The Real Reason People Shame Fat People
I am constantly amazed that people feel entitled to judge and comment about other people. Why do they do it? What is the purpose of their scornful comments? It’s to HURT you. That tells you a lot about them.
Liars Who Say They Want To Help You
Some of these hate-filled people claim they want to help you because being fat is going to kill you (which according to NIH is not actually true). But you won’t hear them telling someone not to ride a motorcycle or play football because that could harm them. That’s because it really isn’t about wanting to help someone, it’s about fat-shaming them.
Accept Yourself or Those Words Will Hurt
For us larger people, if you are unhappy or feel shame about your body it makes their words hurt. It’s so hard to totally reject the incivility of others and let it bounce off you when their words find a tiny voice of agreement inside yourself. We've all been gaslighted by the Diet Industry to believe that being fat is unhealthy and unattractive. In order to repel the insult and not be hurt by those words you must get to a point where YOU accept your body. By loving and accepting yourself right now, the way you are you become deaf to the cruel remarks of others. Is that easy? Absolutely not!
Fat Shaming Is THEIR Opinion
It helps to remember that anything that ANYONE says to you is simply THEIR OPINION. The words that come out of their mouth defines the kind of person they are. Mean- spirited people who taunt and voice expletives at others are not kind people. By responding back to them with rancor or sadness, we are giving them power over us. That’s just what they want.
Being Assertive, Not Aggressive in Response
You must find in your own heart the way to respond that empowers YOU. Some people just want to hurt you or make themselves feel superior. If you insult them back you end up being like them!
Other people may sincerely think that they know the way to lose weight. And they will be absolutely wrong. But the problem with many of them is that they are ignorant and just quote the same tired line: in order to lose weight you have to eat less and exercise more. The only problem with that is it is WRONG!
Also, you don't want to become defensive in response to their fat-shaming or diet advice. Use your confidence in knowing the truth about weight control that you've learned from this site and other wonderful resources, such as Lindo Bacon, Ph D.'s book "Body Respect".
In order for you to reject the myths about weight loss you must feel confident that you know the facts and don't fall for the myth-information from the Diet Industry! That's why I share so many articles and respected resources so you will know the facts! Then you can be assertive and not be concerned if the person who is fat-shaming rejects what you say. You will know that they are ignorant of the facts.
The answer is to be assertive but not attacking and aggressive in response to them. That just raises your stress level and doesn't solve anything. Getting out your anger may feel good for a minute, but the cortisol level that you have increased keeps your heart pounding and your emotions on edge for long after that explosive response. It's hard to calm yourself down afterwards, and that's bad for you!
Your assertive answer to them is going to depend on YOUR goals. Do you want them to stop talking about how you should be eating? Do you want to educate them? Are you ready to reject them as a friend if they don't stop talking about your weight? Is this a stranger on the street who is harassing you?
There are many good assertive statements that can use for a response. Responding with a comment of forgiveness to them elevates you. But you really must be sincere, because if your tone doesn't match your content they will think you are being sarcastic. One of them is this:
“When I hear the words you said that intended to hurt me, it makes me realize that someone hurt you in your life. I’m sorry for that, and I forgive you.”
This is not easy to do because in the heat of the moment you probably have very strong feelings. It could be embarrassment, fear, shock, anger or other feelings.
If you can pull back your hurt emotions and respond it will empower you. When you have been assertive you will leave that person feeling calm and good about yourself, instead of agitated and upset.
You can have in your mind a realization they never had the kind of upbringing that would make them a kind or caring person. They are to be pitied.
Another retort that I have taught to other that helps me is: “Your opinion about me is none of my business”. Yes, there will always be people who are shallow and cruel to others. If you can envision them as a sad or sick person expressing their opinion there's no reason to get angry. Let your understanding of that fact make YOU stronger and increase your self-esteem.
You have a right to ask to be respected. And until you believe you do, you will not stand up for yourself and others will see that you are vulnerable and will be hurt by their words. Don't let it happen!