Friday, July 27, 2012

#34 Standing Up to Fat Shaming

My hands are still shaking angrily a little as I write this, dear reader. But I hope that you will read my brief story and share it with others, to perhaps inspire more beautiful women to stand up to fat shaming.

I was at the grocery store tonight, and a woman in front of me, after commenting on my selection of granola bars, turned around and offered me her card, telling me that she was a personal trainer and I could call her any time. This small, but presumptuous action implies that she 1) thinks I'm fat, 2) is outwardly telling me I'm fat, 3) thinks there is something wrong with my body that should be fixed 4) assumes that I don't take care of my body or work out/already have a personal trainer, and 5) that she would be "willing" to be the one to fix my body. Really? I mean-- REALLY? I'm a teacher, so does that mean every time I meet someone stupid I can hand them my card and offer them an education to fix their mind?

I politely took the card without a word. Then, my forehead started burning, and I felt the anger and sadly, the shame, come rushing, blood red, to the front of my face. I didn't say a word, but as I walked out of the store, bags in hand, I fumbled to find the card she had given me and called the number on the phone. Straight to voicemail. But I left a message:

"My name is Sarah and I just met you at the grocery store. Thanks for your card, but I'm going to politely decline. Instead, I want to give you some constructive feedback. Offering me personal training when you don't even know me is offensive and implies there's something wrong with my body. I want you to understand that just because my body doesn't look like how YOU think it should look, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it or that you have the right to judge my body or offer me ways to 'fix' myself. It's offensive and presumptuous to assume that I need or want personal training, and although it might be hard for you to understand, I actually am quite happy with the way my body looks. Just because I'm not a size 4, doesn't mean I'm not beautiful, and doesn't mean I'm not healthy or content with the way I am. I wish you all the best with your personal training career, and I hope this feedback is helpful for you." *Click*

I'm learning to love my body and I won't let someone shame me into feeling like there's something wrong with it. Those kinds of remarks trigger so many emotions in me-- shame, anger, rage, sadness, defeat. But I won't let someone shame me anymore. It took a lot of courage to call her, but I'm glad I did, and I hope that she won't continue shaming others because they don't fit her cookie cutter model of what beautiful is. Please share/reblog my small story with others so that we can be reminded that we are beautiful and together, we can stand up against fat shaming. I never would have or could have done this without the inspiration of the beautiful fatshionable women of the blogosphere. Thank you to all of you who continue blogging. You inspire me to love my self, and to stand up for what's right.


  1. A hundred times yes. You go girl. Body shaming is one of my biggest pet peeves across the board and I'm really glad you stood up for yourself!

  2. Good on you! I am so proud that you had the courage to confront her. I think I would have just stewed in my own juices until I forgot about it. I hope that she takes to heart what you said and it's a first step to changing her narrow thinking.

  3. I probably would have thrown the card over my shoulder the second she handed it to me. I applaud your response. I'll certainly reblog this.

  4. Good for you for standing up for yourself like that! People who are fat-phobic really piss me off.

  5. Good on you for standing up for yourself. I would've ripped the card in front of her eyes. :/
    I just wonder though if people who do this actually DON'T realise they offend people. Like, they feel like they're doing good and public service for the world? Ugh.

  6. Well done! I think you handled it well, and I think it was great that you left such a intelegent message, hopefully it makes her think in the future. YOU are beautiful, and you should feel no shame. *hugs*