Rude In Public!

Go ahead. Type it out.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Unsolicited Advice.

Why is it ok to comment on someone's weight if she's thin, but definitely not if she's fat?

People: I'm stressed. Stress produces adrenaline, a main component of which is cortisol. Cortisol causes the metabolism to run rampant... as it also engages the "fight or flight" response in living organisms.

But enough about that. No one's really interested in science. Point is, for the love of god, I wish I had a new pair of shoes for every time someone commented on my body weight. I've grown pretty accustomed to this in general... but this morning the following irksome incident occurred:

Intro. early morning.
Wide camera angle, pans beach in Santa Monica.

Image: a few solo joggers, dog walkers, seagulls, and protagonist.

ok-- forget it. Let's cut the crap. This isn't a screenplay-- this is just an occupational hazard of living and working in L.A. sooner or later, you begin to see everything visually- even when it's irrelevant.

So basically- it's 6:45 am. I'm breathing in the ocean smell, feeling more and more relaxed by the second, and happy to start the day there by the sea. I start to stretch, so my aching geriatric muscles don't fray, and am also happy to feel myself moving deeper into the stretch. Immediately, this brief happiness is cut short by a woman passing me on a bike, who starts laughing loudly and harshly as she passes.
...I am not so paranoid that I assume this has anything to do with me, so I don't give it much thought. Until she hollers, "Don't work off what little fat you have!" I look over, and she says still laughing, "you're AWWWful skinny!" and cracks herself up, like this is the funniest thing ever.

Well. For some reason, this bothered me. Not just because a) i didn't know her, b) i didn't ask her opinion, or c) because she was putting me down... but chiefly because I was so happy for a nanosecond... and then in a moment, my first social interaction of the day felt unpleasant. I am always conscious of the first words I say to anyone after waking- I like to start my day positively, and I certainly don't wish the first discussion with anyone to be a fight. So I ignored her, and waited for a nicer opportunity to engage... (which came moments later, so thank you to the gentleman with the dog for the nice "hello"- and for not making me feel like a freak of nature.)

It's hard enough to be in your body sometimes, without people making you overly conscious of it. I do not like being jolted out of my own time and space to deal with someone else's issues. Not to mention, it would not have been remotely acceptable socially for me to have said, "hey, toots? don't bike on a flat surface anymore, ok? You've got some love handles there that could do better with a steep, uphill ride." i mean, honestly.

Sometimes I think the next time someone says something like this to me I will tell the offending party I have a dread disease, but thanks for the concern... but I don't even want to jinx myself by putting that out there. Any other creative ideas?


Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

It is NOT okay to comment on somebody's weight, regardless. People who do so are extremely rude. It's possible they actually believe they are complimenting you, though, especially if they, themselves, have an ongoing battle with FAT.

I cannot think of any response that would make you feel vindicated as you, yourself, are not a rude person.

5:47 PM, July 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:14 AM, July 25, 2006  
Anonymous proudmary said...

(talk about unsolicited advice...)

12:05 PM, July 25, 2006  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...


3:23 PM, July 25, 2006  
Blogger Veronica said...

Beauty is within. That person was just putting their own insecurities onto you. DON'T EVER TAKE IT. You know who you are.

Peace and Strength

(It's always easier to give someone else advice, right?)

6:42 PM, July 27, 2006  
Blogger Veronica said...

Oh, and some of us love science.

7:23 PM, July 27, 2006  
Blogger jali said...

I got pissed off for you as I read the story.

You must look pretty good to the jealous bitch!

11:48 AM, July 28, 2006  
Blogger Someplace in the middle said...

I hope karma put a speeding truck in the path of her bike a short while later. If it didn't she was probably the jerk who make a fat comment to me in the grocery store. It took some doing but I've learned to see life, and myself, through my own eyes and not the eyes of jerks. Let her laugh.. it was probably the only joyful moment of her sad little day.

5:02 PM, July 30, 2006  
Anonymous Chanakin said...

Do you really expect anything different from the inhabitants of the shallow self-absorbed community in which you reside?

Should have told her it's not a good idea to be riding a bike in such warm weather - all her silicon parts could melt.

6:26 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger djn said...

I would have chased that woman down, yanked her by the ear, and found a corner for her to stand in until she had atoned for her poor behavior. I would have said, if you're going to act like a 2-year old, I'm gonna have to treat you like one...

12:33 PM, August 02, 2006  
Blogger britpopbaby said...

I know how you feel. Some people are just naturally thin. The other month I got,
"You look like death! Has your mother not been feeding you?"
The person who said this to me could be described as clincally obese but I did not go,
"God, you look like a hippo! Has my mother been giving you my portions?"

Perhaps I should have.

3:06 AM, August 07, 2006  
Anonymous ProudMary said...

God, that's great!! See... we have to store up these snappy comebacks, because you know this situation will arise again!

11:39 AM, August 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh get over your skinny ass... you LOVE it!! Everyone knows all skinny ass chicks love to pretend they feel violated if anyone comments on their bods, but it is what they LIVE for. Truly.

7:14 PM, August 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. How long did it take you to write this?

I hope you can find a nice, quiet place to write something of substance next time.

9:19 AM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger SadieMBeagle said...

Nicole Ritchie, is that you?

The fat bitch was just jealous.

11:30 AM, September 17, 2006  

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