Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Overly Sensitive of Society's Ignorance but Feeling Justified

So yesterday my old boss instant messaged me out of the blue. She was always like a mother to me and I really loved working with her. However here is how the conversation started:

MA says:

Hey, send me your blog site again so that I can see your Hawaiian pictures. I didn't get to look at them before.

Aimée says:

http://newsfromthewhitehome.blogspot.com/

Aimée says:

I don't put very much on there unfortunately so it hasn't been updated in awhile

Aimée says:

how are you?

MA says:

I am good. I went to the site and your pictures are great. You look way too thin. Are you losing weight? Your trip looks wonderful.


one of the photos she would have been referring to me looking "way too thin"

Now after I read that last line I felt like she had just punched me in the face. For me that statement would come across EXACTLY the same way as if she had said it the opposite way, “You look way too fat. Are you gaining weight?” Had anyone said that to most people in America you would have been floored and very offended. That’s how I feel. Although I know she didn’t mean it maliciously and she is just generally concerned, it just goes back to the fact that telling some one they are too skinny, too fat, too ugly, too tall, too short, too anything = YOU ARE NOT NORMAL AND THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. I wish our society understood that more. I am learning not to take offense in their ignorance but I did seriously think about replying with some nasty comments. Instead I decided my weight was none of her business and instead of trying to make excuses for the way I am or try to justify myself to her I would simply say,

Aimée says: I'm fine thanks. The trip was awesome. Have you ever been?”

I figure that was a nice way of saying “thank you for your concern although it is unwanted and you no longer need to feel the need to ask me such personal questions again.” It reminds me of some older posts Absolutely Unapologetically Thin and Every Journey has a Beginning which both touch on this topic.

Am I the only one that is sensitive to this issue? I feel that I am justified in being sensitive because I hear it ALL the time ALL my life and so I constantly am being told that I am not good enough just the way I am. That’s why this has been such a hard challenge to gain confidence in myself just the way that I am.

If anything I am learning to not let those comments wound me so deeply and to just push it aside. I also didn't try to make excuses for why I am the way I am. At least that’s some improvement, a step toward sticking up for myself as I am.

3 comments:

Caelum-Amo said...

I completely agree with you. I've always been a skinny girl and felt very uncomfortable when people commented on it, which they did constantly. I hated being skinny for a couple of reasons (all of the unwanted attention, not getting clothes to fit me right, etc), but it eventually started to become a part of my identity, which is not a healthy thing. I definitly agree that we need to accept eachother as-is and not compare physical attributes. We are who we are, and that's that.

Michael said...

Hey there, first things first, fantastic blog, really appreciate your honesty. I can already say from the half an hour I have spent reading your blog that that it's been very encouraging and uplifting. I sincerely wish you all the best in the future and I hope that you keep writing :)

Personally, I have had to distance myself completely from people's comments (negative or positive) when they are in contradiction with the direction I am trying to take myself. Thats not to say that 'either your with me or against me', just that while other people can suggest a direction, they are not at the wheel. I read in one of your later posts about pursuing creative tasks etc, and how each time it reaffirms / reclaims a tiny little piece of identity. People's passing comments are just that, passing comments. They do not live in your shoes and have no way of knowing the full gamut of thoughts and emotions that you experience on a daily basis.

An example from my life is, I have worked with technology since I left school, however it has always caused me all manner of stress and anxiety. I made the decision recently to pursue more hands on work, cabinet making etc, you can guess the resistance I received, from outright laughter to furrowed brows of concern. Suffice to say I know what I want to do and I know the reasons for doing it. Sure I could articulate the reasons to them but frankly, at the moment I am just trying to keep myself together day-to-day so when I meet with people I just want to smile and giggle a bit with them :)

While that is bordering on an over-simplified and irrelevant example, the point I am trying to make is how we look and even what we say to each other will only ever scratch the surface of who we are as individuals.

If thats the case, the only person that can ever be considered qualified to say whether you are good enough or not is you :D

P.S. just my thoughts from reading this post, I seldom comment on blogs so please take 2 grains of salt before digesting :D

Aimée said...

Michael,

Even though you say comments are passing, yours has truly made my day and will stick with me. Thank you for posting your thoughts. They are so uplifting because they are true. I hope to hear from you again soon. :)

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