We ran errands together the other day, and it happened again. I wanted to say, “Psst…hey you. Yeah. I saw what you just did.” Weight discrimination isn’t just a legal issue- it’s a heart issue. And it’s going to cost you.
When you dismiss her because she’s fat, or rake her over with a look of silent disgust, she sees you. And so do I. And I want you to know that you just missed out.
You’re missing her beauty. You’ve apparently overlooked her gorgeous blue eyes, and her enviably thick mane of hair. Maybe you didn’t notice her beautiful fair skin with a scattering of freckles, or the natural light streaks in her hair. I’m sure you didn’t see her delicate hands and the simple mod wedding set that would have tipped you off that she has really unique taste and an artistic eye.
You’re missing her many, many talents. She designs sewing patterns and creates toys, quilts, and clothing for her own children and for friends as well. She throws the most amazing and well planned birthday parties ever, with a gift for putting personalized touches into the details. She’s got a fantastic sense of style; her eye for design always impresses me. She is a thoughtful and funny hostess who has a gift for warming the room with hilarious stories and observances.
You’re missing her heart. She’s one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. She has the ability to communicate with children in a way that connects with their mind and soul, because she still remembers how she thought when she was a child. She’s genuinely kind- the sort of person who you’d want your child to bump into if they were lost. She has an uncanny ability to sense when another person is hurting. Maybe it’s because she has lots of experience with being overlooked and undervalued.
You’re missing her value. She is the truest friend I’ve ever had. She’s been beside me for my wedding, for the birth of all of my children, and through my lowest times. She is loved by her own family- she has brought five amazing kids into the world, and mothers them vigilantly and with compassion.
You’re missing that she’s my little sister. We shared a room for over a decade; we shared clothes in high school and college. I was her matron of honor. We share genes, and a lifetime supply of funny stories and confidences.
You’re missing the point. Remember Martin Luther King’s Dream, that one day men will be judged by the content of their character? That’s where you’ll find the true quality of a person. Measuring value by external factors like weight, age, or skin color is going to bite you in the long run. If you are passing judgement and rejecting people based on what you see on the outside, you are missing out on a world full of amazing and beautiful people. Worse, you’re perpetuating an ideology that will one day turn on you.
[bctt tweet=”If you’re rejecting people based on their outside, you’re missing out on amazing and beautiful people. http://bit.ly/1NKgJiC”]
We are all aging one day at a time, and even the most well kept physique and pristine face are going to wither. And even then, she will be beautiful to me.
You’re missing compassion. When her body started rebelling years ago, she fought it hard. She still cares. It just flat out sucks to be uncomfortable in your own skin. But sometimes you come to a point where you just have to accept that there are not convenient answers or fixes. That there are things you can’t control about your own body and your own life. So you hold your head up willfully each day and walk through life to the best of your ability with what you are given. And you just get used to people silently and not so silently revealing their character by how they treat you. On one hand, it’s a shame. On the other hand, it’s much easier to spot the people who have both compassion and character enough to love the imperfect souls of this world.
You’re missing her determination. When we were in our mid 20’s we both decided to get fit. We did Weight Watchers together. She was vigilant. Plus, she showed me up- she joined a gym with my brother and working out multiple times a week. I lost 20 pounds, and she lost 5.
And we’ve played out this scenario over and over through the years. We carried babies, we tried different eating styles, we changed our eating habits to be healthier as we learned more about nutrition. She does not consume corn syrup, pringles, candy, etc. She cares. She tries. But our bodies just don’t operate the same way.
If you still believe that obesity always means a person is lazy and eats too much, then you’re sorely misinformed. Just like there are many different factors that play into hair loss, infertility, or migraines, there are many medical factors that play into obesity. And science has still not unravelled them.
[bctt tweet=”Just like there are many factors that play into infertility & migraines, there are complex medical factors that play into obesity. http://bit.ly/1NKgJiC”]
Maybe you just honestly didn’t realize this because you can do a few laps around the block and watch your calories and drop weight like the experts say. I get it. It’s lucky genes. Lucky you and me. But please don’t assume it works that way for everyone. It just doesn’t.
These few sentences don’t really do her justice. But I thought you should know that she is loved, she is mine, and I am proud of her.
Don’t miss out!
I don’t want you to miss out due to weight discrimination. Make room in your heart for all sizes and ages and colors of people-don’t miss some of the truly beautiful people in this world.
Please give the imperfectly wonderful people in your life a hug today and tell them that they’re beautiful to you. They need to hear it.
P.S. Since this is really my sister, I will not allow unkind comments.