Thursday, July 7, 2011

you calling her fat?!

The other day, Mr. P and I took BG up to the mall to let her run around the children's play area. He had never been with her before, so it was fun for him to get to see her really interact with other children and just watch her play. She absolutely loves it there. It's so fun to just watch her light up.

As I'm sitting there watching her, a lady (clearly a nanny), comes and sits next to me with a stroller. She lets a tiny little girl out to play while a baby boy keeps sleeping. Pretty soon we make eye contact, I smile, she smiles, and then she nods toward BG and says "Is she yours?".

"Yes" I say, with the smile that always escapes when I even mention my daughter now plastered on my face.

She smiles back and says "how old?".

"Fifteen months" I say still smiling like a buffoon.

Then I see it; the look.

You know "the look". It's the face people make right before they say something rude, condescending, or just plain dumb. In the South, we follow expressions made with said look with the always annoying "bless her (his) heart" or "I don't mean to be rude..".

"Wow. She certainly doesn't miss a meal does she?" the lady says now grinning stupidly at me.

I giggled but inside I was seething and said "yea, she's just a big girl", then slammed my sunglasses back down over my eyes and sat there stewing in my own juices.

Immediately I was furious. Furious at her for basically calling my kid fat; furious at myself for saying what I did because I was uncomfortable; and furious at freaking society for the standards it's placed that make people think they need to say things like that.

For about 2.5 seconds, the Irish temper in me fought to get out and say the same thing to this (slightly overweight) woman.

I'd be lying if I said this was the first time I've heard something along these lines. I get it; my child? not small. But she's far from fat. And if she was, she's fifteen months old.

So shall I be real?

The weight thing is a huge fear of mine. I was actually a small child. Then puberty hit (or living with my grandparents hoarding M & M's hit..), and wow. Not so small. About that same time, I decided a perm would be cool (bad, bad idea), and I was a sight. Middle school Megan? Awkward.

I hated how I looked. I watched the guys I had crushes on chase the skinny girls. I was the fat friend. It was awful.

Fortunately in high school year round soccer shed the baby fat, the perm grew out and braces fixed the triangular shaped teeth. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was far from small. At my thinnest I was weighing in around one hundred fifty pounds.

Yep. Numbers. I said it.

Maybe I just didn't pay attention but I do not remember this intense body scrutiny when I was younger. My ideal size was a six. Purely because Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield were described as being a "perfect, athletic size six". That's what in my mind was perfection. I wasn't a size six. I was a ten. Easily. But I was okay with that. Most of the time. There was one time a guy friend of mine called me "Turkey Neck" and made me quit eating for a week. Then I realized that was stupid and I was hungry and I was cured.

I digress. A six. Do you realize that in today's society, that's practically a plus size?! And while I'm sure I'm exaggerating a bit, it's not by much.


To be honest? I don't care what the world says is fat/thin/ugly/pretty. It's my absurd self confidence kicking in. I want to be a happy weight for me, yes, but I know I'm never going to be a size two. Not going to happen. I love the food too much. I don't want to be overweight, so I do what I can to not get that way. Am I going to be miserable to be skinny? No sir.

But what if my child does care? And even if she doesn't, these people who think they have the right to say these comments, they're going to get to her. As much as I would like to carry out a public shanking every time I hear this, I'm not sure that's a grand idea.

PSA: My child is perfect. Your child is perfect. They are babies. She's healthy. Lucky for her right now healthy rocks rubberband smuggling arms and cheeks to die for. It rocks some cellulite on the thighs and a belly that pokes out way past her toes.

She rocks. She's perfect.

I think it's a sad, sad person who has to comment on the size of a fifteen month old. I truly do. But more than that, I think it's a sad, sad world when even at this age, we're judging them.

If my child wants a cookie, she's getting a cookie. And if I give her a cookie in public and I get that look from someone? Well, then I'm giving her another one. Then I'm eating three. And tossing that crankypants a couple.

Give it a rest people. This?



Day Old News said...

She IS perfection! I can't believe somebody would say that. They would get a much less lady like response here. Just try and say something about my dog & I'll getcha.

Kristin said...

I can't believe anyone would say that...she is BEAUTIFUL!!! Some people are so rude!!

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

BAHA I Adored the "tossing cranky pants a couple" line. Hysterical. And sorry about the douchebag lady. Honestly, people are so ugly sometimes. Say the stupidest things EVER. And I'm sorry you (and bg) were a victim of that. She is perfect!

Jillian said...

How could anyone say anything negative about that beautiful baby? And I used to and still do get that about Emerson sometimes!I just smile and brush it off, screw those people:)

KM said...

Sweet E is PERFECT in every single way! I don't understand people. AT. All.

I was overweight all my life. Once I hit 9th grade I went on a diet and got into a size 10! In college I did the not eating and running way too much diet and got down to a size 4. With this size 4my hair was thin and falling out :/ I started eating again but became a health nut. Now, I am finally happy with my body. I will NEVER be stick thin and I NEVER want to be. I am who I am and love it, sad to say it has taken 35 years and a lot of tears to get to this point.

I would love to say don't let what these people say get under your skin. C is a big boy and I have heard the same "he hasn't missed a meal" comment. When they have made this said comment I give them the stink eye. He in NO way is overweight and he is a BABY! Babies are supposed to be chubby with dimples and skin rolls. To me that is perfection!

I showed C this pic of E and he smiled and leaned into the PC for a KISS! Ummm.....I think he is in LIKE =)


Abbie said...

All babies are meant to be chubby! I love me some baby cheeks. Little Ella is perfect. :)

Jillian Vanover said...

I couldn't agree with you more. What a shame that people feel urged to start judging the physique of a 15 month old. Sad.

My son is climbng the growth charts and I often get remarks like that. Epecially about the size of his noggin. Go figure. Rude, inconsiderate, judgmental people make me seethe.

So glad to see your tongue-in-cheek attitude :)

The Mama said...

Ohmyword. Your daughter - IS indeed perfection. I am so sorry that this happened to you. Makes me want to lose my southern manners for a while and go tell her a thing or 5. I am so sorry!

Your daughter is beautiful! I'm loving your blog as well, new follower!

Tiff said...

Oh my word! Dumb dumb lady! This happens to us all the time... But people always say how little T is and how he can't be 15 months old.. He's too skinny.. Blah, blah! I get so tired of it.. So, I feel ya!

Kim H. said...

My Lanta! I'm ticked for you... my 15 month old is about the same size, and I would never consider him fat. He's not walking yet - so there ya go. I had a niece that was uber chubby when she was an infant and as soon as she got fully mobile - she became a twig.

I've got weight issues too - and worry about it for the boys as well, but I do my best to not project that on them now. As you said - they are perfection and I love them just as they are.

Jessica said...

Hi. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Your daughter is absolutely precious and perfect!

I worry way too much about looks (well how I look) and I'm trying to not be that way. I hate how we judge people on the basis of looks only. I'd rather be that happy, nice, sweet girl than the skinny pretty girl. Ha ha.

Jen Watts said...

She is perfection... I know it's not exactly the same but I get.. "She's sooo tiny" all of the time.. I then want to force food down poor little Carsyns throat. I worry all day long if she's getting enough to eat. Being a mom is hard!!

Me, in high school?? 5'11, about 115 lbs, braces... Ughhhh- bones is so not a cool nickname. Kids are cruel, and sadly adults crueler. I pity the fool who wants to make fun of Carsyn on the playground-her mommas a little redneck.

Anne said...

Sigh. People can be so thoughtless.

You know that Mac was falling off of the bottom of the growth chart last year, an itsy-bitsy little nine-month-old who got comments on his size even then.

And now? A year later and topping off the chart? We hear all about how "most babies burn that fat off when they learn to run like him." Well, he hasn't. And I LOVE his fat.

He's a baby and he's perfect and he's MINE. His doctor, his father, his metabolism and I will determine when and if changes need to be made.

'Til then? I can't imagine our children being any more flawless or LESS "fat." You just can't win with some folks...

(Meanwhile, I've never missed a meal nor met a carb I didn't like. So Mac does come by it honestly...)

Sending y'all lots of love - you are BOTH beautiful. Ending my rant now!

Mrs. Confident said...

I get comments on my baby, too, but he is only seven months old. When I tell them the doctor was worried about his weight gain, they go say, "WHY? He's SO BIG!" Then I, thanks. Yeah, I'm from the south, so I totally get the "Bless your heart business." She's precious! Just precious!


Kodi said...

Ugh! I so agree with you. It speaks to the ignorance of our society that they'd be worried about a little chub on a 15 month old. Personally, I AM what the US considers to be plus sized and I'm healthy as hell. Seriously- in a physical exam every single number for me is perfect with where it should be. I had two amazing pregnancies because of it as well, but society would have me believe I'm unhealthy because of the # on my scale.

Also, let's not forget the other side of health that's even more important IMO. WHY are eating disorders so commonplace these days? Because ignorant people like that lady say one thing that sticks with a girl for years and that girl lives in a society where more value is placed on outer beauty than inner beauty. Luckily for BG she has a mama with both, and a mama that will fight for her to know the difference.

Mere said...

Oh my word! That lady is crazy! Ella is absolutely precious and she is perfect. I can't believe someone would say that. I personally LOVE the rolls on my baby girls! There just isn't anything better that a squishy, loveable, kissable baby! :)

Ashley said...

Ughhhh!!! Those kind of people really get under my skin!! Like, who the hell are you to make comments about a BABY?! Honestly, I think it's simply because they can think of nothing else to say, but they feel like they should say something. If that's the case, then they shouldn't even strike up a conversation. I wish you could have said what you were really thinking to that lady. How would SHE feel if, at her age, someone told her mom she looks like she doesn't miss a meal? That wouldn't be acceptable, so it's not acceptable to ask that about a baby. What the eff. I am getting all riled up. People used to ALWAYS say that about Cooper. Oh, he never misses a meal. Oh, he looks like a football palyer. Really? REALLY?! I want to yell at people. I've gotten to the point where, if people mention it, I tell them that he actually doesn't eat much (he truly doesn't), or that he is average size for his age. BG is perfect! And I can't believe that anyone's first reaction to her would be anything other than omg, she is gorgeous! Because she is. And so are you Mama.

LG said...

You know my boy is HUGE and I agree it is perfection. Maybe because he is a boy(?) but I look at his hugeness like a big pat on the back for me because he is nourished and thriving! I do get LOTS of comments when we are out and about and I don't think twice about them because my boy, and your girl are some of the HAPPIEST babies I have ever seen and they probably wish they had such a happy kid.
That being said, if someone commented about my piggles and they were intentionally being rude or haughty, I would knock their front teeth out! HA

Ashley E. said...

You are absolutely right, she is PERFECT!!!!! Some people are just stupid and haven't a clue what they are talking about!

Lauren said...

I honestly really don't even know what to say.... This is just so so wrong on so so many levels. I'm sorry you had to put up with that!!!! Truly!

Kara said...

Wow, that was really rude. What's her problem?! All babies are different, and you're right-they're BABIES and they grow how they grow. And they're perfect!

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful, and so are you! She is a baby, and her sweet round face is adorable and I just don't understand what is wrong with people. I mean, seriously... do they want you to put her on a diet!? She is a BABY!!!! This is making me angry just typing haha! Anyways, your baby is the picture of perfection and that's all there is to it!!

Karen said...

Well said!! I also have a little girl (only 6 wks) but already dread the comments that may come and her feeling like she's not "thin enough." Our society is so crazed when it comes to weight that you're right people are already judging babies, frustrating!

Its my hope we raise our little one with the confidence to feel great no matter her size.

PS: Your girl is perfect and absolutely beautiful!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Stopping by from the Comment Challenge. I heard the same thing about my son.

Guess what? He love to eat, he wasn't picky, and at three is has grown taller and leaner.

Shannon Dew said...

I'm so sorry! I never know how to respond to those comments either. One time a lady told me Kendall looked "healthy" aka fat. I said "yeah she's a good eater" and she said "oh I didn't mean she was fat..." ok what does that mean then? People are ignorant!

Wearing Mascara said...

Disgusting!!!! I found this post via Twitter and just tweeted it out again. Awful, just awful. She IS beautiful at any size, not like that should matter. Ugh, people make me furious!

Melanee said...

there is nothing sweeter than a baby/toddler with rolls for days. my daughter is 3 and i still wanna eat up her thighs and belly daily. screw the judgers. that lady needs to worry about her own issues b/c clearly she's got em.

Legallyblondemel said...

She is perfection.

As for the people who imply otherwise, I almost always find it's their own insecurity speaking; I have family prone to this sort of comment, and they have their own weight issues. Doesn't make what they're saying any less obnoxious, but it helps me keep my cool when the rude statements start. That being said, if & when they start those in the direction of my child, the gloves are coming off.

Dan and Liz said...

I've posted here once before and have seen your blog many times, love it! My son is 18 months, so I love that your little lady isn't far behind, so I totally relate to ya. As far as this lady goes...seriously? I don't see one little thing wrong with your child..none, zero. She's just barely a toddler and there is nothing wrong with the way she looks or weighs or whatever. I can't believe that's even an issue you've had to deal w/ and discuss!! You seem like a really good Mom, so keep doing what you're doing.

Mandy said...

That is horrible!!! Your girl is so beautiful and HEALTHY! I really loathe ignorant people who make comments about things they know nothing about. BG is so lucky to have you as a mom. She will grow up knowing that being healthy is the only thing she should be concerned about. As a former anorexic, I know how much hateful comments like that can hurt someone. {{hugs}} momma!

Moe said...

I'm new to your blog...but your little girl looks like a perfectly sized 15 month old to me!! People can be so rude and so hurtful sometimes. I'm sorry. She's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for awhile and never commented but I have to say I have always thought your daughter was ADORABLE and one of the cutest little girls I have ever seen!! I read just to see pictures of her! :)

Anonymous said...

I just can't wait to pay the costs for her obesity later on.

Tricia Loves Makeup and Fashion said...

oh my word, I cannot believe people have the indecency to say such things. ESP about a child!
I think your little girl is the cutest lil thing. Just reading your post made my blood pressure go higher b/c I understand how furious you were. People said this about my son (who is now 2.5) too, but guess, as soon as he started walking and moving around, he thinned out. And even if he wouldn't have, I could care less. I'll love him no matter what size he was, is and will be later in life.
As for this nasty anonymous commenter, get a life. I'd say much worse, but I'm trying to be respectful of this blog, most definitely not you.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Dear Anonymous #2:
While I appreciate your obvious concern for my child (ha), please let me assure that if in fact those costs occur, my husband and I pay very well for our insurance which would cover it. So the cost to you should not occur. While I would love to discuss this further with you, you of course chose to hide behind the "anonymous". I do hope you see this though as I would hate for you to spend any amount of time worrying over how you'll have to pay for my child's (non-existent, thank you) health costs.

I hope you have a fantastic day.

The Pink Owl said...

First, your daughter is BEAUTIFUL!!! That little smile is just heart-melting!

Next, I am stunned that someone would say that about a baby!?! What a rude, ill-mannered person.

Finally, I can't believe I haven't been reading your blog! I love it and I've added you to my reader now :)

Ben and Emily said...

Oh my...she's a doll! The crab smocked dress is precious too!

Playing devil's advocate here....but, maybe she didn't mean it "rudely". I know I've made similar comments (to my friends) and I only mean them in a NICE, jokingly way.

Bonnie said...

Megan, she IS perfect! And, so are you! I can relate to everything you said about yourself & growing up. I was the same way. I've always felt too fat, no matter what. I was in the best shape late high school/early college too. I worked out ALL the time & watched everything I ate & took diet pills. It is so hard to think positive of yourself in today's society & I'm sure it will only get worse :( If only we could shelter our babies from all the cruel people out there. You are a wonderful mommy though & I'm sure you will teach your daughter what is important in life!
<3 Bon

Liz said...

Sorry, but saying "That child doesn't miss a meal" is not the same thing as saying she's fat. It's an expression. People say things like that all the time about babies. It's just something people say when they see a cute baby that is healthy. Obviously your daughter is far from unhealthy -- and hell, far from ugly; she's a cutie! -- but a chunky baby is a happy baby.

Now, if the woman had said, "Your baby is fat and ugly," then that would be a different story. That would be completely rude and uncalled for. But I can't believe that so many people are up in arms about a comment I hear people say regarding babies all of the time. I really don't think she meant it to be mean.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Liz- I agree with you. The comment alone is not enough to get worked up about. If you notice, I mentioned a certain "look" the lady gave. I'm sorry that you weren't there with me and couldn't see the look and hear the tone of voice. Clearly I didn't get that across.

You'll also notice that the point of my post was to say that this isn't the first time comments like this have been said about my child (or other children). My whole point was to make a point on how society sees even babies since we've placed this ridiculous standard on ourselves of what we should look like. My apologies if my point didn't come across.

k + b said...

im sure you know this... but so many people are social morons. i had a server a few weeks ago tell me there was NO way she could eat 3 pancakes as I just did. Even as a secure 27 yr old, I was STILL shaken up by it for several days. Your daughter is lucky that you understand all of this for what it is... and BY THE WAYYYY... babies are a hundred times cuter with a little pudge..thats why we love them. She's so adorable just the way she is.

Britt said...

First time commenter here. I read this post a week ago and got so aggravated for you. Then! I went out with my (perfect) 5 month old boy, who is, yes in the 90th percentiles for weight and height. A big boy - which of course, no less than 3 people commented (and remarked that as soon as he started walking all of that baby fat would fall off). Really? People are horrible at projecting their own insecurities and I know exactly how you feel.

My question is, like you, what is the right comeback (besides fighting the urge to throw my tea in their face)?

Some people!


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