Tuesday, August 3, 2010

people don't like me because I'm fat.

People don’t like me because I’m fat. 

Have you ever had that thought? Have you ever been at a party and felt someone’s eyes travel over and PAST you, and thought to yourself, “That person doesn’t like me because I’m fat.” Have you ever been ignored in a store, and thought to yourself, “This sales person doesn’t like me because I’m fat.” 

I have never been the kind of person that people ‘warm’ to immediately. I’m not trying to be disparaging here, I generally think I’m a good person, and typically people like me once they get to me know me. But there is something about me that people don’t always like right away. For years -- for most of my life -- I thought it was the fact that I was fat.  

I’ve talked before about how I’m starting to discover that I’m actually just a pariah. That now that I’m not so fat so I’ve lost my great cushiony excuse. But I had a moment on the weekend that crystallized for me how deeply ingrained that original notion is. 

I was at a brunch with some friends (including my beloved @houseofpickles). There were about 6 
grown-ups at this brunch, and three kids, ranging in age from 16 months to four years.  

I don’t have a lot of experience with kids. And at the brunch I noticed that none of them were terribly interested in me. They wanted to interact with all the other grown-ups but me, or so it seemed.  

And I suddenly found myself having the thought “These kids don’t like me because I’m fat.”  


Can you believe that?  

Yes, Andrea. A 16-month-old child doesn’t like you because you’re fat. Ummmmmmmm right. That’s totally it. It’s not that they’re put off by your sullen face and crossed arms. It’s not that they’re maybe even a little scared of you because you’ve got your “I don’t need your approval” face on. These kids don’t dislike you because you’re ‘fat’ -- they just aren’t interested in you because you aren’t engaging with them or really having any fun. 

And that pretty much sums up ALL of my social experiences. I blame everything on the fact that I’m fat (never mind that I’m barely, anymore), and as a result I’ve put up this wall that goes up every time I’m around people who don’t know ‘the inside me’. I assume they won’t like me so I put up the anticipatory wall that says ‘I don’t care’.  

I’m happy to say that I loosened up after that and soon enough I was having a great time at the brunch, dangling toddlers upside down (in the good way!) and reading books with the smartest four-year-old ever (who explained to me that the “p” in “pterodactyl” was silent, dontchaknow). It was a good time.  

It was nice to put down the wall, and I am making an effort to do it more often now.