I am body conscious. I always have been. But as I have gotten older, I have begun to embrace what God gave me, and I even show off a bit more than I did when I was younger. I figure this is who I am and it’s not going to change. What is the point in hiding? It took a while to get here, but as I have grown into myself, I have started to dress my body differently. That means wearing things that highlight my curves and sometimes even show a little cleavage. Five years ago, that would have never happened. Then I drank the special “No fucks given now that you’re in your 40s” juice, and here we are.
My husband and I went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We both got dressed up, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I even put on fake lashes — it was a big night out. I was wearing a super-cute black jumpsuit that really enhanced my breasts. Like I said, the old me would have never worn it, but I felt particularly confident that night and truly felt pretty.
When my husband and I got to the restaurant we took a selfie to commemorate the evening. When I looked at the pic, I noticed that my breasts were definitely front and center. I asked him if I should crop it. He said, “Why? You look great. But do what makes you comfortable.” I thought, “fuck it, I do look great,” so it stayed as it was. I posted it on social media with a note to my husband celebrating 15 years and four kids. And I didn’t think anything about it.
We enjoyed our dinner. It was delicious, and an evening away from the four kids whom we adore but also need a break from. I never wanted it to end. When we got home I looked at my Facebook page and saw that my post had gotten a lot of feedback. Lots of likes and well wishes from friends, with a few remarks about how we looked. It made me feel good. And then I came across a post that absolutely crushed it all.
A “friend” of my husband from high school, who I have never met, commented on the post. “Congratulations! I also just remembered I need to get two jugs of milk at the store.”
What a class act, huh? I seriously couldn’t believe it. First of all, I have never met this person. Second, why would you think that it is OK to body shame someone? Particularly when this person is the wife of one of your so-called friends. It is positively appalling to me. But the way our society treats a woman’s body, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
I wasn’t going to say anything. And initially, I didn’t. Then a friend asked if I knew him and I said no. The more I thought about it, I just had to get it off of my chest — no pun intended. So I replied to his comment.
“These kinds of comments are what is wrong with our world. A woman attempts to be body positive and is shamed for what she looks like. No wonder we crop and hide our bodies. It’s people just like this that ruin a woman’s self-confidence. But I am not letting this get me down. I am happy with how I looked last night, and my husband told me I was beautiful. That’s what matters.”
Guess what his response was? Nothing. The coward said absolutely nothing. It sure is easy to hide behind a screen, but once you are challenged, you have nothing to say. I guess he didn’t know how to defend his sexist, body shaming, bullshit comment against an intelligent woman who stands up for herself and other women like her who need more body positivity in their lives.
My husband wrote out several responses, but ultimately, just blocked him entirely. Which was fine with me. I didn’t need him to defend me. I was happy to trash this guy on my own. That kind of person isn’t a friend. They are truly the enemy. They make women feel ashamed. And it has got to stop!
I don’t care what you look like. No one deserves to be made to feel insecure about any part of themself. I have long had trouble embracing my big breasts and this is exactly the kind of stuff that haunts my dreams of childhood. Once during a kickball game when I was 12, a boy yelled, “Don’t make her run or she’ll get two black eyes.” It ruined my self-esteem and has stuck with me for years. I don’t care what anyone says: words hurt, and they can cause long-term damage.
These kinds of people need to be educated. The comments shouldn’t be ignored. We need to speak up for ourselves and not settle for being shamed. So many brands are embracing different body types. We are seeing woman of all sizes in advertisements. Websites like Pinterest are banning all weight loss ads and before and after pics. Diet culture and body shaming cannot win this war.
Be proud of your body. Nourish it, exercise it, and treat it well; it is the only one that you will ever get. Don’t be afraid to show off things that you are proud of, or to tell off some asshole who tries to bring you down. As a matter of fact, make them feel like shit, because they should. They don’t have the right to hurt you. You are exactly who you are supposed to be.
At the end of the day, he’s gone from both of our lives. I never met him. It is unlikely that I ever will. But if I do cross his path, I will be certain to remind him of his brilliant social media skills and the fact that I brought attention to his words in front of millions of readers. And I took screenshots. ALWAYS take the screenshots. Your move, asshole!