Let's be totally real: Thanksgiving is the pre-game to a month filled with racist uncles, questions about your relationship status, and being forced to face your past mistakes over and over again. Sure, the coming holiday can be a joy-filled Turkeygeddon, but we all know that families know how to hit us where it hurts the most.
To many families, body-shaming comments are usually disguised as backhanded compliments, or as an attempt to show they care. However, fat-shaming comments hurt, even if they're not intended to.
We asked women to share some of the fat-shaming comments they received over the holidays, and how they learned to not let it get to them. Read 'em before facing your great aunt — you know the one.
"My mother used to jab at the fact I was bloated in middle school."
"Right before dinner (especially Thanksgiving) my mom would make a comment along the lines of 'you should do some sit ups' or 'I never had a gut when I was your age,'" one woman wrote.
"I was anorexic at the time and the bloat was due to not enough nutrients. Her comments led me to binge eat my feelings. After high school I had made it to 140 pounds and decided to change for myself. Huge diet change and now I’m down to 100 pounds. Comments no longer bother me and I’ll happily stuff my face in some mashed potatoes this Thursday."
"When I was 9 or 10 my mother 'made a deal with me' that if she ever thought I was getting fat she would tell me 'in a kind but clear way.'"
"I did not agree to the deal then or at any other point in my life," a woman shared.
"In 8th grade she objected to my daily Little Debbie snack and called up the 'deal' we (she) made. I reminded her that I never asked for that deal. I bookended my college career with weight gain. Again, my mother did what she swore was her motherly duty. She said things about how lucky I was to have had a terrible abscessed tonsil followed by a kidney infection that got rid of my 1st weight gain. I lost it on her."
"My sister and I talk about how some of our first memories are of our mother poking at her thighs in a Dillard's dressing room and warning us of what fat-thighed future awaited us. Every time I see my mother, like at holiday dinners, I have to do a hard stop and remind myself that I like the way I look and the person I am."
"I was recovering from anorexia and my grandmother would constantly make comments about me being too thin."
"That was an odd one because I WANTED to be too thin, but was in the process of gaining weight and did not feel like I needed to," another woman shared. "Now she will make the occasional comment about how 'healthy' I am looking, which sometimes stings because that indicates weight gain. However, I’m learning to battle these intrusive thoughts by recognizing that I am doing what is right for MY body, and that’s none of her business, but at the same time I know she is concerned for my well being and loves me."
"When I was between 14 and 7 I had male cousins tell me, 'you would be more well off if you lost weight' or 'guys will think you’re prettier with less weight.'"
"Mind you, I am Cuban. Curvy is the only size I really come in," this woman commented. "After I had my son (at 24) my grandmother tells me, 'I am so glad you gained more weight, you look so much healthier and happier and your hugs are a lot nicer, too.'"
"Growing up, my grandmother was a skinny rail of a woman," she continued. "It made me so happy I didn’t care about my cousin's comments anymore. But sometimes when I eat a lot I still hear those comments in my head over and over and it still hurts."
"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
"Or my personal favorite, 'If you keep eating like that you're always going to be alone for the holidays,'" one woman recalled. "Also, the gem: 'You're so beautiful, but you'd be even more beautiful if you lost weight. Have you considered gastric?' Haha thanks family! Proud to say that 10 to 15 years later I have an amazing hubby and am starting to love myself."
We need to bring this little girl with us to Thanksgiving dinner.
"My aunt told me I shouldn't get seconds," a woman shared. "I told she shouldn't have got married again, then. I was 8."
"I’ve had relatives tell me, 'You just have such a pretty face.'"
"Uhm bye. I have a pretty everything," this woman shared. "It took me a longgggg time to say that."