Let’s Stop Body-Shaming, and Start Health-Promoting

I have honestly had it. Working in retail, my store only goes up to a US Size 10 for the ladies, and every now and then a size 12 or 14 lady will give me a dirty look when I have to break the news to her. Normally these interactions don’t really affect me much, but most recently, I actually felt BAD for being a healthy and fit size 4 while talking to her.

Back in my competitive dancing days, I was a little on the big side “for a dancer” and dealt with a lot of body-shaming in my direction from trainers and from other dancers. I mean, it made sense. I was big enough that it stopped me from moving and dancing to my full potential. But the feeling of constantly constricting myself, and the sneers and looks I would get at competitions was never fun.

Since then, I’ve lost about 20 pounds, quit dance and left the world of “your body has to be perfect for you to succeed.” For once in my life, I actually feel super confident about my body and how I look, and I know I worked hard for it. That’s why, when this woman came into my store, and started asking if we only sell to “twigs” and “how on earth is she supposed to wear a tiny size 10”, I actually felt like crawling into a corner, and hiding, because for the first time, I felt bad for being (to her standards) “too skinny”.

I get it, eating disorders exist, diabetes exist, hormonal jumps happen, all these illnesses, diseases, and problems can affect your size, weight, and how you feel about yourself. But just because I try to take care of my body through eating and exercising, and I am smaller than you, it doesn’t mean you should make me feel ashamed. The same way it’s inappropriate and rude of me to tell this same customer you’re too big to shop here, I find it inappropriate and rude to be called a twig because I take care of myself.

So ladies (and men), let’s take a step back, and instead of shaming somebody for being a smaller size because they’re fit, or choosing to eat a salad while everyone else at the table swallows down burgers, let’s give some credit where it’s due. That person lives a healthy lifestyle, and is happy about it.

If I have the decency to point out how great certain clothes look on your curves, you can have the decency to give me credit for living my life at a healthy weight and size that I have chosen for myself.

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