The Diet Blog posted this message from their community forums the other day:
I am over weight and I am a very friendly, kind nice person and I notice that when I go to church or to the store people don’t seem to want to be around me. I take care of myself I have very nice clothes and I get my hair done. I just don’t get why beautiful people can’t talk to or be friends with me. I know that I am fat & maybe I am ugly, but I just don’t understand.
I have noticed this behavior with some people, but it’s very rare. Some skinny people DO hate fat people, but they are the exception, not the rule.
So what is this woman experiencing at church or at the store? Did she fall into a den of fat haters, or is there something else going on?
I don’t know, but personally, I have found that if I’m friendly with people and expect them to treat me nicely, that’s usually how they treat me. That was true when I was fat and that was true when I was at my thinnest.
When I was in high school, I suffered from the disease, Blame The Fat. Everything that went wrong in my life, I blamed on being fat. I wasn’t even fat back then, but if anything wasn’t absolutely perfect, I blamed it on my fat. Junior year, I dated a guy named Sean. I liked him and it seemed like he liked me. He was a sophomore and we were both friends with Clark. We went to a dance together, but soon afterward, he broke up with me. I immediately assumed it was because I was “fat.”
After a month of starvation dieting, I was skinnier than ever, but Sean still didn’t want anything to do with me. Finally, I asked Clark if he knew what happened. Clark said that Sean didn’t like the fact that I was older and had a car. He felt embarrassed that he couldn’t drive me to the dance and that I had to drive them.
I sat in my desk in our Literary Magazine office and didn’t say a word. I was thinner than I had ever been in high school and Clark was telling me that my old boyfriend broke up with me because I had the gall to drive us to the dance. I imagine I must have frozen up for a second or two while I absorbed the information.
It had nothing to do with my fat.
I don’t know why the people in that woman’s church are stand-offish, but I am nearly certain that it isn’t because she’s fat. I could think of a half a dozen other reasons why they don’t associate with her.
- They get new people all the time who don’t stick around, so they don’t accept new visitors into the fold until they’ve stuck around for a year or so.
- They assume that someone else has befriended them.
- There is a committee that is supposed to fellowship new members, but it isn’t doing its job. The people who weren’t picked to be on the committee are bitter and angry. They think, “It’s not my job.”
- They figure she came to the church because she knows someone there.
- They are jealous of her nice clothes and perfect hair. They think she thinks she’s too good for them.
- She seems so shy and insecure that they don’t want to make her feel even MORE uncomfortable by making her talk to strangers.
The only way to know for sure is to ASK. Back in high school, I didn’t have the balls to ask my ex boyfriend why he didn’t want to date me anymore, so I asked his buddy. Now, as a grown-up, I’m perfectly willing to ask anyone to their face. Want to know what I find out? It’s quite surprising:
- I don’t hate you. I’ve been really preoccupied because my husband got laid off…
- You think I hate you? God, I barely even know you!
- Yeah, I hate you. You’re so loud and obnoxious. I wish you would just shut the bleep up.
Most people like me. Some people hate me. Not one person has said, “I just don’t like to be seen with you because you’re so fat.” Even when I’ve been at my fattest. It’s NEVER about the fat. It’s ALWAYS about something else. There are a very small minority of people who hate fat people, but they don’t have any where near the power over your life as your own mind and attitude. The next time it feels like someone is snubbing you because you are fat, catch yourself. You’ve come face to face with the disease, Blame The Fat. Don’t let it conquer your mind. Keep being friendly and open to everyone and you will open far more doors than a skinny butt ever could.