Saturday, February 8, 2014

Think before you speak

So, I had to take Emma to the on call doctor a couple of nights ago. She has been fighting a cold for a couple weeks now and when she came home from school, she informed me that her ear was stuffy...and it sounded like she was under water. Seeing as how it was after office hours for our regular doctor...we had no other choice but to go to the on call doctor.

After we checked in, the receptionist/nurse had us walk over to the scale so she could weigh Emma before putting us in the room to wait for the doctor. The events that followed are what I am choosing to focus on in this post. The nurse...lets call her Sally...glanced up from her chart to look at Emma and said, "wow! You're a big girl, eh?" She made a huge production out of flipping over the weight on the old fashioned scale that would be used typically for adults weighing over 100 pounds. She had Emma step on the scale and said incredulously, "HOW old are you? You must be big for your age, I guess right?" By the way, she had to flip the weight thing back over...Emma is not even close to 100 pounds.

Well, I lost it......see....Emma is NOT big...she's not shockingly or surprisingly or even remotely noticeably large or plus sized....she's average. How do I know she's average? Because every three months she has to go to a diabetes clinic appointment where she is weighed and measured and charted...and she has consistently been in the 50-65th percentile....middle of the road....straight average...for her height and weight. Back to me losing it.....

Over the years I have heard many comments to Emma's size...when she was a baby, she had the most adorable little baby rolls on her arms and legs...she was my chunky monkey and everyone and their brother felt the need to point it out to me. I didn't mind...I found it precious. NOW however....when they make comments in front of my child as if she's not even's the polar opposite of's's's inaccurate...plain and simple. So, I said to this woman, "actually she's not big....she's one of the smaller girls in her fact I think there's only 1 girl her age that is shorter than her to be honest. I think people have a tendency to forget just how big a ten year old is!" She proceeds to tell me, "Well, I guess maybe my kids are just tiny then." I rolled my eyes and said, "huh....I guess you just don't know what your average ten year old looks like then."

I was angry. I was fed up. Truth be told, every single time....I mean EVERY single time I hear these types of comments about MY size or my child's size, it's coming from another woman. What is this ridiculous obsession women have with feeling the need to comment on size...or looks in general? Why do we as women have this urge to say these things in front of young and impressionable girls? Emma's at a very vulnerable age where she is seeing changes happen and she's growing up and things are different. Why do women...ESPECIALLY those in the medical profession....feel the need to act like morons and SAY these things in front of a young and impressionable girl?

When I was Emma's age, someone told me that I had big teeth and looked like a horse when I chewed gum. To this day I am conscious of that when I chew gum. Some idiot said that to me 27 years ago....and it's still with me. When I was her age, someone told me I had big's been with me since. It's in my head when I buy clothes, when I look at myself in the's there with me.

When we left the doctors office, Emma asked me, "did that lady mean that I was big height wise?" I told her yes....that's what she meant....because I didn't want her thinking she was fat because of some asinine comment made by a receptionist/nurse who she had never met before.

So, for those of you reading this....especially you women...MOST ESPECIALLY those of you in the medical profession who may come across young girls in your workday, before you decide to make a comment about their appearance or size.....STOP....think for a second....ask yourself if the child will truly understand that you are joking or meaning no harm or simply commenting your opinion...ask yourself first how YOU would feel at that age if someone had said the same to you....THINK before you open your mouth. Help save the next generation of women from having body image issues that will stay with them for life because of some random ignorant comment you made. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Great post.
    I always fear that Amy will be overweight because I am. But I don't portray that to her or any other child! My youngest is the tallest in her kindergarten class, and it really bothers her when everyone says she's huge or you can't really be in K. It's a sin and makes her self conscious. In fact, she's so slender (aka tall and lanky at the moment) that I'm sure most will envy her body when she's older.
    Why people insist on creating problems and self image issues is beyond me. People come in all shapes and sizes!