Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fit, Fat, Potato, Potahto - can't we all just get along?

You say potato, I say tomato; let’s call the whole thing off. Seriously. Call it off.

It seems like lately there has been a lot of chatter among many of my women-friends in months late about some issues that definitely bring up strong emotions. We are shaming each other for one reason or another, and sometimes for both reasons. It's getting us all riled up... but then again, we’re women, we’re emotional beings, are we not?

 Seriously though, I know we have strong convictions, but sometimes we take it so far that we forget exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish. I can't believe all the things I've been hearing about going on this year...
A woman has a stare-down show-down with another woman at the soccer field, maybe because she think that she’s setting a bad example for the athletes on the field… or maybe because she’s shallow and uppity and doesn’t like chubby people… or maybe because she has an eating disorder and has a warped sense of nutrition. A mom struggles with how to teach her son why we shouldn’t talk about someone else’s physical appearance. A woman gets blasted online for reminding others that we can ALL find it in ourselves to be the best ‘Me’ we can be physically. A mom gets criticized for grabbing fast food because she was so busy taking care of her special-needs child that she almost forgot to feed herself. A woman posts a catch phrase on her family picture and shares it online and makes a bunch of other people feel guilty and ashamed. An online group gets caught red-handed talking about how ugly someone's baby is and news of their horrid gossip spreads like wildfire. A mom who is working hard (harder than the average, even) at getting in shape, and having success, gets called ‘fat’ by someone she loves even though her doctor tells her she is only pounds away from what is medically called "healthy". The public goes into an uproar because a woman posts a picture of her healthy body in workout shorts and a sports bra. A mom gets shamed by another mom for her struggles with her weight, and instead of getting emotional support, gets shamed by everyone else for being sensitive about it.

Each scenario obviously has its own setting and situation, but every one of them involves how much women get criticized (often by other women) about their appearances. 

You say fat shaming, she says fit shaming, potato, potahto… aren’t there homeless kids starving on the street? Didn’t we once used to fight together against a common enemy instead of amongst ourselves? (Remember the days when women couldn’t even vote?) 

What I want to know is, why do we worry so much about other people’s bodies when even the fittest of us struggle with some kind of inner demon? It doesn’t matter if you have overcome that demon or not, you still will struggle with it. It will always try to sneak in at that weak moment. So instead, share the love, congratulate others when they share their successes, share advice and tips when asked for it, and remember that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  I’ll do my best to do the same. <3 p="">