Recently, someone on twitter shared a link that brought up a lot of emotions within me. The post was titled, “How Fatness Turns Cute Girls into Ugly” and features 28 pages of comparison photos; one side displaying a thinner image, and the other showing the same woman after they gained some weight. Some of the images show such a small difference that I could hardly tell they had gained weight, and yet, these women were being viewed as ugly by someone simply because their weight had increased.
I was once a cute girl…
and then I gained weight.
This image is of my 17 year old self. I struggled my whole life with feeling like I was fat, being made fun of because I was a bigger child, and internalize every negative comment I received. In this photo, I was at my smallest (and didn’t normally wear a hat and sunglasses, they were my boyfriend’s, but they do slightly conceal my face which was why I chose this image). I weighed 162 lbs and hated every inch of my body.
I didn’t have female friends, I had a bunch of guy friends and every one of them told me I would be the ‘perfect girl’ if I could lose 30-50 lbs. These were my friends who knew me better than anyone else. They knew I was a good person, they knew I was fun, we were into the same things, and because I wasn’t skinny, I couldn’t ever be more than a friend in their eyes. I wasn’t interested in anything more than friendships with them, but it was like a slap in the face.
This photo is about 8 years old and every time I look at it I’m filled with sadness. I wasn’t fat, I wasn’t ugly, and I would give anything to go back and apologize to myself for the sadness I put myself through. I believed all the negative comments, and shook my head at every positive thing I was ever told.
I gained weight during my first pregnancy, but lost most of it within the first few months after my daughter was born. Ever since then it’s been this horrible yo-yo between losing and gaining weight.
I’m not comfortable showing my face on my blog (as of right now), but this image is from earlier this summer where I’m a little more than 100 lbs heavier than the previous image (you’ve probably seen this photo of me before).
Did fatness change me into an ugly person? Well, I guess that’s all a matter of opinion. I don’t love my body, but I’m learning to. I’ve overcome a lot of negative thoughts, have worked through a huge amount of insecurities, and struggle daily with getting negative thoughts out of my mind.
Seeing these woman, displayed in such a way, and being treated like they’re unattractive because they’ve gained a little weight, nearly brought tears to my eyes. These are real people, with real feelings. It angers me so much that ANYONE would look down on another person for their physical appearance changing. Whether it’s from a weight gain, weight loss, or something else, you are more than your appearance!
So, was I a cute girl turned into an ugly girl because of ‘fatness’? Or am I a good person who loves deeply, tries hard to be a good person/friend, tries to be open-minded and understanding, etc.? I guess it’s all in how you view things.
In my mind, I guess there’s just more of me to extend love to others, and that’s how I’ll view my transition. I encourage you all to do the same for yourselves.
Try to always remember, what you say has an impact on others. Even if they play it off like it doesn’t bother them, hateful words hurt. Being called names hurts, even if you say you’re joking. That one seemingly small comment you made to someone, could be the one thing they’ve held onto throughout their lives. You can make all the difference in the world, it’s up to you whether that difference is positive or negative. Make the right choice.
Damm it, now I’m overwhelmed again.
Good for you for calling out that crap. Even better for being living proof that we don’t have to accept the constant stream of bs about our bodies. It’s hard to drown it all out, but what you dp hear, challenge!
I love this post. You were beautiful then and you’re beautiful now. I grew up hearing that. I was the same weight as you, and was constantly told “you’re 10 lbs from being the perfect weight”. I was a gym rat, ate next to nothing, and hated my body. I ended up having confidence but no self-esteem. I love the pictures. They’re so similar to what my pics look like. I’m slowly learning to love my body the way it is. I’ll be glad to lose weight, but I’m starting accept my body as it is. Not an easy feat.
Oh, we are so much alike. I feel like we’re soul sisters! I knew others on twitter would feel the same way I did about that stupid crap. I too “turned ugly”. All I can think about is one of those girls stumbling upon it and having their spirits crushed even more. I look back at old pictures and get so mad at myself for thinking I was so fat and overweight. At my smallest I was 109 lbs, (seriously, 109 and I thought I was fat?!) and I’ve seriously increased that number since.
I’m short as hell at just under 5 foot 2 inches so I don’t carry my weight well at all. You’re beautiful, and I love you<3 Thank you for sharing this. Just another way we can relate.
This whole thing made me cry because, like the others, I have the same story in so many ways. I don’t even need to say anything because you all have said it for me.
What the hell is wrong with our culture that so many (women in particular) have similar experiences to this? And isn’t it interesting that weight discrimination is still tolerated, even embraced as the last “acceptable” prejudice? They have found that in children as young as 3 that they already associate being fat with negative traits such as laziness & lack of intelligence! I read that study over 25 years ago and nothing has changed, yet look at all the progress made in, for example, gay rights/acceptance in that same time period! Why is weight so ubiquitous a topic in daily life? Why are we constantly judging ourselves or being judged about it? It has NOTHING to do with a person’s worth, yet it’s treated as if it’s not a just a personal issue, but one that’s open for public comment and judgment. Yeah, I cried, but I also am angry – angry for all the preoccupation and time I and others spent thinking about all the ramifications of weight! When I think about how different our lives would have been not to be burdened by any of it, it profoundly breaks my heart. (and now I am back to crying.)
And you are so right, that one comment can stick with you; people sometimes just don’t realize the impact their words have. But the flip side of that is what you have done here – hopefully your words have a transforming effect on someone!
People who make comments like those just make me lose faith in the human race. We all seem to be so obsessed with things that don’t matter! I ‘got ugly’ too – so what? I don’t know my weight and I’ve never cared to. It’s a slippery slope best avoided.
Amen to that!!!
Fuck the haters. You are awesome, beautiful, and you ROCK. That is all I need to say.