I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
I knew she had been drinking. Not to the point of being sloppy or belligerent, but just enough for her to allow her icy demeanor to fade and be vulnerable. She couldn’t believe the guy she went to see at the bar was ignoring her. She was talking so fast I could barely make out the words but from what I could decode, he had invited her out, she was excited but showed up late, so he spent the evening ignoring her and flirting with other girls while she sat staring at her phone and drinking trying to pretend that it didn’t matter. But it did.
“I’m always going to be second.” She texted.
“It’s just like high school all over again.”
“I was the social outcast. I used to weigh over 300 pounds.”
I heard her voice crack more than a few times. I listened to her as she walked out of the bar and took deep breaths. I heard her jump in a cab and tell the driver to take her to the diner. I waited for her to get it all out and I reminded her of a few things.
I told her that she isn’t in high school anymore. That she isn’t 300 pounds anymore. That she should be proud of what she had accomplished. That she was a strong and intelligent and captivating and creative and sexy woman – regardless of her weight. She told me about her stretch marks and how she felt like she had to explain them to everyone.
“We were in bed and he asked if I had a kid and I said no and he said, well why does your body look like that?”
I told her that she doesn’t have to explain shit to anyone. That she has no responsibility to rude men to discuss her past struggles. But most importantly, I told her that she wasn’t in high school anymore.
I told her that while we are all 14 year old kids on the inside, rife with insecurity – we are not 14 years old anymore. We are grown ass adults and that while we learn from our past, it does not define who we are now.
Because none of are little kids anymore and none of us need validation from anyone, least of all from childish man-children who don’t have the ability to treat us like human beings. You owe the world to be kind and compassionate – unless someone gives you a reason not to. And if anyone out there makes you feel less than a woman, regardless of your size – they don’t deserve the opportunity to have you in their life. Let them move on and push their insecurities on someone else because you, us, we, have been through way too much to even entertain the antics of sad little men who don’t know how to show respect.
I got so angry that he had made this wonderful woman question her value. And it made me think of all the awful little men in the world that get away with this behavior so often. And it made me think of all the women they have beaten down and robbed of self-worth. Of the women who believed those horrible words. Of the women who trusted those men with their heart, only to have it not only stepped on but tortured and tormented by small men whose insecurities prevent them from learning how to love.
So hey fat girl. Your self-worth is not determined by a scale but by the lives you motivate and the positivity you radiate out into this world. Those stretch marks are reminders of the struggle and hurdles you have accomplished. And sure, you might be sensitive but yeah, why wouldn’t you be? Everyone else got a head start on building their confidence while you were huddled away watching black and white movies and sitting alone at the high school dance. But you lived through it and you are a grown strong woman now. And grown strong women don’t give the time of day to weak men who attempt to project their self-loathing on you. They don’t deserve you wasting any time on them. No thoughts or worry. Because there will be another person out there who will be excited to sit across from you over coffee. There is a person out there that will be excited to love you exactly the way you are. Stretch marks or no stretch marks. Three hundred pounds or a hundred pounds. When a person can see the fire in your eye, the wit of your personality, and the glow of your character they will want to hear your stories.
And by then, you will be strong enough and proud enough to tell them who you truly are.
And that the adult you are now deserves love.
Because you earned it.
The hard way.