How To Handle Fat-Shaming

Hi Elsa!

I know this sounds rather silly, but I’ve never particularly been bothered by my weight, and I was happy! Well until recently, a bunch of random people started to fat shame me. Okay, granted they always say that they were joking after commenting on my weight, nevertheless, I’ve been feeling particularly bothered by this. And I am kind of unsure about a direct confrontation, since these are new acquaintances in my life, and I don’t want to get in their bad books. Any idea on how to resolve this?

New Feelings

Hi, Feelings. Just reading this makes me mad. I wondered what I’d find when I looked at your chart? Some new sensitivity?

This may be part of it, but on a deeper level, I’m seeing a Pluto transit. You’re being shown the ugly side of things and it hurts.

That said, I think you’re right on with avoiding a direct confrontation. It’s popular now, people think they can patrol the mouths and minds of others.  This is an illusion. If you do cop to being hurt, it’s possible these people double-down with their insults. If you would not shame a person and they would, this tells you right there, you’re of a different ilk.

Personally, I would never give someone the satisfaction of knowing they’d got to me. You remember what it’s like not to be bothered by this so you can fake it.

You can also use your pain to reinforce your own good feelings about yourself. The ability to take a punch, and be unaffected by it, shows strength of character.  You’re not goin’ down.

You’re a Virgo with Jupiter conjunct your Sun. You have a Capricorn moon. You can try to parent these people, but I wouldn’t bother. That right there, might be why you’re stuck. Are you responsible to correct them? NO.

Your best move is to block your feelings (in as good sense, emotional boundaries, keep it private)…and get out there and whistle while you work.  Be yourself!

A few days after you’ve mastered this, consider forgiving them.  Because like you said, you’ve got to live with these people. Best to just come to terms with the fact, not everyone smart or nice or whatever.  And we all get kicked around in some way, eventually.

I remember when someone told me that I looked like I had inherited syphilis, after I posted one of my videos.

Whatever, dipshit. I made four more videos that week.

One more detail for Virgo. You wrote they “started” to fat-shame you. Change that to “tried” to fat-shame me. Because you do have something to say about what you take in and what you set aside.

Good luck!

Anyone else have advice to offer?

30 thoughts on “How To Handle Fat-Shaming”

  1. anonymoushermit

    As a person who has struggled with their weight, this triggers me, so I’m just going to say that she should just say, “Shake it off.”

    Sorry, that Taylor Swift song is so useful.

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    My fantasy has always been if someone shames me to smile brightly and ask the shamer: “So who do think is more ashamed of you, your friends or your children?” But that’s only if you want to take the high road. Seriously, the best way to strike back at nasty mean people is to continue doing you. You can’t make them nice but you sure can make them irrelevant.

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    Cheryl Peterson

    I say do not laugh or smile when they make comments that offend you. That makes it seem okay. A death stare and a quick change of subject is my prescription for you. They will probably get the idea to back off. If it’s guys, they call their friend something vulgar and/or punch them in the arm and go on being friends. You could always give that a try!

  4. Feelings, obviously, I agree with everything Elsa wrote. Obviously. I hope you do, too.
    I’ve met people who wanted to take my self-confidence down a few notches, because I seemed too confident to them! (One was my father – he was afraid I would abandon him… He wanted a guarantee that he wouldn’t be living alone at the end of his life. After having moved in with me when he was 68. Guarantee, against his fear (no one can allay such fears, except the fearful one, imo). By the way, he has since died – not alone. Nevermind, that’s in the past. Just saying, stupid is as stupid does.)
    Elsa wrote that you have Sun conjunct Jupiter. That, my dear, is way, way more confidence in yourself than most people have! Great! My reason for telling you about my poor, pitiful father: some, like him, are insecure – my hope for *you* is that you don’t let any such people steal your joy. Your happiness. Your enjoyment of your own experiences.
    You’re a Virgo, so you have a lot of good sense. I expect you’ll rise above such petty people. 🙂

  5. Blocking people out, not letting them into your tender heart, is good advice. Please do whistle while you work. (I sing happy songs, silently, in my thoughts, to encourage myself, when people are trying to build a miserable atmosphere.)

  6. If they get worse or more blunt about their fat shaming, tell them straight up that you feel healthy and are happy with the way you look. That way if they continue, they will look more and more like the dicks they are.

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    Sometimes instant karma strikes a shamer right in front of you. When I was a teenager, a nasty friend of a friend blurted out to me out of nowhere: “SO WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT?” A few months later, we were out walking through a park together and someone thought she was a man.

    1. Omg, I had an eerily similar experience in middle school. Classes had just started and we were in P.E. (where it was mandatory to take off my sweatpants and remain in tight shorts). The girls and the boys had been divided and we were across the field from each other. Then a boy screams my name and says: “I THOUGHT YOU WOULD HAVE LOST WEIGHT BY NOW!”. None of my friends said or did anything, only his coach told him to shut up. I must have been 12 or 13.

      1. It also didn’t help that I had no support from my appearance-obsessed family. Even those who didn’t fat shame me directly did it by making nasty comments of overweight (not even fat) people as if I wasn’t there. Sadly, I did not have a strong barrier to deflect these comments (what kid has, when they’ve grown up like this?) and later as a teenager I suffered from eating disorders.

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          I’m sorry you had to deal with that Macateta, I experienced the same thing from family and classmates and developed an eating disorder because of it.

  8. Hi New Feelings. I remember how I was skinny-shamed when I was growing up and how it affected my self esteem for many years. I became painfully shy about my appearance because I thought everyone thought I was skinny and ugly. Worst feeling in the world.

    I never fought back, I went home and cried because I thought they were right about me. I was worthless because I was skinny. That is a kids reaction to being shamed about who you are, but in adulthood you don’t have to put up with it.

    If they’re making you feel bad, even if they say their joking, tell them that their not perfect either. They have lots of faults, but your nice enough not to say anything.

  9. anonymoushermit

    Anyone here of that Playboy woman that took a shower picture of a middle-aged woman, and then posted it on the internet? Man, is she one of the most hated woman in the world right now.

    It happened during the Playboy woman/model’s Saturn Return, too.

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    Oh yes. Apparently she posted it “accidentally.” Right. With the big caption she put across the front. Lowlife.

  11. Sometimes these kinds of circumstances shock us like a slap into a deeper conversation with ourself. And the importance of it is not about the weight or the way we were treated as a child but instead it cracks you open to listen to your feelings. It is the invitation to be the friend that no one else has been… no one else is and no one else can really be.
    We are supposed to love ourselves. For me I used to love myself by buying new shoes…getting a hair cut or going to the gym. I thought I paid attention to my feelings. In fact I considered myself very sensitive but mostly I reacted to being uncomfortable with my feelings. I buried those uncomfortable feelings quickly because I didn’t like them.
    Sometimes situations like yours are a request for feelings to be heard and felt, to be listened to as your own best friend. This is especially true if in the past you were uneffected by being the brunt of insenstive jokes like this.

    Most importantly you don’t want to get in your own “bad books” for not listening.

    This is more critical than you think and has a huge impact on your life when you combine it with the strength and forgiveness that Elsa wrote about.

    1. I agree. If I believe what people tell me about myself then it’s my own belief. If I don’t, well then it’s moot. But I do think others can reflect back to us our innermost pain. It’s worth looking at, especially if it’s made an impact like this.

      Also I just know for myself that I gain weight when I’m trying to protect myself. It doesn’t mean I don’t love myself or my body. But in my case I tend to use a layer of fat to shield myself from something. Not saying everybody does this. But I like to ask myself what exactly I’m shielding myself? Usually for me it’s attention from men. Our body’s can be a great signpost of what’s happening in our souls. It makes me look at what’s really going on inside myself.

      Right now I’m about twenty pounds overweight. I have a fear of letting men get close to me because I’m in a vulnerable place. When I’m ready to let my walls down I know I’ll lose weight. It’s happened time and time again.

      This is just another perpspective. No judgement. But it can never hurt to really look inside and ask questions when something in our outer world is confusing or hurtful.

  12. I am a virgo and this is relevant to me. So, so relevant. Not fat-shaming specifically, but stuff. Is it something going around astrologically?

    (I half expected everyone here to roll their eyes and respond hostile-ly to the word “-shaming.” Or respond “what’s the matter with you!? Just let it slide off your back. People are so sensitive these days!” I think that says far, far more about where I’m at than this blog.)

    1. Schoolyard bullying is up due to the “candidate”. Children should never be exposed to him. How he could have gotten so far into the public eye is mystifying –and frightening!

  13. Having quite a bit of experience of having been bullied myself… I have found: that a look of utter disbelief, plus a “humorous” reply puts them in their place. The worse thing to do is to show them you’ve taken them seriously. You need to show that you consider their remark very stupid.

    For example:
    “You should go on a diet” – “Yes mum!/dad!”
    “You’re eating again?” – “Sorry hadn’t realised the food police was around”
    “You really need to lose weight for your own good” – “Thanks for sharing your personal opinion. Whenever I’m hiring for a manager of my body I’ll give you a call”

  14. Hi, New Feelings!
    I don’t think anyone has a right to shame anyone about anything. The people shaming you are not your friends, forget them. Especially forget their ‘bad books’.

    I’ve never had a weight problem, but I have had other ‘problems’.

    You say this has never particularly bothered you – so I read: it has sort of bothered you.
    Have you tried to talk about your body to your new friends? If you are trying to lose weight, why not talk about it? I’m sure you will be flooded by well meaning people wanting to help you (even if you don’t need help).
    They will probably be asking you to come with them to the gym with them to try out a new exercise technique (that perfectly shapes the body)!
    Everyone likes to give advice – because everyone is so ‘smart’! (I am also ‘smart’).

    Just turn the situation around!

  15. Bad manners are bad manners. For these people to comment on your weight was rude. They may dress it up as trying to help you in some way, but that is a self-serving lie. They treated you with disrespect. How you decide to respond is up to you. If they’re unimportant people who will soon be leaving your life, maybe nothing more is needed than a huge sigh of relief. If they’re important to you, a tougher response is needed. You’ll know in your heart what’s right.

  16. Well, I know people who crack a joke or two on themselves and get on with it. BTW you are not the only one to be fat shamed.

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