First, watch this:
(If the video is not working, you can look at it here . )*
Now. In case you think that the news anchor in question is being overly sensitive, I want you to think about this:
When I was in the fifth grade, I was a target of bullying. My life was hell. Every day -- for essentially the entire year -- classmates who used to be my friends, who I had known from the age of three, felt completely free to let me know that I was fat. And ugly. But mostly fat.
And like the anchor, I have to tell you: I was aware of my weight already. I was aware of it every time someone told my mother that it was too bad, that I had a pretty face, that I had so much potential. I was aware of it every time I bought something in the children's plus sized section at Sears. I was aware of it every time I walked by a mirror.
Having it pointed out to me every day? In the meanest way possible? Was extremely damaging.
I've talked about it before, notably here and also here, but my body image -- like that of so many other women -- is horribly disordered. I have no idea what I look like. My eating habits remain disordered, and at one point, I actively had anorexia and got down to 109 pounds.
When you're 5'6" and you weigh 109 pounds? You are BONY. You can see and feel your vertebra. Your hip bones bruise your skin while you sleep.
And when you're 5'6", weigh 109 pounds, and you are convinced that fat is the only thing you'll ever be? You still think you're fat.
I'd also like to say this: anyone who's fat shaming someone in the guise of "Oh, I'm concerned about your health" doesn't necessarily know what s/he is talking about. My doctor made me feel like a fat loser last year on my physical and said that I needed to take better care of myself. And then my numbers came back: Blood pressure -- low end of normal. Cholesterol: perfect. Asthma: under control. Do I carry extra weight? Yep. Am I unhealthy? Other than a propensity for being an overly organized, kind of anal workaholic who drinks too much coffee? YES, I AM HEALTHY.
So, to anyone (including a physician) who thinks it's okay to make judgements based on someone's weight, to give them advice based on said weight (and NO OTHER FACTORS), I would like to say this on behalf of every fat person in America:
It is never okay to be a bully. It is never okay to look at someone and use your words to make them feel small, or ugly, or ashamed. NEVER.
As for me?
I was out having drinks the other day with friends, and we were talking about a someone I don't know. One of the women was describing her and said: "She thinks she's overweight, but she's normal. Like us."
I was startled, and then pleased. Normal. Just like everyone else.
It's only taken 37 years to get there.
*(I just learned to do that. And now I think I'm a genius.)