"Don't Say That, You're Beautiful!"

It happens all the time. I mention that, yes, I am in fact, overweight, or yes, in fact, my skin is breaking out, and I get the look. It’s this weird crossover between empathetic and sympathetic—they get it, but they don’t. Almost everyone’s go-to is, “Don’t say that, you’re beautiful!” And I never know what to say to that. Because I didn’t say “I’m feeling ugly” or “I’d be prettier if I wasn’t fat”—I didn’t share an opinion; I shared a fact about myself.

To say to me, “Don’t say that, you’re beautiful” is another way to say, “You’re beautiful even though you’re overweight.” It’s probably not what they mean, but it sounds like I’m being told that to be thin is to be beautiful, and to be me, isn't. I know they don’t mean that I can't be beautiful unless I lose weight. I know all this, and yet it’s hard to wrap my head around it.

I am overweight and I am beautiful. One adjective does not contradict nor rely on the other. I am not beautiful despite being larger than average. I am beautiful because I choose to be. I choose to look in the mirror and like what I see. I choose to love who I am. Being beautiful, to me, is so much more than the physical—so when they tell me “Don’t say that, you’re beautiful,” it’s confusing.

I try my best to work out and eat right—I really do. A byproduct of such is losing weight. However, let me be very clear, I don’t do these things to lose weight. I hit the gym to feel better, to feel stronger. I eat right so my body feels good, so my skin is clear and I feel confident. I don’t take care of myself to be beautiful.

So stop looking at me like I’m crazy when I mention I’m overweight. It’s not something I’m hiding. It’s not a bad thing. Stop treating my size like a curse word. Next time they say, “Don’t say that, you’re beautiful,” I’ll direct them here, because, hell, I already know.

 

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