“ As a child I was seriously ill for about a year. Because of my illness I was quite small & underweight. I remember being at primary school & we all had to be weighed & measured. It was remarked about how small & unhealthy I must be. Then maybe a year later, we were all weighed measured again. This time I was now fully recovered & healthy. I remember it being announced in front of the whole class that I was the girl who had put on the most weight and it wasn’t a good way to be heading. Bear in mind that I had been very ill, lost a lot of weight due to illness & was now back to a healthy weight. I wasn’t overweight. But I was told I would be fat if I carried on that way. I can remember feeling so embarrassed & not really knowing why. I was 9 That was the beginning of my body hatred. I’m 44 now. I despise me.
“ ‘Here comes the Lump’ Said by my father in law to me as I entered the room at 6 months pregnant. ‘You’ve done so well to lose your baby weight, you were big weren’t you!’ Said by my father in law to me a year after having my baby. During my second pregnancy I lost weight during my second trimester and went on a diet 2 weeks after having my baby. ‘I can’t believe how much weight you’ve lost, you look SO good’ Said by my Father in law a year after my second baby when I was in the depths of an eating disorder. Can we all just STOP commenting on each other’s body size? Pregnancy does not mean you have free reign to comment on someone’s size. If someone loses weight you don’t know what methods they used to do it and praising it is reinforcing fatphobia. I’m looking forward to one day having a conversation with my father in law about the way he talks to me and others about their body, it’s time to change and I don’t care how awkward it is.
“ I remember as a teenager being obsessed with my bum and the size of it. To me it was big and fat and horrible and I just wanted to be skinny like the other straight up and down girls in my school. One day I tried to express this unhappiness to my mum and her response was ‘little boys like little bums, real men like real bums’. Though not a direct comment about my appearance she may as well have said ‘yes your bum is big and fat but don’t worry one day you’ll find a man who won’t care that it isn’t small’. I’m now 33 and have only just started to accept my body. That comment stayed in my head for decades and though I realise my mum has her own body image/food relationship issues and didn’t realise what her ‘advice’ would do to me as an adult, it’s stings even more now I have my own children. It’s not just the obvious pointing out of our appearance, but the subtle confirmations that our bodies are wrong that can do so much damage. I WILL make things different for my children.
“ My mom's advice to me when I asked if guys would like me because I have small breasts: "You'll need to always be really nice and smile if you want to find a boyfriend. There are boys who will overlook it if you make up for it with a great personality." This advice led to me accepting extremely poor treatment and abuse from men over the years.
“ Always asked by the lads in school "You've got ginger hair, ginger eyebrows...have you got ginger pubes too?" Great question for a young teen to feel she had to 'defend herself' over... A question still asked at times in the pub now I'm an adult! Don't recall any blondes or brunettes being asked....
“ Ive been told many days to “not wear something “ because it shows off the wrong “lumps and bumps” my body has as well as been told that certain styles mean youre “asking for it”. I dont ask for clothes from my family anymore cause I’ll be told how it’ll make me look fat and how “i” shouldnt want to wear that in order to look “fat” or toned. And this has all come from women that should be supporting a developing teen instead of making me insecure about my body.
“ I was 16 and hormonal and puberty was at its peak in my body. Because I was well fed at home I had a healthy body, Being in a only boys school where most classmates were lean and thin, they started calling me girlish and unmanly which resulted in my chronic depression, agony and suicidal tendencies.
“ My naturally slim kids, from school age to adults, have heard ‘you’re so skinny’ too many times to count! They see the parents with our ageing bodies and don’t even consider that either of us could have been slender when younger....and some even state their surprise to find that was the case!
“ Every time my step-dad sees me (this has been going on for 30+ years) he mentions my height. I’m 5’2’’. In his eyes, that is short for a woman. When I was a teenager he told me I would have trouble with people taking me seriously because I’m a short female. He wasn’t trying to be cruel, in his defense. I legitimately think he was trying to protect me in some way (from people of his same mindset).
“ Lookism has negatively impacted on my personal life. I have pronounced eye bags, and many friends of mine pointed this out. Secondly, I am not considered tall; some people therefore teased me regarding my height. This lowers my self-confidence and forces me to always wear 'painful' heels. In the future, I hope lookism will be lessened, so that the societies will become less discriminatory.
“ I was walking in the park with my boyfriend when we were 16 and 17. A woman came up to us and said that we shouldn’t be having babies at such a young age. When we explained that we weren’t pregnant she told us that “we” (i.e. me) should make it look less like we were. My boyfriend laughed and agreed.
“ I was 4 years old when my kindergarten teacher said I look like a slum kid because of my dark complexion and short haircut. She mocked me in front of whole class although I didn't knew the meaning of slum. Back at home when I got to know the meaning of slum from mom the only thing I did was crying. It still affects me even after 13 years.
“ I have regularly been criticised for wearing make up Why do you feel the need to wear make up - is it because you —went to a co-Ed school To attract men Lack confidence Etc Broken nosed then my surname inserted as a name at primary school Comments about roots Been told my hair colour didn’t look natural Endless comments about beauty choices
“ I've been body shamed since I was a child. People used to laugh at me when I wore jeans or skin tight trousers. They'd say, oh girl you look like a skeleton, do you ever eat, get some meat on your bones, my 10 year old sister looks older then you, you don't have legs at all you have sticks... and more
“ I had a “friend” tell me I looked like a stuffed sausage in a pair of size 28 jean shorts. That summer I ate only cucumbers, watermelon and slim fast bars. I was 5’2 and 122lbs, and 15 years old. 17 years later I still haven’t forgotten, I can still hear the words, I remember exactly what I was wearing. I never wore shorts again.
“ Walked into hydration therapy I hear “um sweetie you shouldn’t be wearing those jeans.” I looked at her and said it’s none of your damn business what jeans I’m wearing. She proceeded with “the colour is too light & a bigger bottom woman like you shouldn’t wear those jeans”. The nurse walked over and told her they don’t stand for body shaming in their practice and asked her to leave
“ I have a 7 year old, he is classed as obese. He has anxiety, he thinks that he is fat, he tells me every day, he loves sweets and chocolate like any other kid but will sometimes choose an apple over chocolate because someone at his school told him to make HEALTHIER choices. He thinks people laugh at him because of his weight. I’m not just talking about his friends, I’m talking about strangers, he thinks people that he doesn’t even know look at him, think he is fat and laugh. This stemmed from SCHOOL, because rather than educate children on real balance, they shame them. This started when he was 5 years old!
“ The day after I gave birth my Mum looked at my swollen and deflated stomach and said: "Have you even given birth? That will go down, right?" My tiny, perfect baby boy was curled up with us and she seemed, in that moment, more concerned that I might stay "fat" or not "get my body back" overnight.
“ Around the age of 13, our PE teacher lined up the whole class of about 30 students, then called me forward and told my classmates to laugh at me because of my weight. And they did. Like so many "well-meaning" others who knew or did not know me, throughout my childhood. Until I was in my early 20s, I felt sorry for people having to see me when I walked past them. It took me another 20 years to overcome the intense feeling of shame over my body and the loneliness that came with it. I am grateful to the online plus-size community for showing me that I am not alone and for giving me the strength to finally not feel worthless as a human being.
“ Two years ago I lost 65lbs (from 300) but I didn't feel that much better, and certainly not better enough to compensate for the stress I was going through to either lose more or stay at that weight. I've done the expected and regained that weight. My wife keeps making comments about wanting me to lose weight again, but I'm not putting myself through that any more.
“ I was once told that I was neither white enough nor black enough. I felt like I never fit in when I was around my family members. Neither side of the family seemed to accept me fully. They would tell me my hair was 'awkward' and my skin tone was 'weird'. It's deeply affected my relationships and I'm always very aware of it when meeting new people.
“ I am a dance student and my dance coach always pointed out how my thighs looked. He would say things like ‘Stretch your knees or otherwise your thighs will get even bigger as they already are now’ and one time he spoke to me in private and he told me that I desperately needed to decrease the size of my thighs. He also bodyshamed my fellow dancers from time to time. But it’s not just my dance coach who commented on my thighs. I remember standing next to my sister one time and my mom saying something like ‘Oh, your thighs look so much thicker than your sister’s’. And what I’ve written here is only the tip of the iceberg. I would have a lot more stories to tell but there are simply too many💔 PS: And to whoever is reading this: I hope you have a nice day :)
“ My boyfriend told me his grandma would LOVE my legs, stated that she likes thicker legs and thighs, with bigger booty (and I'm shorter girl) And when I first met her he asked her if she liked my legs (awful, ikr) and she said "yeah they're fine" and when his brother's girlfriend came, she added "I love tall girls and legs that are nicely shaped"
“ People would always comment on how skinny I was as a kid - some as a compliment, some less so. It's really affected the way I see myself. Now, in recovery from anorexia, one thing that makes it so hard for me to accept weight restoration is that 'skinny' feels like such a huge part of my identity.
“ I have been told by a very close family member I’ll never find a significant other at the size I’m at. This person has also made comments about specific parts of my body, including my thighs and stomach. I’ve also been told I’d be “so pretty” if I just lost some weight. It hurts, has affected my ability to date, and I experience body dysmorphia. I have spent years being unhappy with and hating on my body. I am trying to heal now, it’s hard, but I know it will be worth it.
“ Many things my mother did and said led to me habing disordered eating and body dysmorphia, but one thing i particularly hated was when I was a teenager she would grab my flesh and waggle it going ‘whats this?! Whats THIS?!?’ In disgust. She’d refuse me seconds of dinner as i was “quite fat enough already”. These days she tells me off for being too thin.
“ When I was around 4 to 10 years, my Mom was always telling me I had to eat more because I was too skinny, and she thought I never ate as much as she thought I should. Once I hit 15 years old, I started to eat more, and she used to ask me to stop eating because I was looking overweight. Later in my early twenties, I had eating disorders. Now I am 55 and feel more confident, but at times, I still have the weight obsession and remember those times.
“ When I was 19 I worked at the customer service desk in a retail shop. I had a customer who told me he loved my hair and that I resembled Cher. He was really nice and then he goes "do you know what would look really good on you? If you lost around 10 pounds." I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. It was so shocking. And he was saying it in the same upbeat tone of the compliments he had just given me. Like he was telling me I had a great sweater or something. I was speechless. I'm pretty sure I just said "ok". I wish I had the voice I have now to tell him how horrible of a thing that was to say to a young girl.
“ Here is a teenaged trauma that still haunts me at 47. I grew up in a small town and we would often travel on a bus for sports. One weekend we were coming home from a tournament of some sorts and one of the boys decided to start a chant “Here we go [my name]. Here we go. BOOM BOOM!” And then someone else joined him. And someone else. And then eventually the entire bus - which had teachers on it who did nothing to stop this - screamed this horrific fat shaming chant over and over. I sat there and tried not to cry. But inside I think a part of my soul died that day. Humans are just awful sometimes. And I wish people realized that even 30 years later these moments still hold onto little pieces of our self worth.
“ My first time was at 19, easily 4 or more sizes smaller than i am now, working at Macy’s. I was checking on an older man and his wife and he asked me “what’s the gender?” I was confused and asked “what?” slowly realizing what was happening and he asked again and I just shook my head and his wife hit him on the arm. I cried in a dressing room for about 45 min after that.
“ I received tons of comments about my weight throughout my life but the one that stays with me most is when I lost 100+ lbs, my coworker tried to compliment me by saying, “you look so good now. You could hardly walk before, you basically just waddled”. As if it a different person now... As if it’s okay to ever talk about/to a person like that...
“ The summer I was 16, I worked at a city day camp, many days riding my bike to work. My parents were away at a cottage for weeks. I discovered a vending machine on the campus where the camp operated and bought candy bars daily. When I next saw my mom, she said “I thought you were riding your bike everyday but you are fatter than ever”. Over 50 years later, I remember the sting of her words.
“ I have psoriasis. It started when I was about 17 and got really bad whilst I was at uni. It burned and bled and I had to spend hours in the bath trying to soak it off. I felt so self conscious. About a year into uni I got a belly button piercing, because I really wanted it and felt good about myself. Inevitably the skin around it went bad. One of my friend's flatmates stared and stared at my belly one day, he wouldn't stop and eventually told me how gross it was and looked absolutely disgusted. Like I had any choice?! I've also had people recoil in horror and refuse to shake hands. My partner once got ringworm because his house was so filthy and damp, and said it was because he'd caught my skin disease. He knows perfectly well it's not catching but it still hurt like hell.
“ My weight has fluctuated between about 8.5 stone and a little over 13. When I was at my thinnest - probably underweight given that I'm 5'8" and big boned - I had plenty of days when I felt so fat I didn't want to leave the house. All because I got a slight crease in my belly when I sat down. Photos of me at the time look almost skeletal but I still felt fat. That's pretty screwed up.
“ The first person to tell me I was too fat was my dad. I was 12. I wasn't exactly huge, but he repeatedly said how I "needed to lose the puppy fat". At one point as I was developing he said "you're busting out of that dress". At the dinner table, to a self conscious teenager. I have never stopped worrying about my weight since and have had periods of disordered eating - the only reason I never got as far as full blown bulimia was because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make myself sick. Knowing my dad thought I was fat and ugly made the comments from kids at school sting even more. I was called "saggy tits" by kids three years below me for a while... A legacy partly of feeling too ashamed of my body to know how to ask my mum to get me a better bra.
“ I let my hair go grey a while ago. I’m 44 and completely grey now. I love it. I think it’s really pretty. I do know that it makes me look older and I actually get some push back from my Mom who is 72 and still dyes her hair, she said it makes me look really old. But so? I’ve earned every year and being whatever I want to be is ok.