Monday, 26 February 2018

The Big Fat Theory - responding to fat-shaming.

Everyone who knows me knows I am big and fat.  If someone as asked to describe me, they would say "a big fat guy with a beard".  And they would be right.  I am big, I am fat, and I have a beard.

I have spoken about being fat before, here: http://thebanburyman.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/f-word.html

Occasionally, people do pass unkind comment, and I deal with it as I set out here below.

Yesterday, at church, someone in a group of people asked me how I was, knowing I had been unwell lately.  As we spoke, one person in the group piped up and said I needed surgery on my stomach, to make it flat.

I immediately asked why I needed such surgery, as I did not have a problem.  There was a very long and awkward silence.

Now, when such things are said, I am well within my rights to take offence, and point that out.  But I have found my approach above to be an effective one.  Without causing argument, or losing my temper, I cause awkwardness and embarrassment, that make it difficult for the person to contnue.

As has happened every time I have employed this method, the person concerned later came and apologised to me.  I explained that I had not been personally upset (which is true) but that what they had said was offensive (which is true) and that they did not know how I might take such a comment, and that comments like this can cause enormous upset.

Job done.

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