Wishing me ill

When I look back at pictures of me when I was a child I can see that I was not fat. I was taller and bigger than the other girls in my class but I wouldn’t have considered myself to be fat. Well, not that fat. I was strong and athletic and healthy.

My mother, however, thought that I was too big for my own good. She would give me less food than she gave to my extremely skinny brother, and would say no when I asked for seconds. “Do you really need more food?” she would ask. When I was 12 she took me to the doctor to be put on a diet, which consisted of meal replacement cookies. When that didn’t work she took me to another doctor who ran all manner of tests to see if something was wrong with me. Nothing was. These days she pretty much leaves me alone because she knows how I feel about dieting and body image.

I don’t blame my mom for her behaviour at all, that’s what happens when you live in a society that views fat people as defective. But I wish she wouldn’t have wished me ill.

When we were kids one of my cousins came down with a really bad stomach virus or food poisoning. She was very sick for a couple of weeks, so of course she lost weight. My mom said to me, “You need what she has so you can lose weight too.”

That statement never sat well with me. Why would you wish someone ill? Can you think of any other circumstance that wishing someone ill would be appropriate? If you’re concerned about my “health,” why would you want me to get sick?

Why would you risk the self-esteem of a little girl by letting her know that you think she looks horrible so she should become sick if it will help her to look “better?”

I was just as appalled to see a friend’s Facebook status recently. She became ill and I believe she is having her gallbladder removed in the next few weeks. Her status was along the lines of, “One good thing about being sick is that I’ve lost 23 pounds in 2 weeks.” Really??

I had food poisoning back in January, and weight loss was the last thing on my mind. The first thing was “How did I get this,” and “I feel horrible and I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”

I strive to not be sick. Thank goodness I no longer buy into this madness.

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