HealthyGirl.org reader Aria, 22 sent in a Real Story the other day in which she talks about making a list of all of the hurtful things people had said to her about her body over the years. She did it to help herself drill down to the point where her food and body issues began; turns out, her list went all the way back to age 12.
It made me think about how cathartic it can be to put out in the open painful things people have said. To get them out of our hearts and heads and put them in the open air where they can dissipate and lose their power. Going back to the memory hurts. But saying it out loud is freeing. I’ll start:
The most hurtful thing anyone ever said to me about my body happened during a family reunion pool party when I was 14. I and all my myriads of cousins and second cousins were running around in our itty bitty bikinis (we’re a total beach family, that’s how we do). It was time for the big group picture, so we all gathered up and I sort of crouched/bent over a bit in front of one of my great-uncles. He patted me roughly on the area right around the love handles and said…
Boy, kid, you’d better start layin’ off on the potatoes.
I spent the rest of the party absolutely depressed, and ended up wrapped in a beach towel on a chaise lounge isolating. I remember my cousins coming over and being like, “What’s wrong with you? Come hang out!” But I couldn’t.
The truth of the matter is, my uncle didn’t mean to hurt me. But as an adult I can also look back and know that it was completely inappropriate for him to comment on my weight. Our bodies are our business!
If anyone feels like getting a hurtful comment off your chest, no matter how old it is, please feel free.