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Invisible Elephant

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I am so tired of being conspicuous because of my weight--and yet invisible at the same time! My normal-weight daughter, who is in a wheelchair due to a sports injury, says it is the same way for her in the wheelchair. I guess it makes people uncomfortable, seeing people outside of the norms. It is certainly uncomfortable for me to be this far out of the norm, too! I just want to feel seen--not stared at but seen, and validated and valued for who I am, not how I look. Seriously, add grey hair to being a fat woman and...you can't get much more marginalized in our youth-oriented, body-conscious, beauty-seeking society. I also appreciate youthfulness, and healthy bodies, and beauty....but I do feel that I try to value people for their character and just their humanity. Maybe my own experiences have made me more sensitive to people being shut out or unappreciated. I know people make judgements, myself included, on appearance, and I do want to be thinner and more attractive--heck, who wouldn't? I just do feel like I have a lot to offer, and sometimes people react like I am less worthy because I am commiting the terrible sin of being overweight. Like I am lazy and stupid, and wost of all that it might be contagious r something. It's so ironic that in the past, I have turned to food to help sooth me after feeling these bad feelings! But no more--I am working hard to be who I am, and to give myself the validation and support I need, instead of expecting it from other people. Of course, it is always nicer to have support offered, and you, my Spark friends, have been so helpful. Thank you for letting me vent!
On a positive note, I went for a walk again today, pushing my dd in the wheelchair, and we both enjoyed it. It is nice for her to get fresh air, and pushing the chair was really an added work out!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think society does judge people on the basis of appearance many times. But you can always reach out to people. I love to talk to strangers, and I always have. I love other people's stories, and have found a lot of kindness in the world. I never let my weight stop me from being friendly.
    1888 days ago
    You're so right about society's judgment and attitude. One of the worst aspects to that, to my mind, is the complete frustration in knowing that no matter how much I change, I cannot change the attitude of The Norm. All we can do is the best we know how for ourselves, but it can still be darned aggravating when age / weight discrimination continue under the radar. IMHO
    1888 days ago
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    1889 days ago
    I totally understand what you are saying. I've actually tested out this theory in stores, and the worst ones, of course are clothing stores. After being ignored for 15-20 minutes, I usually just leave. Sometimes, I do seek someone out to let them know I am looking for something specific. The crazy thing, it has even happened in a plus-sized women's clothing store. Crazy, right? I think I used to look like I was trying to disappear, looking down at the ground, not meeting the salesperson's eye, but no more. Recently I have started looking people straight in the eye, giving them a great big smile, and that breaks the ice. But I notice that thinner people don't have to work this hard to get help from salespeople. It's just not right.
    Thanks for sharing so honestly, and saying what a lot of us are feeling. And I'm glad you had a nice walk with your daughter. What a great way to remember the day!
    - Monica

    1889 days ago
    Great positive attitude and a terrific for you two to spend time together while you walk. -- Lou
    1889 days ago
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