I’ll be the first to hold up my hands and say yes, I am well rounded and podgy. It sort of snuck up on me after Little Button was born. A few biscuits here, and an ice cream there. It adds up. I could certainly lose a few pounds *coughs, stone. But I’m happy. Enjoying life. Even if my bum has a bit more jiggle than wiggle these days. It’s OK, because I’m Ok with it and taking active steps towards being more healthy. As you should.
But what I don’t need is someone to point the obvious out to me. In public. Loud and shouty. But that’s exactly what happened.
We’ve been looking for a new car over the last couple of weeks. And the other day (the hottest day of the year) found ourselves in the coolest air conditioned showroom that ever was. It was amazing. Like sitting in an ice box. Thank you car showroom!
We were sat waiting to get some information from one of the sales team on a car that we would later go on to buy, when it happened.
I got fat shamed.
In a car showroom.
In front of Mr Button and 5 year old Little Button.
A family of 3, sat a few desks down from us, were being a bit rowdy. Yelping, cracking jokes and generally drawing attention to themselves. Maybe they were over excited about getting a new car. But whatever was going on, they were making a giant spectacle of themselves, especially the mum. It looked like they were impatiently waiting for their sales person to return.
And that’s when it started.
“Oh my goooooooddddddddd, look at the state of meeeeee!!!” the mum screamed with laughter.
“Look how FAT my legs are. My leggggsssss are sooooo FAT. I’m disgusting” she squealed.
They all burst into fits of laughter, including their daughter who could only have been 9 or so.
I glanced up, and there. She was directing it at me.
Indirectly fat shaming me.
I felt flustered, embarrassed!
Mr Button was wrapped up in the details of the car we were looking at, and Little Button was watching a movie on her iPad (we’ve learnt to bring entertainment to car showrooms). Neither noticed, thank goodness. But I did.
I looked down at my fat podgy legs. Silently willing her to stop. A mum. A fellow mum, who thought it was Ok to torment another mum.
“Loooookkkk at the state of me. I’m sooooo FAT. I’ll HAVE to starve myself. I HAVE to go on a diet. I’m disgusting”. More shrieks of laughter.
I felt my eyes burning. Trying to hold back the tears from welling up. Nodding and smiling at Mr Button’s chat about the car. Hiding my face from Little Button.
I didn’t look back over. But could feel eyes on me from the other family.
This went on for a bit, but with no outward reaction from our direction, it awkwardly stopped. They seemed to then not know what to say or do with themselves.
Despite being comfortable with my now somewhat larger body, being fat shamed in public hurt. It hurt a lot. Or, I suppose, the best way to describe it was feeling like an upturned beetle. Not really able to say or do anything as the spiteful words were indirectly spouted at me. I was sort of stuck in a weird limbo of embarrassment.
It really isn’t on. Fat shaming someone in public. That family didn’t know me. They had no right to openly judge me. What went through my mind the most the following day was that what if they had picked on someone who wasn’t comfortable in their own skin. What if the mum they were taunting was battling an illness. Depression. A flurry of words like that could trigger all sorts of reactions. Fat shaming is never a good idea. Ever. Whether in jest, out of spite or meanness. It’s not right.
I’m sick of hearing way too many negative stories from other mums who have been in similar fat shaming situations. It has to stop. It really does.
Now, I know none of you lovely people would ever fat shame someone. But just incase this post ever does come into the hands of someone that takes pleasure from pulling others down, just remember. Karma.
So, yes. Karma is a b*tch right? That family. Well. The sales person came back to tell them they didn’t pass the credit rating check. They didn’t get to pass go, or collect a shiny new car. Shame that. Like I said… karma.
*I didn’t laugh. Honest.
Me, in the Middle cover art reveal - *giggles, my second picture book!!