First off, is there anything more mind-numbingly boring than listening to women excoriate themselves for their "sinful" and "addictive" behavior around food?
I can't count the number of times I have been "the fat girl" in the group listening to the (relatively) "thin" girls compete for who has the most disordered eating. I used to believe that these women were merely being insensitive when they nattered on
about their shameful food-related confessions. As I get older, I
recognize that this is, in fact, how "mean girls" (of any age) put each other down.
Twenty years ago, the massage school where I had been newly hired to teach sponsored a buffet brunch at one of Seattle's nicer seafood restaurants. I loaded up my plate with a little of everything that looked good (and trust me, it all looked good). I happily plopped myself down at a table with two other young women, both of whom had been my instructors, and for whom I still felt a certain measure of awe. I was thrilled to be acknowledged as their peer.
Neither gave me more than a cursory acknowledgment. In fact, one immediately turned to the other and said, "Do you want to split a muffin with me?"
I looked down at my plate, heaped with crab, smoked salmon, cheese, eggs. A giant muffin, too large to perch on the plate, sat conspicuously off to the side with a pat of butter. Taking advantage of the school's singular act of largesse, I hadn't thought I should offer to "share" my booty with anyone. Not that the two ladies were inviting me to.
"This food is positively sinful," one of the instructors declared, picking at her salad.
"I know," the other commiserated. "It's terrible."
Terrible? It was delicious! Plus it was free! What's not to like here?
It suddenly occurred to me that I probably weighed about as much as the two of them together. And suddenly I had lost my appetite.
The two instructors clucked on in this vein for the next thirty minutes, studiously avoiding eye contact with me. I hadn't been snubbed like that since I had tried to crash the popular kids' lunch table in high school. I tentatively tried to enter the conversation a couple of times, but they weren't having it. It slowly dawned on me that they weren't "overlooking" me; they were engaged in a subtle conspiracy to humiliate me. Why? Simply because they could.
Not surprising I lasted only two quarters as a massage school instructor, which was a shame in a way, because I was probably the most knowledgeable (certainly the most academically qualified) teacher there, and was well-liked enough by some students that I was invited to speak at their graduation ceremony.
Now I'm a mouthy old broad who would call these ladies on their shit (in the nicest possible way, of course).
I'm so sick of women who use food and weight as an opportunity to put other women down.
Maybe if enough women see this Amy Schumer sketch, they will learn not to act like this. Can women ever stop using food intake and weight as an arena in which to compete with one another?