Sunday, March 2, 2008

Fatty Fatty Fat Fat

Last Friday night the boy and I found ourselves at our friendly neighborhood Target seeking some much needed essentials.  Four years ago I would have been mortified to find myself at Target on a Friday night because I would have been convinced that the rest of the world would be out having a way better night than I was and thus making much better use of their time on earth and deeming me a complete waste of space.  However, on this particular Friday night I was feeling pretty good because I was with my man and I was looking pretty darn cute -- I had on a new outfit and my hair was behaving -- I couldn't have been happier. That is until we encountered on particularly horrible child: a five year old little blonde girl who was left to play in the isles while her inattentive mother sorted through oversized tee-shirts and high waisted khakis in the women's department.  When I walked past this particular child she pointed at me and said rather loudly "She's fat!" My jaw dropped and I looked to my boyfriend to make sure I wasn't hearing things.  The little girl's mother paid no attention to her demon child and stayed contemplating life's most pressing question: pleats or no pleats?  Unsatisfied with her mother's response the little girl tried again, this time more loudly with an even grander gesture,  she once again pointed at me and shouted "SHE'S FAT!"  This time her mother -- who wasn't particularly slim herself -- looked up briefly at me and shushed  her child and then  continued on with her chest-high khaki quest.  A few other shoppers gave the child mortified looks and then looked to see if I was indeed fat -- the mother however made no attempt to rectify her child's actions.

In reaction to being branded a Target Heifer(R),  I ran and hid in the shoe department and sobbed while my poor boyfriend -- doubly out of his realm  in the midst  shoes and a shattered self image --  tried his best to console me.   When I finally came out of hiding mascara streaked and and runny nosed I wandered the isles scrutinizing every other woman in the store just to make sure I wasn't the fattest person there.  In a final, desperate attempt to make me feel better, my boyfriend insisted on  stopping at Starbucks on the way out and I almost broke down again when I ordered a Skinny Latte and I couldn't help but wonder if the clerk was laughing on the inside.

On the way home from the store I began to play the scene over and over again in my head, except each time I had some time of witty remark to shoot back at the child and her mother:
"Yeah, well you're ugly."
"Oh honey, when you're 25 you and your boyfriend will both be wishing you had boobs like these and and ass like mine."
"You are the reason they invented birth control."

Finally though, I just felt silly for getting so upset over the whole ordeal.  Why?  Because I'm not fat and I love my body -- and it's really stupid to take anything a 5 year old says seriously.  I understand that the word "curvy" has, as of late, been grossly overused as a polite synonym for "overweight," but I am not afraid to admit that I am curvy in the truest sense of the word -- I embrace the fact that I am very nicely proportioned .  I AM NOT FAT.  No, I am not as thin as I would like to be and that is why I spend a few nights a week at the gym and try my best to eat healthy so that I can shave off a few pounds --  I know that it is imperative to my quality of life to be at a healthy weight -- but I understand that I am never going to weigh less than 140 pounds (my goal weight, which is right within my BMI) and I'm fine with the fact that I the last thing I will ever look like is a 12 year old boy.   I know that I've been blessed with some very valuable "assets" and if I needed any more proof as to how good I look I know that my boyfriend cannot keep his hands off me. 

Mostly though, my heart aches for that little girl.  I feel so bad for her that at such a young age she has already been taught to pick women apart based on hyper-unrealistic expectations.  That she hasn't even moved out of a size 6x and she's already been so bombarded with the airbrushed manipulations of the human body put out by our media that she believes all women should fit into clothes only a few sizes larger than her own.  So much so that she sees an average woman such as myself and feels the need to brand me fat.  What in the world is her mother so preoccupied with that she cannot take the time to instill in her child a healthy body image?

I understand that America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic and I wouldn't encourage anyone to remain unhealthy but it goes both ways.  We should be striving for healthy bodies and not some manipulated ideal of beauty that does not exist in the real world.


On an end note:  When I have children if one my girls EVER said anything like that I would spank her, make her apologize and burn all her Barbies.  But that's just me.