I went out Friday night. Partying the night away, my friends and I were out until the wee small hours of the morning, which is pretty standard for us on a night out. Cut to home-time, and its time to order an Uber (after a trip to McDonald’s – obviously).
I catch my Uber, but with the fact that it was 4am and its bloody cold in London at that time of the night, I was shivering. I wasn’t even waiting for very long, but coupled with the fact that I was tired, hungry and it was cold, I was shivering rather profusely.
I get into the car, my driver asks if I’m cold, to which I reply yes, he responds with ‘well it’s because you have a big body to warm’… Yeah, not entirely sure if you can spin this positively…
Now I don’t think I have a big body to warm up… anymore. I’m a size 10. Yeah, I’m curvy, I’m not stick thin, but you can’t class me as fulfilling the fat or big stereotype. I couldn’t quite believe what I had heard to be honest, and rather than have an argument – I was too tired – I continued to eat my chicken nuggets. Perhaps not my finest moment… although the nuggets tasted great!
I don’t write about this so you can pity me. I mean I laughed about it after cause this is the kind of shit that happens to me on a regular basis. As my sister said ‘Jesus, even when you’re skinny, you’re still called fat – like you just can’t catch a break’. She’s right, I can’t. With me though, its like water off of a duck’s back. It doesn’t insult me, I know what I am, am aware of my imperfections, and deal with them.
However not everyone is the same. This is what I want to address. Comments like that, when said to the wrong person can be damaging. Our society focuses so much on our physical attributes that for so many people this is now all they ever think about and focus on – even when they seem like they don’t. There is this constant obsession with being perfect and to basically have it confirmed that you aren’t, can really affect a person. And not in a good way.
Instagram has come to make us believe that we have to look and conform a certain way to be noticed or accepted within society. Now I speak in the case of women – I am one, and its what I know – women are consistently physically objectified on this platform and others, and the levels of body dissatisfaction within women are forever increasing. It feels like women have either two options on how they should look. Painstakingly thin, or Kardashian ass-blessed. It would also not surprise me if many men also feel something similar too, harbouring the belief that if you aren’t ripped like Wolverine or Dwayne Johnson, you are no measure of a man.
This constant obsession and conversation about it, eats away at self esteem. Study after study of which has shown this. Now I’m not in any way saying don’t think about it for a second, ignore the mirror forever, and eat everything in sight and never do anything physical or remotely strenuous again in your life – not at all. I think adopting a healthy lifestyle is great. Eat right, enjoy life (by that I mean chocolate, alcohol if you want, dinner out and the occasional McDonald’s), work out and take pride in your appearance in moderation if you want to, god knows I do. The key is to ensure that it’s to keep you healthy and not for something as superficial as the way you look.
I think we really need to stop focusing on the size of a person and aesthetics. Instead let’s focus on who people are, how they feel, and sweet baby Jesus, Uber drivers of the world, do not comment on your customer’s body. That’s basically like begging for a 0 star rating!