It sounds like a silly comment nowadays, but I can honestly tell you that in the 40s, fat shaming was unheard of. In fact, most people would be shocked when they understood the description. Weight – large or small – wasn’t thought about, let alone labelled.
My Mum was from a large family, with a couple of exceptions, my aunties were all soft, cuddly, and definitely not svelte. My own Mum had a figure similar to the well rounded Marilyn Monroe.
We heard more than once, “more of you to love” as my uncles hugged their wives.
In the old measurements, I was five feet tall, and six and a half stone, wringing wet. Dad was over six feet, and Mum was medium height, so I did get used to meeting people who asked, “where did this little one come from?”
We loved our food, and didn’t have to face judgemental stares when we ate out. Keep this in mind.
Recently, I recall hearing the television guru Dr Phil talking about introducing his wife Robin McGraw to a family. She was a wee lass and one comment he received was, “what do you want with this itty bitty woman?”
Nowadays, a lot of talk is about being average-sized. Average, what is average? My life has consisted of climbing the shelves in supermarkets to get something I wanted. My tall uncle was called a long drink of water, and his mates called him lofty. Average doesn’t include us.
What happens when you lose weight? I can answer that, you please nobody. Due to having surgery, I lost my sense of taste and smell, which lead to losing 15 kilograms. Looking back on photos, I looked like an ironing board, and some people with no filter felt the need to comment adversely. Of course, I managed to claw enough back, but still remember hurtful comments.
Sitting with my husband in a cafe, a very large lady came in ordering a substantial meal. Frankly, I don’t know how I kept my mouth closed listening to a group of teenagers at a nearby table. Horribly cruel; and the worst of it, loud mean words.
With great dignity, she finished her meal. She then stopped at their table stating:
“Girls I heard every hateful word, and when you want to do this again keep in mind my story and think again. I am suffering through stage four cancer I had a figure like you until I took the medication and have become the heavy person you see.”
Every girls face was burning with shame they mumbled apologies, that lovely lady smiled at them and repeated, “Just remember me”.
On that story, I will finish and repeat her words.