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I was walking into my apartment last night. I was feeling good! I looked cute!…And then the most beautiful woman in the history of the world walked out of my building…I realized that not only was I not as beautiful as that woman, there was no amount of plastic surgery that could ever make me as beautiful as that woman…And my first thought was, “fuck you, bitch, I hate you.”
Upon doing some girl-talk investigation, Wright discovered that it’s second nature for most women’s claws to come out when encounter a hotter woman. But, haven’t we all known this since junior high? I vividly recall actively hating on a girl who was deemed the hottest chick in 8th grade. (It wasn’t just her looks; she also constantly tried to one-up me with her big mouth. Psh, that’s what really got me!)
This post got me thinking about how we’re not out of the junior high woods when it comes to women instinctively despising other women based on their weight. Sadly, most people, even those carrying around a few extra pounds, are a wee bit weight-ist. According to this news story from 2008, ‘weight-ism,’ defined as bias against people who are overweight, is more actually more prevalent than racism.
Someone in my life (we’ll call them Vit Riol*) is openly weight-ist. This person is of the impression that all overweight people have simply chosen to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Vit may encounter an overweight person in public and immediately declare them repulsive, pathetic, weak, lacking self-control or a “slob.” I’ll come to the stranger’s defense, arguing that hey, maybe they have a thyroid/depression/genetic issue. Or news flash! Maybe they’re happy not being twig-thin.
That’s not to say that I’m not guilty of weight-ism. It doesn’t make it right, but seeing a woman toting extra poundage may make me cringe as it reminds me of version of myself that I am deeply uncomfortable with. Full disclosure on something I’m not that proud of: On Memorial Day weekend, I was at the beach and saw a very large woman confidently striding along the shore in a mono-kini, and I couldn’t help but cringe and think, “What the hell is she thinking?” As much as I preach acceptance and love for various body types, I looked at this woman and immediately drew 1,000 conclusions about her. I justified my thoughts by noting to my beach buddies, “I just don’t know if that suit is appropriate for her shape.”
I wasn’t advocating that she walk around in a fugly skirt-suit, but maybe just something a little more modest. I realize now that I was so uncomfortable with her flagrant display of flesh, because having grown up chubs, I’ve always (consciously or subconsciously) abided by certain Mother-Approved Chubby Girl Fashion Rules. Like, Rule #14. Wearing black makes you look thinner. Rule #50. Wearing white or horizontal stripes makes you look fatter. Rule #31. Pick the one-piece, solid (preferably dark) colored Miraclesuit instead of the lime paisley mono-kini. The bottom-line: Part of my body-image-bruised brain had trouble adding up that someone who appears overweight would even think to defy the Chubby Girl Fashion Rules.
I guess we all have our own reasons for judging others based on their appearances, but all of these reasons likely have their roots in our own insecurity. Are we beautiful enough? Are we fit enough? Maybe the answer to weight-ism is minding our own business and loving ourselves a bit more. What do you think?