What Did You Just Call Me?

Yesterday on Twitter I was called a fat ass bitch. The rest of the tweet didn’t bother me, but when I saw the word FAT my blood was boiling. I didn’t care about being called a bitch. If I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch, but why do I have to be a fat bitch? Or a fat ass bitch, for that matter?

How do you feel about the word "fat"?

I hate that word. It has become a derogatory term for overweight people, just as the F word is for gay people, or the R word is for people with special needs. More often than not, it is used to be hurtful, not merely to describe a person’s appearance.

Being Called FatMy weight is a sensitive matter, just as I’m sure it is for every other woman in the world. I had two kids back-to-back. I didn’t have the opportunity to lose the weight from baby #1, before getting pregnant with baby #2. And finding the time to exercise with two little ones is not easy. I’m trying to lose weight, but it is hard!

It hurts when someone calls me fat, especially when it is said maliciously. It is just a reminder that when people look at me, they notice my weight. At times I wish I could stay hidden in the comfort of my home until I lose the weight and my appearance is up to society’s standards. But that isn’t an option.

How often do you think about your weight?

Being overweight is something I think about all the time, when I’m getting dressed, when I’m showering, when I’m shopping for clothes, when I’m going out to dinner, when people stare at me. It’s something I can’t help but think of especially when society puts such an emphasis on appearances.

On Being Fat

Many people like to teach compassion, however, I like to teach empathy. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to identify with their feelings. Just because you may feel you weren’t being offensive or hurtful doesn’t mean you didn’t come across that way. Our feelings are our own.

Next time you call someone fat, think twice about how that may have made the other person feel. I guarantee that it stung, even if just a little.

On Being FatThanks to Taylor, Mindy, Jessica, Cat, Lisa and Renee for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and for contributing to this post.

Comments

  1. says

    I love this, this is a wonderful thing to share. I’m not sure what happened but I thought I sent the email to you to participate in this. Must have got side tracked and closed the email instead of sending it.

    I too have the baby weight that has never gone away and having kids too close together, having too many kids and now we recently found out we are expecting again. My weight is a big issue with me and being pregnant again.

    I feel it is important to have a support system of women to build each other up and support one another through times like these. A lot of times we feel others are judging us but there are also others who are not thinking that way about us and we dig ourselves in a hole thinking bad thoughts about ourselves.

    • says

      AHHH! My heart was racing when I read your comment because I double checked to make sure I didn’t miss anyone. I just checked again and searched my inbox and nothing is coming up. Sorry!

      But congratulations on your pregnancy! I am SO happy for you. Everything will work out as it should. I was already overweight when I got pregnant with #1, and even more overweight when I got pregnant with #2.

      I definitely think having a strong support system is key to getting through the tough times. I’m always way too hard on myself.

      • says

        So horrible!. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to be so cruel to others. I think E.V.E.R.Y. woman on earth has something they would change about their body!. I have admitted on my blog and feel every single day how over-weight I am. I was a healthy weight before getting pregnant with Eve (5 yrs), and never lost it in between Eve and Lilah (2 yrs). Do I want to lose weight – yes. Do I struggle every day with my weight – yes. Do I feel alone and isolated with my weight – yes. Is it difficult to lose weight when you have 2 children, a job and a house to run – YES!!!!. If only life was easy and we could all have personal chefs, maids, nanny’s etc!.

        All we can do is try our best. Do things one.day.at.a.time. Try and stick to a healthy lifestyle. You’re bound to slip up once in a while – noone is perfect. But when that happens, we just try again.

        Chin up – you are beautiful and don’t you forget that :) xx

  2. says

    I can’t believe that someone would call you a name like that! It sounds silly but I wish people could just be NICE to each other! Is it so hard? You are a beautiful woman as I’m sure all the women who contributed to this post are. Ugh, judgmental people just make my blood boil! Thank you for such an introspective post on a tough subject. :)

  3. says

    Nobody has the perfect body. I think the person should have looked themselves in the mirror and asked if they ever wanted to be called something like that, especially concerning something that can’t be changed overnight. Like about the bitch thing, you can always just choose to keep your mouth shut from then on but you can’t instantly become thin. What is going on in this world, seriously?!

    • says

      That is exactly why it bothered me, Ally! B/c it isn’t something that can just be changed overnight. I don’t mind being called a bitch b/c I’m not always a bitch, but at the time being, I am fat and I can’t change it instantaneously.

  4. says

    How about the whole when are you due? When you aren’t pregnant. Ahhh tears come to my eyes. There really is an unrealistic view of what women should look like in order to be beautiful. I for one don’t want my daughters to be insecure and saddened because they don’t look like the girl on the magazine. There are so many youtube videos showing how much editing goes into these photos and it makes me angry. What happened to Marilyn Monroe being beautiful as a size 10? I hope that my girls will understand that size 0 isn’t beautiful. Of course I would love to loose some weight but I’m realistic too. I’m so sorry for the mean comments just ridiculous. It’s like one of those things that others know hurts and hits hard. Why do women tear each other down? Grow up and support one another right? xoxoxo

    • says

      I hate that one! And it is for that reason that unless the woman looks like she 9 months pregnant and about to burst, I will not ask about a pregnancy.

  5. says

    Oh Leilani! Thank you so much for putting this post together! I can’t believe how many of us have to go through the “FAT” issue every.single.day. I am sharing this post all over the internet – people need to understand that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will ALWAYS hurt me!”
    xoxo from one fat ass bitch to another:) Gotta laugh at that insult – really? how immature is that person?! Well, “F” them!

    • says

      I can laugh at it now b/c clearly she had nothing concrete to back herself up and that was the only insulting thing she could come up with. :)

  6. says

    This post makes me want to cry. I really commend you for posting this. This took a lot of courage to write, in my opinion. I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying. I could particularly relate to Mindy’s comments. I would like to think I’m not as fat as I really appear in pictures. I think about it ALL THE TIME. My husband HATES how I view myself because all he sees is what he thinks is beautiful. I just see “fat” and “not good enough”…which is horrible! Society puts far too much pressure on women and girls in particular to be something that is probably far less beautiful than what you would be naturally on your own. I know it’s inner beauty that counts the most, but there shouldn’t be all this pressure on people to have this image or that image to make them feel like they are acceptable members of society. It must make God incredibly sad to see how we tear each other {and ourselves} down like this.

    • says

      Great point! When I was in college and deep in the throes of anorexia I read an article in my Brio magazine that was a letter from Satan telling girls how pleased it made him when we hated our God-given bodies enough to starve them and mistreat them. It was a HUGE wake-up call for me. We need to learn to be thankful for what our bodies CAN do for us, not begrudge what we perceive as wrong with them.

    • says

      Oh I completely agree with Mindy’s comments. I look at myself ALL THE TIME in the mirror and think I look perfectly fine, and not fat, but then when I see pictures that others have taken of me, that’s when I want to curl into a ball and just hide.

      Society and the media definitely plays its part in making women feel like we aren’t good enough.

  7. says

    It can be just as harmful for the skinny girls! Growing up I was a super skinny little girl. I never could eat a lot of food (more like tons of tiny snacks all day long) & was always playing something with friends. I will say that being a ‘skinny mini’ wasn’t all that it’s made out to be either! I was so surprised at how mean people could be to me because I was one of the skinny girls. I would have people call me names & spread rumors that I was anorexic, which wasn’t the case at all.

    I never was one to call people ‘fat’ or be mean to people that had weight issues, so I couldn’t understand why people would do the same to me…all because I was tiny.

    Now I’m older & don’t have the super skinny issues I used to, but instead people comment on how I’ve gained weight (even though I’m considered in my normal weight range for my height). I’ve had random strangers congratulate me on expecting…when I’m not. I don’t want to go back to the size I used to be, but there are days when I wish I could just figure out how to get to the ‘ideal’ weight that others think I should be, so all the name calling & such would stop.

    • Nelia Santos says

      I can relate to the are you pregnant? question. I usually tell people I am 5 months pregnant and ask if they have money to give me for my baby, because the dad left me. Unluckily, they ran away as fast as they can.

  8. Julie says

    the only good thing about being fat is that it fills in the wrinkles…losing about 10 lbs just makes me look old :( wish I could just lose weight in my ass :P

  9. says

    My weight is a big issue for me, too. I remember growing up my mom and great aunt called me fat and would pinch me. Looking back, I wasn’t fat. It did cause me to have a slight case of anorexia in late high school early college. Now, post baby I have like 50 or so pounds that I need to lose and it just seems like such a huge number. I really want to have another baby, but I am kind of scared. My sister in law ended up getting gestational diabetes with baby #2 and it really freaked me out. I think about my weight all the time and I hate shopping. Going to the gym is kind of hard when I’ve been at work for 10 hours and all I want to do is see my daughter. *sigh*

  10. says

    EVERYONE needs to read this post!
    I cannot believe someone would actually call you that Leilani! HORRID!
    But, as for this post – you deserve a standing ovation for writing AND posting this! You are such a strong woman and a role model of confidence to the rest of us. So many people stereotype a person by how they look assuming that they just dont care about their lives if they are over weight, or have any other physical attributes that aren’t “suppose to be”. I have a friend that has just lost her hair to chemo, gained weight due to her medications and has pretty much barricaded herself in her house so she doesn’t need to be seen in public. She is one of the most outgoing and bubbly people I have ever met, but the past 3 weeks of receiving comments in public by STRANGERS has crushed her spirit. The rude-ness of some people I just cant get over. And i thoroughly agree with you – live a moment in the other persons life before you speak…words to live by!

    • says

      Oh I can believe it! Considering who it was coming from (someone I know IRL), I definitely could believe it and that’s why it pissed me off so much.

      People that use someone’s appearance to poke fun or be malicious aren’t good people in my book. You just don’t go there. It’s not cool.

      And thank you for the kind words! :)

  11. says

    A lot of people feel the need to critique the appearances of others – weight, hair, clothes, makeup, the whole lot. It’s incredibly rude and begets a lack of manners and consideration. One of the comments above me said “I wish I could figure out the ‘Ideal’ weight so the name calling would stop”. That really says it all – because no matter what you do, it will never be good enough for people who call names, because they make themselves feel better by putting others down.

  12. says

    Okay, so you’ve totally made it bigtime! Leilani, it’s like your on the blog tabloids! What?! All joking aside it really does piss me off. Like I’ve told you before, the weight I’ve put on now is nothing like the 100lbs I had before. It hurts like heck to be called fat, the other two I could possibly find some pride in being called. When it comes down to it, screw them. Don’t find excuses with back to back pregnancies and worry about justifying it. It is what it is…you’re a successful mother, wife, business woman and about a bajillion other wonderful things. I have found that jealousy usually displays itself starting with the word fat. No joke, women know how to heal and they know how to hurt. You can pretty much shoot a woman between the eyes with the word fat.

    Stand up, dust yourself off…truth be told you’re gorgeous. I know you feel like you’re not the best you, but that will come. There is a season for everything. Are you sure they didn’t spell it wrong and they really meant “PHAT” {pretty hot and tempting}? Haha! I’m so sorry you were hurt…if I still lived in Cali, I would pay them a lil “VISIT” I pulled a lot of those in my younger days ;)

  13. Jacklyn Melchner says

    The only reason we as women are so hurt by this word, is because society and media trick us into believing we are overweight, ugly, old and unattractive. In some other countries, women with meat on their bones (& men too) are looked upon as being wealthy and strong. Only in our country do we have more food and shelter than most, yet starve ourselves or binge eat and vomit just to feel accepted. It disgusts me that we are so insecure, not because of how we really feel about ourselves, but because we are seeking some sort of acceptance from others. And who exactly are these ‘others’ anyway? Ladies, we live in a new world and we need to keep our children, boys and girls, from being sucked into this media trap of perfection. It only causes depression, eating disorders and even suicide and all because of physical appearance? I admit I am guilty too. I had 4 kids & 3 miscarriages within 5 years, plus a surgery and I’ve never fully lost all the weight I wanted, but who really cares? I’m not obese, I don’t binge or vomit or even diet. I’m healthy and as long as my kids and my husband love me, so should I! Look in the mirror tomorrow and LOVE yourself. Be the BEST role model for your children by loving who you are and who you have become!

  14. Nelia Santos says

    I have witnessed people being offended by being called fat. I have been called fat several times, or was told I was not fat, I just have a big stomach, etc. I have learned to ask people what they mean by this and learned to answer in a way that makes me look like, I will accept whatever advice they may have. Of course, if they call me a fat ass bitch, I will get mad, but the blood boiling will be towards the bitch. I will actually laugh at the word fat ass, because it is my tummy that is huge, not my ass, I wish it was, but it is not.

    Leilani, I completely agree with Jacklyn and Pidg. Concentrate on all your blessings and you will see that nothing can and will bother you. You are a beautiful woman with two beautiful babies, and good looking husband, enjoy it.

    FYI, whenever I look in the mirror, I can’t help but admire my beer can body that look like it popped being left in the freezer overnight. You know why? because it is mine, and I have learned to love myself unconditionally.

    • says

      Thanks, Nelia. I was just really bothered by it because it came from someone in my husband’s family. Had it come from some random person online, I probably wouldn’t have cared, but considering this person merely said it to be malicious and insulting is what bothered me.

  15. says

    Recently someone asked me how the baby was doing… when I looked confused they said ”oh, sorry… I thought you just HAD the baby… when are you due!?”
    It was a crushing blow to my self-esteem…
    We are struggle with our own body issues, and I don’t like use the ‘Fat’ word either… both my kids are already aware that it is not a nice word and are never to use it!
    Leilani, you are a beautiful woman, wife & mother… and an inspiration!
    Loved this post… will be sharing it for others to read!

    • says

      Lena, I know how you feel. After Paul and I got married, I began putting on a lot of weight and I would get asked frequently when I was due. I hadn’t even had ANY kids, yet, so it would really bother me. I didn’t have anything near the flabby post-baby pouch I have now, and people still thought I was pregnant.

  16. says

    Hi Leilani…..Thank you so much for including my comments and for putting together such a thought provoking post. I am sharing your post with my readers and will link it back to you!

    Lisa (Mamalou’s Gems)

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