To The Man Who Told Me To Watch My Weight, How About You Watch Your Mouth Instead?

To The Man Who Told Me To Watch My Weight, How About You Watch Your Mouth Instead?

I really don't know how you expected me to respond to that.

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To the man who told me to watch my weight,

A Memorial Day barbecue was the last place I expected to be body shamed, but I suppose women are never safe from unsolicited criticism about their bodies regardless of where they go.

In life, I've learned to expect the unexpected, especially when alcohol is involved.

I was walking up to the table to grab another piece of watermelon when you stopped me in my tracks. "You better watch what you're eating," you said drunkenly. "Men don't like their women fat."

Does it occur to you that maybe I don't care what men want? I am a healthy weight, have a boyfriend who loves all parts of me, and feel comfortable in my own skin. You clearly don't feel the same way about yourself if you feel the need to intrude on my self-confidence.

I couldn't believe my ears at first. I thought I had to have heard you wrong. Your wife interjected, saying, "I'm sorry about him. He has no filter."

Since I was at a barbecue surrounded by family and friends, I decided to just brush off your comment to avoid conflict. I know your opinion of my body should mean nothing to me, but it still made me angry.

I understand that you had a few beers too many. I understand how hard it is for you to have a filter when you're sober, let alone drunk. But what I don't understand is why you felt the need to ruin my night and make me feel judged in a place where I felt safe.

What makes it even worse was that you made that comment in front of your 6-year-old daughter. I know you'd be the first one to punch someone in the face for saying something like that to your daughter, so don't be surprised if someone does the same to you one day. Next time you see a woman and think she should watch her weight, you should just watch your mouth and keep it to yourself instead.

From,

A girl who never asked for your opinion

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The Media And Beauty Standards: A Topic Worth Talking About

Beauty doesn't come in one size.
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Since the beginning of time, men and women have been instructed by the media to look a certain way and taught what is "ideal" for the current time. For years and years, many have struggled with their own image, body type and what exactly "real beauty" is. Thousands of magazine ads are printed every day and more often than not, the models in those ads do not even look like themselves. It's called photoshop, and it is a dangerous weapon. It is a tool that we all know very well and although we are aware that the women and men in the photographs have been heavily altered, we will hold ourselves to that unattainable standard of beauty and "perfection."

The media have the ability to tell us of what's in style, what the new fad diets are and what we should be doing to our bodies in order to be accepted by society. This in itself is a major problem. While we do get enjoyment looking at celebrities and seeing what they are wearing and how they put make up on their faces, the media makes it clear that we need to follow exactly what they are doing, too, regardless of the price. We want to look like them when we should be wanting to look more like our own selves — all different in shape and size.

This obsession with appearance we all have is strongly due to exposure to TV shows, photoshopped fashion ads and the idea of constantly improving ourselves to look a certain way in order to fit in. A study by the Social Issues Research Centre has shown that female dissatisfaction with appearance begins at a very early age. Humans gain the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror by the age of two, and "young girls develop a dislike for what they see only a few years later."

Women will spend about $15,000 on make up each year to enhance their appearance and according to Attn, will spend about two weeks per year putting it all on. That's a lot of time and a lot of money to spend on cosmetics. However, many women are beginning to embrace their imperfections and are starting to wear make up to empower themselves — not their spouses, not their friends, and not society. This act in itself is a step in the right direction. However, there are still some ideas out there that make up was made to enhance a woman's attractiveness and to make her seem more appealing to men. But what's important when it comes to make up is the purpose of wearing it and it makes one more confident then no one should stop them from feeling great about themselves.

Attractiveness has proven to be an important characteristic in today's society. Being favorable in appearance allows one to receive more opportunities and essentially "go further" in life. This is a huge red flag in today's society, especially now that there are more movements for accepting all sorts of different looks, not just one specific type of beauty. For example, people who are seen as attractive have a better chance of getting jobs or making more money. One US study shows that men who are taller will make about $600 more dollars than a man of average to lower heights. There is a constant bias of beauty in almost all situations we experience in our day to day lives.

We also see this in many TV shows, children's movies and other aspects of the media. Over and over again do we recognize beauty as good as or of more value than any other characteristics. Take children's movies involving princesses and princes; they are always beautiful and simple where the evil characters are always perceived as ugly old witches. It is a common theme amongst many shows, movies, and books and it's subtly being ingrained in the minds of many that beauty is the only important quality one can achieve.

Many are fighting for the acceptation of diverse beauty looks and are starting to advocate for natural beauty. This is a huge step for society because in retrospect, times were completely different many decades ago. Challenging the media about what is "ideal" is something that is becoming more encouraged and teaching children that everyone is beautiful and has something special about them is a major key in their development. The media will always try to control the standards of beauty but it is up to society to combat that and accept all types of bodies and beauties.

Cover Image Credit: Cosmopolitan

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This Is NOT Us: NBC's Fan-Favorite Primetime Show Is Fatphobic

All of the characters on NBC's "This is Us" are multi-faceted, complex individuals. So why is Kate Pearson's only storyline about her weight?

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When NBC's Primetime show "This is Us" premiered in 2016, I didn't begin watching it right away. But as I heard all of the acclaim surrounding it from audience and critics, I decided to sit down and give it a try. For some reasons, like its portrayal of mental health, racial issues and adoption, I'm glad I did. However, its portrayal of fat characters—something we hardly see in television and movies as it is, let alone in lead roles—was a huge let down for me.

Just as a fair warning, this article will include spoilers. So if you haven't seen the show yet and still plan to watch, come back to this once you have!

So I sit down in front of my laptop ready to watch what people have hailed as the best television show in years. And the show opens with Kate, the lead fat character, in front of a fridge full of food with post-it notes all over it: "Bad," "250 calories per spoonful," "DO NOT EAT THIS." Immediately the calorie scoreboard and disordered thoughts in my mind lit up. This introduction to the first leading fat character I'd seen in years was not promising. Strike One.

But, because of the amazing acting and writing in the other plotlines of the show, I decided to keep watching. Even though Kate attended regular weight-loss based meetings and made stereotypical comments about people with eating disorders, I stuck it out hoping we would get a sliver of a storyline that had to do with something other than her weight. But while other characters' storylines included complexity in every aspect of their lives, all we got about Kate was an obsession over food and weight. She breaks up with her fiancé to focus on dieting, attends a weight-loss camp, considers gastric-bypass surgery, and has to leave a celebrity's party early because she is so self-conscious. Strike Two.

The straw that broke the camel's back for me came in season three. We get a glimmer of hope as Kate finds the love of her life and is hoping to have children. However, because nothing good can happen to fat people on television, she loses the child and they attempt to use In Vitro Fertilization to try again. But all they can talk about through this process is how Kate's weight will not allow her to have children. Which leads into a conversation between Kate and her mother:

"And I should have done more when you really started gaining the weight."
"I was almost eighteen, I should have made better food choices."

After a flashback where a young Kate tells her mother she'd gained a significant amount of weight to which her mother told her not to be so hard on herself. While this was just a small plotline at the end of an episode, something about it really rubbed me the wrong way. Kate, as a teenager, was clearly struggling with binge-eating after her father died, and her mother just shrugged it off. Then, as an adult, it was framed as a problem of gaining weight rather than disordered eating. Strike Three.

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In the last decade, representation in television and film has made amazing strides. We're beginning to see non-binary characters, trans characters of color, queer characters, immigrant characters, and so many other intersecting identities. So why can't we see a dynamic, complex, fat character without the storyline always being about her weight?

And to be clear, being fat IS, inevitably, an important part in fat people's lives. Sadly, weight stigma, diet culture, and fatphobia ensure that. But a person's size, weight or food choices are never the entirety of their character, and they shouldn't be portrayed as such in television or film.

NBC, do better.

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