A boy once told me…
I know anything starting a sentence this way tends to set off alarm bells. From men, Oh no, another example of a man being “misogynistic”. From women, Oh no, another example of a man being misogynistic. (Did you hear the difference in tone from each?)
Well, yeah, it kind of is…but also not purposefully. What I mean by that is this: the boy who said this was a year older than me in high school (he was roughly 17 and I was 15) and he was speaking his “honest opinion”. I don’t remember how the conversation came up, I don’t remember what anybody else said, but I remember word for word what he said.
Did the opinion perhaps stem from what other males in his life talk about or act around women? Of course. Which is why I don’t particularly hold it against him.
Did it still make me feel inadequate as a female due to how he, a male, viewed the other sex? Of course. But that’s not his fault.
It’s that age old blame game time. But honestly it’s a fair game. I blame society and the subliminal messages we were shown/told throughout our childhoods.
What could he have possibly said? (You’re thinking as I ramble into philosophical debates about the modern world)
A boy once told me, “A woman is fat when her stomach sticks out past her boobs.”
Now, let’s break this down as to why it’s problematic. (I chose not to use the word “misogynistic” because to be honest I’ve never heard any other man ever say this, but it is a problem and it doesn’t mean other man haven’t said this.)
First, does the statement mean to tell me that women less endowed have a smaller window of when they’re considered fat than women with large breasts? Here’s the problem with that: it encourages body dysmorphia in women with small breasts thus leading to eating disorders, plastic surgery, or possibly even drug abuse.
Second, this statement encourages women to attack other women’s bodies unfairly. There’s this strange belief among men (and women, but I’ve heard men speak about it, write about, and what have you more frequently than women) that women don’t actually get along/can’t be friends with other women because secretly we all hate each other. Or that we’re constantly judging each other because a) one is thin, b) one is fat, c) one is tall, d) one is short, e) one has perfect small boobs, f) one has voluptuous breasts, and so on and so on…
Third, do men really not understand what breasts are? They’re sacks of fat. Yes, some women get them even when they’re thin, but also they tend to grow larger due to bodily functions, hormonal changes, weight gain, or a number of other natural reasons. The one most men think of is pregnancy, where the constant joke is, “oh, honey, I love your new boobs. We should have a baby all the time.” (To which I say to those men, fuck you)
Fourth (yes, I’m still listing, baby): What even does this statement prove? Men, do you find this complimentary to women? Cause it’s not. Do you think it promotes body positivity by redefining fat? Cause it doesn’t.
Fifth, this is a stupid statement. Every woman’s body is different. Every breast is different. Every woman’s metabolism is different. And every woman doesn’t need to be defined by whether or not other people consider them fat. The only person allowed to judge them for that is my doctor and that’s because it’s their job. Do we have to listen to them? Hell no. (Disclaimer: I know the job of a doctor isn’t to judge their patients, it’s to tell them whether or not they’re healthy and what the possible difficulties can arise from their life choices)
Bottom line, this came from a place of, I choose to believe, honesty and thoughtfulness. But it is still a problem. We as women don’t need people to give us excuses for our bodies. We don’t need people to redefine what fat is or isn’t (especially if it involves breast sizes).
We just want people to accept us in the bodies we’ve worked really fucking hard to learn to love. It takes a lot when everyone tells you it “isn’t attractive because a and b” or when every ad, TV series, movie, or even book show off “beautiful, ideal” women bodies, faces, or hair.
I remember these words every time I look in the mirror, sit with a slouch, or even when I’m meeting new people and stand there shaking their hands. I constantly think, is my stomach sticking out past my boobs? Does that mean I’m fat?
All because a boy once told me…
Anybut, this was a bit deep and probably a lot of people aren’t going to like it. But it’s what I’ve got to say. And women who disagree with points I made…okay. That’s fine. I never claimed to be an expert in discussing these topics. I’m simply writing the thoughts in my head. This phrase popped into my head and I wrote things down in relation to it.
Now back to fun stuff?
Here’s a picture of me with no context (because I can’t remember what I was doing when this picture was taken) (and, yes, my phone IS upside down)(and and, yes, this was taken back when I had blonde hair):