health

"A letter to my thin friend: I'm sorry I skinny-shamed you."

“Oh, my God, you’ve lost so much weight!”

The words slipped out of my mouth before I could think about their impact, and watched my friend’s face fall at my comment.

“I know,” she said. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I keep losing weight and I keep going to doctors and they don’t know what’s wrong.”

Instantly, I felt regret for my comment, because obviously, she didn’t want to hear it.

Weight is a sensitive subject, even when you’re thin.

As a person who’s always been either a little too fat or, now, morbidly obese, I know what it’s like to get stared and laughed at in public — but I can’t remember the last time someone has made a comment to me about my weight gain.

In that regard, I guess I have been very lucky because there are other fat girls out there who have suffered abuses and humiliation that I can’t even imagine.

It had just never occurred to me that thin people get picked on about their weight just as much, or maybe even more, than fat people.

“Everyone makes comments about my weight, Meg,” my friend said. “Can you imagine what it would be like if someone walked up to you and said ‘Oh, my God, you’ve gained so much weight!’? It happens to me almost every day.”

I look at her lithe arms and the wide gap between her thighs and wonder how bad it could be, as someone who has to put anti-chafe cream between her legs every day.

Some people work their asses off to be as thin and fit looking as my friend does, and I imagine some of them are happy to hear comments about their great losses — but we can’t always assume that, and I’m ashamed that I did.

Our bodies aren’t here for you to comment on.

We’re walking around in the world in these flesh bags that sometimes we just can’t control.

It seems my thin friend is having as much of a hard time gaining weight as I am having losing it, and we’re both unhappy in our current bodies.

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But they’re our bodies.

A video on why we should love our bodies. Post continues below.

Video via MMC

They aren’t just these things we have to be commented on and ridiculed, stared at and judged.

We all have to do better when it comes to what we say about people’s appearances because we never know what sort of damage we may be doing — even when we think we are giving someone a compliment, it might not be taken that way.

As a fat person, I never thought I would come to the defence of thin people everywhere and say how sorry I am for any comments or judgments I have made in the past.

But here I am.

Let’s all be kinder to each other and keep our comments, opinions, and judgments to ourselves.

It’s possible to look past a person’s appearance and see who they are on the inside, but it isn’t always easy.

We are used to judging books by their covers, are we not?

But when we’re cracked open, by comments or stares or laughs, we all bleed the same.

This article was originally published on Medium and was republished here will full permission. For more from Meaghan Ward, you can read more of her stories herefollow her on Facebook here, or subscribe to her newsletter here. 

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