Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3.29.17 #sol17 To the Guys at the Table Next to Us...

Dear Guys at the Table Next to Us,

I saw your face as you watched the women walk past. I noticed the ladies too. I know. They were fat. Like, really fat.

They were fat, and their shorts were short. They were showing a lot of flesh, overflowing their waistlines, their shirtsleeves.

I tried not to judge their bodies -- I know they probably do enough of that on their own (or maybe not, and that would be freaking awesome). I reminded myself how hard it is to be overweight in this world. To wear shorts. To wear a bathing suit in public. I'm a little overweight and I dread having to wear a bathing suit. They were a lot overweight, and so I presumed (maybe incorrectly) that it's just freaking hard.

And then I saw your faces. Your rude, disgusting faces. You, the goateed one, saw them first. You grimaced and then nudged your buddy. "Look at that," you said, just like you probably do when you see a hot girl, but the sneer on your face made your connotation clear.

Your buddy turned around, noticed them walking away, and he shook his head. Like he had the right to judge these women and their bodies. Shook his head as if to say, "what are they doing here?"

I felt white hot anger. I felt protective of these women, even though I couldn't pick them out of a crowd. How dare you?

And then I noticed: your daughters sitting next to you. Young women. Tiny bodies, not yet formed. They chattered away, seemingly impervious to what just happened, but I know they soaked it in, because that's what our kids do. They are watching us always. Is this the world you want for your daughters? A world where men feel entitled to comment on their bodies?

Stop doing that.

Stop telling women how they should look in order to make you happy.

Stop it.
Right now.

Sincerely,

That curvy chick at the table next shooting you daggers whose husband didn't want her to start a fight


Postscript: 

I wanted to march my curvy ass over there and say something. But what? What could I have said that would have made a difference? And if I'm being honest, I felt self-conscious. What would they say about my body? But, I've been thinking about it all day long. I wish I had stood up for those women, for all of us.

I'm tired of being silent to be polite. I'm tired of watching men make judgements about our bodies, about our clothes, about our beings. And I'm tired of us doing it to each other too, if I'm being honest.

Enough.

We must stand up and speak.

5 comments:

  1. I love, love, LOVE this piece. You are so blunt and so RIGHT. I know the feeling of wanting to say something but getting scared of the repercussions, but the fact that you noted that these guys had daughters is what may have pushed me over the edge. Girls notice everything, even when they're young. Even though you didn't speak up, this post inspires me to stand up for what I think is right.

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    1. thanks, Katie. I wish I would have said something, but I think it felt better maybe to write about it.

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  2. What a beautifully written letter. You have said out loud what a lot of us think in our minds and are too afraid to say it out loud. I need to remember my girls notice when I grimace at my own body and all the things I don't like about it.
    Thanks for writing this important letter.

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    1. thanks, Maria. It's exhausting, isn't it?

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  3. Ugh. Hate the idea of their daughters sitting there, observing that! That line - "I know they soaked it in" - so true, so horrible. You are absolutely right! We must speak up. I'm wrestling with this now, too - what could you have said? Frustrating. I want to walk by them and mutter, "You are out of line." Thanks for sharing this!

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