Monday, December 10, 2012

Fat Girls

I caught this story the other day on a friend's Facebook page and then watched and read more about the story today. 

Three women went out to eat and written on the bill was the words "fat girls."

I suppose the server thought this was a good way to remember the table, you know, instead of using a system as complicated as "table 1" or "table 2."

At first glance (and even second glance) I bet many dismiss this as non-news. Or perhaps some might even (like the manager when first alerted) even snicker at the degrading description. I mean, if you watch the video you can't deny that the women, like many in America, they are indeed plus sized.

But that's all you know about them. 

How dare this guy write this on their bill and how stupid is he that he (or someone else) would so callously deliver this message to the people you degrade and the ones who by eating there, PAY YOUR BILLS.

Yes, I'm taking this personally. People who are overweight, know they are overweight. Most (and me included - when I was in that obesity boat) grapple, fret, try, fail, try again, cry, already feel some level of embarrassment,  suffer with depression over it, lose hope and pray for solutions. Losing weight isn't easy. It took me 20 years to get it right and while I live differently now there will always be a small piece of me that (even if irrational) lives with just a little bit of fear that it will someday come back. 

Even if these women feel none of those negative emotions in regards to their size, even if they are "large and in charge," no one (especially in service) should feel it is their right to use such awful descriptions of your customer.  

F you Jeff and your bullshit insensitivity. 

I did get a little choked up as I watched the video. Particularly for one of the women. I felt her pain. I remember how I felt when I was in those shoes. I remembered how I just didn't feel worthy of a lot of things… I was blessed to somehow find the strength to like myself enough to start rolling in the right direction but all-in-all I hated myself then and that's a vicious cycle. You have to find a way to like yourself enough to want to keep making the right choices and not turn to food for comfort. It's so much more complicated than just giving up a bowl of ice cream. I'm not sure how much my then fragile personality, at the time, could've coped with something like this. Now that I like myself, these words wouldn't have power other than to fire me up. I now have that back-bone and confidence to fight back, but back then, they would've just further have beaten me down.

But that's just me. 

All in all, these women look pretty strong, they were brave enough to expose the story, rather than sit in a corner and cry about it. I'm not afraid that they will crumble over the words and that's a good thing. 

We have an obesity crisis in this country. We have an over-eating, over-processed, under-moving society that has developed a comfort-stress-depression-selfsoothing approach to food. We do have to spring to action! There are ways to support and love people enough to lift them up to help them achieve  great goals and health but cruel labels are not the way. I'm sad to see that it's still OK in people's minds to reduce people to that.

If you want to learn more about the story, click here.

Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive but that's how I feel. 

What are your thoughts?


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