The Republican candidate for President has openly criticized women about weight. His surrogate, Newt Gingrich, has done the same. Can somebody tell these awful men that they are grossly overweight, probably obese, and have no right to point a finger at any woman with the same problem?
But that’s how this society works. I know. I’m a woman and I’ve battled my weight for sixty years…sixty embarrassing years.
I started to become “chubby” when I was eight years old. In fact “Chubby” was the name of the clothes my parents had to buy for me. Little girls couldn’t wear slacks to school in the 1950s and 1960s. We had to wear dresses. I looked like a balloon when I wore a dress.
It didn’t help that my younger sister didn’t have the same problem.
It also didn’t help that the correct way to solve the problem back then was to tease the poor child unmercifully. Maybe it wasn’t the “correct” way but it was what was done.
It began with my father.
“The salesclerk had to stretch those skirts so you could fit into them.”
“This bridge only takes a ton. Mitzi will have to get out.”
And his silence when he was told that he was lucky he at least had one pretty daughter. I overhead that and knew I wasn’t the pretty one.
Even one of his business partners had a nickname for me: Fat Little Rosa. “Here comes Fat Little Rosa.”
Every summer we spent time with an aunt and uncle and a cousin who tormented me because of my weight.
No one, not even the child psychologist they took me to (for the nightmares I had), told them that belittling a child was wrong. No one told the world to stop making fun of me.
Of course it continued throughout my school years.
“You would be cute if you lost weight.”
“Maybe you could get a boyfriend, if you lost weight.”
Maybe you would be a real person, if you lost weight…that was the implied idea.
No boyfriend, no proms, few parties.
No or very little self-esteem.
“You always have your nose in a book.” Well, of course, the world in those books were so much better than the one I lived in.
As if in defiance of my weight, I went to nursing school. The school’s “health nurse” was twice my size. But the idea that I just wasn’t quite right because I was fat still followed me.
Eventually I became an RN. Eventually I married a man who made fun of my weight. I guess I thought that was normal. Eventually I got pregnant and went into labor. I had a labor room nurse say to me, “We’re concerned about the fat in your vagina…” WTF?
It was okay to demean a fat person, a fat child, a fat women.
It seems, in Trump’s world of perfection, it’s still okay.
But in the real world it isn’t.
No one should be made to feel less of a person because of the way they look, whether it be their size, their color, their disability, their gender.
It’s time for this to end.
It’s time for women to make it end.