Yesterday, a couple of women came over to see the offices we have for rent. One of them was rather on the curvy side and when my boss introduced me, all she could think of saying was “You’re so skinny, it’s so unfair!”
When I responded that it’s not exactly my fault with an offended tone, my boss says “Don’t worry, she was just joking.”
My boss then proceeded to walking them around the office. As they were walking away, I hear the plump lady saying “OK, so the reception is where Hadass the Skinny works.”
When they came back to the reception area, the same woman turns to me again and says “Tell me, do you ever eat anything?”
I got offended yet again, so I went on the defensive and reiterated the fact that I’m not responsible for the way I look. “It’s genetics,” I said. “My mom is like that too.”
Then, the woman responded with an even more offensive statement: “Such chutzpa!” Chutzpa in Hebrew generally means arrogance or disrespect. “Such chutzpa that you have good genes and I have shitty genes!”
This time, I knew that if I responded with how I actually felt, which was not only offence but humiliation, my boss would again dismiss me by saying she was only joking.
Yeah, a joke, sure. My sides are splitting.
So I boiled within, and was almost on the verge of tears.
I wonder how it is that some people can say such horrible things, such insulting and hurtful things, and then make them sound ok by adding “I’m just joking.”
Some members of my family have picked up the habit of telling the younger family members that they’re ugly, when they actually mean that they’re the cutest thing on the face of the earth.
My older cousins keep talking this way to the four or five-year-olds in my family:
“What an ugly face!” They say, and then throw a fit of laughter. The little ones take it lightly as well, and laugh along with everyone else.
So maybe I’m kinda touchy on that subject, but what I do know is that if I ever have a child one day, I would never let a comment like that pass. Nobody will call my child “ugly” and get away with it. Especially if my child is a girl, because growing up, she will no doubt have enough body issues drilled into her mind without having to deal with family members calling her ugly, even as a joke. In fact, being bombarded with so much beauty propaganda from society and the media, my future daughter will actually benefit from a kind word from her family.
“You’re so beautiful!” Doesn’t that sound so much better?
When I was little, my family used to make fun of me because I had a lisp. They thought it was cute and imitated me whenever I said something with a lisp. I was obviously offended by that and as a result spent hours in my room practicing talking without a lisp.
I lost my baby fat and my skinny genes kicked in at a very early age, so my family also used offensive language when they commented on my weight.
I never got over it, as proven by my reaction to the curvy woman’s comment. And I never will get over it. Joking about my appearance and saying I’m arrogant and disrespectful because I happen to be born this way is totally inappropriate.
And no, I’m not joking about that.
Peace, love and beautiful words go a long way.