I think one of the first things we have to…
I think one thing most very overweight people can relate to is becoming largely invisible in public (that’s such a bad pun, totally unintended but I couldn’t think of another way to word it). You get used to being ignored by most people including shop assistants, service staff and the general public. One thing I didn’t really notice slip away was attention from the opposite sex.
Once I got to a certain point in my weight loss I started noticing something weird. People would make eye contact with me, be generally nicer to me and I started getting attention from guys again. After being ignored for most of your adult life by the opposite sex I can tell you this is super weird.
I still clearly remember the first time this happened we had gone out to a bar for leaving drinks for one of our friends. I went up to the bar to get another water (post-bypass party juice!) and got served by one of the female staff. While I was standing there waiting for my drink one of the male bar staff started staring at me and was really intently looking at me. It didn’t take me long to feel uncomfortable and I looked away. I looked back and he was still staring at me it felt like he was looking through my head. Then I must have pulled a funny face or something at him kind of like what you looking at. He then said to me, “Oh sorry I was looking at your glasses they are a nice colour.”
I was a bit like oh okay then, the female staff member gave me my drink and off I went. Because it was a bit of a weird experience I told my hubby about it later and he started laughing at me. He explained that no the guy was not looking at my glasses he was checking me out. Because I have been ‘invisible’ for so long this was news to to me but I actually found it kind of amusing.
Since that little encounter I have noticed I get a lot more male attention than I ever have in my life. Another funny occurrence was one day in Pak N Save as I was going up and down the aisles this guy kept looking at me everytime I passed him. Then I thought, two can play this game and the next time I held eye contact with him seeing how long he would stare directly at me. The next time we cam across each other I looked back at him and it wasn’t until he walked past me that his intense eye contact was broken.
I don’t want to get into the politics around all of this stuff but I have to say it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. One day in the mall a creepy old man looked me up and down as I walked past him and when I got near him he said something under his breath to me that was quite gross. This is not acceptable and I really don’t appreciate this kind of attention.
It’s a bit of a sad reflection on society that bigger people are ignored and have less social value placed on them by others. My social experiences since having my gastric bypass and losing weight have definitely been different and people are far nicer and more willing to help me now that I’m at a normal weight. I try to treat everybody with the decency and respect we all deserve and it’s been sad to learn that bigger people are definitely discriminated against.
Have you noticed a difference in how you are treated at different sizes? Comment below and share your experiences with me I’d love to know if you have found something similar.