To the man sitting behind me at the Calistoga Inn for lunch on August 2nd, 2015,
I feel sorry for you, and I will pray for you. Comments about my weight are uncalled for. Do you think that you know my body better than I do? Do you think you are better than me because you are more fit? Do you think making loud comments behind my back go unnoticed? I have been dealing with people like you for a long time. You judge me based on my extra pounds, but you know nothing about me. Did you know that I was a ballerina for almost 10 years, and I continue to dance in my spare time? Did you know that I taught In Uganda, and have continued to work with the rural communities where I lived? Did you know that in 2009 while in Uganda, I took an anti-malarial medication that later threw me into a deep depression? Did you know that during that depression I gained over 60 lbs.? Did you know that I was so ashamed of myself that I wrote 3 suicide notes, and planned out several ways to take my own life? Did you know that continuous negative comments on my appearance, and people pushing me to “get better” or “work harder” only made me more depressed, and made me feel like more of a failure? Thankfully, I had amazing family and friends to love and support me.
I know that I am more than a number on a scale.
I have grown accustomed to my body. I try to eat right, and exercise, but I continue to struggle with the weight. But it doesn’t bother me, and I refuse to let it hold me back. I know who I am, and I know that you’re the one missing out on getting to know amazing people. I am used to the stares, the comments, and the rude individuals. I have grown thick skin. What bothers me, is that your comments hurt my sister. She was on the verge of tears, and when she told my mom why she was upset during lunch, my mom teared up. I don’t let it hurt me, but you hurt the ones I love. Moreover, I know there are young people, especially young women, who go to drastic measures in order to look a certain way because people tell them they’re not good enough. If you are uncomfortable with someone else’s looks, that’s your problem NOT theirs. You can look away, but under no circumstances do you have the right to loudly, and aggressively criticize another person, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE SITTING 3 FEET FROM YOU.
The next time you sit behind a fat woman enjoying her lunch with family or friends, kindly keep your judgmental conversations to yourself. Words have power, and they can do more damage than you may realize.
The vivacious, fat girl in the black maxi dress, Rachael Simms