A few months ago, writer/blogger Galit Breen wrote an article called 12 Secrets Happily Married Women Know that was featured in the Huffington Post. She wrote tips like staying on the same team, saying “yes” more often than “no” and being kind to our partner.
In the post, Galit posted photos from her wedding. The reaction wasn’t quite what she expected. Readers commented on her weight, but the comments weren’t so nice and were more along the lines of fat shaming.
$PullQuote$She was surprised by the response….and hurt, as anyone would be, but she waited a few months to write about it over on Xo Jane last week in an article named IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Wrote An Article About Marriage, And All Anyone Noticed Is That I’m Fat. In this article, she chose to tell readers how the comments made her feel:
I cried for the words flashing through my mind –- Fat. Ugly. Heifer. -- and I cried for the way that I averted my eyes whenever I passed a mirror. I cried trying to figure out what my husband thought reading, seeing, feeling those words and how they would make him read, see, and feel about me. I cried for my daughters seeing those words said about their mom or ever hearing them, or even worse thinking them, about themselves.
And I cried for the desire that I had to show photos of myself today –- Look! I’m “better” now! Not perfect, but not as fat as that! My self worth suddenly became entrenched in those words. I was tethered. I was also perpetuating the exact same thing those commenters were -– fat is bad, body commenting is normal, and valid. I cried a lot about that.
Our society's incessant focus on women's bodies and the way we deem it necessary and appropriate to comment on them is, at best, misguided, and at worst, damaging.
There are very few times that I think it’s okay to comment on a woman’s body -– in a complimentary or in a negative way. As a mother and as a woman, I think we all need to stop that conversation, to consider it taboo.
Since the story broke, Galit has appeared on INSIDE EDITION and her story has been featured on The Today Show. The reaction has been supportive and she is using her newfound media attention as time to educate the public about the harmful effects of fat shaming. She told INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney, "I just don't think we need to be talking about people's bodies in that way. We can all just do better and be kind to each other."
Have you ever been called “fat” publicly and how did it make you feel?
How do you respond to cyber bullying?
Photo Credit: The Huffinton Post
I haven't really had the cyber bullying issue in my life. When I was a child I was called fat by the neighborhood children. When I hit my teenage years I became anorexic and bulimic in an attempt to achieve the "perfect" feminine body. During my eating disorder stage I was also working out entirely too much. I would black out and lose moments in time from fatigue and a weakened body. I was sick from a weakened immune system. After that I turned to self mutilation and became a cutter. I have scars that remind me of those dark years of my youth. Looking back at my teenage image I was so sickly looking. It's a shame that society can break a person down so much that they feel like they have zero self worth unless they look like the "perfect" ten.