeing and helpful to not only ourselves, but to others too. You’re awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/MightyLambchop Heather MightyLamb

    Thank you for this. I cried while watching it for two reasons. I was overwhelmed with pride to see Jennifer boldly confront her “concern troll.” But I was overwhelmed with sadness and shame. Sad for everyone who has been made to feel somehow unworthy because of how they look. Ashamed because I have had the same concern troll thoughts.

    I challenge and chastise myself when I have these thoughts. I remind myself how hurtful that is to others and that I DON’T KNOW their story. I remind myself that people are having the same thoughts about me. I remember that I don’t want to hurt people and I don’t want to be hurt.

    It is friends like you who challenge me and inspire me to be more loving and understanding. Sharing your experiences with us, helps me to nurture my empathy.

    I think you are such a lovely person and you have always been a great friend. Thank you very much. You are more than what you look like. You are an amazing woman and I am grateful to have met you.

  • http://twitter.com/brittbernard Brittany Bernard

    Judy, your words are as beautiful as you.
    I just read another blog on this same topic and they referred to a JK Rowling quote, which I find very relevant:
    “‘Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’?”
    That resonates with me because, (somewhat) jokingly, I’ve always said that people can call me any name they want but if they call me “fat” I will cry in a snap.
    It is that word that somehow breaks down the confident and cripples the strength of women every day. Jennifer Livingston is a role model for any woman who has ever felt insecure (every woman?) not because she is fat and sticking up for that, but because she is STRONG.
    Beauty is so much more than weight, and I think your blog, through this post and many others, illustrates that beauty. Thanks for sharing your experiences and speaking for me and the countless number of your readers who have gone through the same.

  • Momma Donna

    I could not have said this better myself. As you know I have battled my own weight issues. I went from one end of the spectrum to the other and have not found it easy to deal with. My weight increased due to medications for a disease, diabetes, that most associate with being overweight. NOT TRUE IN EVERY CASE. This disease ran in both sides of my family. I WAS THIN WHEN DIAGNOSED. The medicine to help control my condition added the weight, “catch 22”. But people don’t know that. They assume I stuffed food in my mouth and “gave it to myself”. I know many morbidly obese people who are healthier than thin people. It hurts. I feel horrible, physically and mentally and emotionally. Society is so judgmental and the ones that are the most, buy their issues in the closet. Overweight people wear theirs. Metabolism changes for some people as well as when menopause hits your body changes. Mothers cannot drop birth weight. Why do people considered overweight always have to justify their size. It is not weight or fashion that makes one beautiful. It is their smile. Sometimes a smile through tears for those that have to put up with the comments, sneers and whispers know the hurt and pain the others would buckle under. So no matter what our size, stand tall and proud and know that your size NEVER determines your soul and your character. I applaud Jennifer’s courage and you, Judy. You championed every “fat” person when you wrote this as well. Thank you. “Momma Donna”