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“She looks like she enjoys her food!”
My mother had taken Fiona to her playgroup last Tuesday and this is what she heard out of the mouth of the provider on site. This was also said by the old lady in Edgartown last summer as we popped in and out of shops, by a doctor in the ER, and by countless others.
Now, you may think this is harmless, but let me demonstrate how they aren’t as evidenced by the following:
1) Many of these statements are accompanied by startled looks and raised eyebrows
2) Where are the mothereffin people telling me, a moderately slim woman, that I look like I enjoy my food? Cause I do. I enjoy eating half a bag of edamame when I’m craving healthy food, I enjoy mashed potatoes and salmon at a restaurant, I enjoy eating the salt out of the bottom of Wheat Thins boxes, and I enjoy a couple of Hershey’s Kisses at the end of a long Mommy day. But apparently I don’t “look” like it.
(And the funny thing is? An overweight or obese woman, who “looks like she enjoys her food”, may indeed hate food, hate it because it controls her and makes her its slave.)
Get my point?
Not to mention the provider, from the same agency, who upon learning Fiona’s weight, winced.
Now, some people say to me (supportively, I do know), “Amanda, people are stupid, ignorant, etc. That’s just them. Don’t listen to them.” The reason they say this is because they are trying to help me to accept others, which will in turn not let it bother me and bother Fiona.
I will accept people’s intellectual levels or lack thereof. However, I will never accept ignorance. Which is the majority of the statements projected onto Fiona. Especially when they are coming from people with Master’s Degrees. Ignorance is a different thing than stupidity – you can choose to be ignorant or not no matter how intellectually smart you are. And I don’t put up with it, on any level. What if MLK had accepted ignorance? What if Gloria Steinem had?
Our country has this huge spiritual problem which is causing people to turn to drugs, to sex and to food to soothe or cope. And we do have an obesity problem, but as my very wise friend Michelle said, “Obsessing about thinness isn’t the answer to solving obesity.”
And it’s totally sick that some of us are projecting that anxiety onto toddlers who are our models of balanced eating – they throw the spoon at you when they’re full; they refuse to eat chicken because it doesn’t suit them; they scream when you offer them yogurt. And we project it onto them because of the way they look.
I wrote this today because I’m about to meet with some of the providers I spoke of earlier, and I don’t want to blow up at them. Instead, I will confront them about it with conviction, because, well, that’s just me.
(image provided by medical-surgical.org).