Mind Your Business: 3 Things Not to Point Out This Spring

Spring is coming fast (hopefully), and that finally means warmer weather! And for some people, it means sun’s out, buns out. Naturally, more of our bodies will be showing; however, this does not grant us a free pass to oogle or call out people’s appearances. Here are three things to avoid pointing out this spring:

 

Number one: Scars. I’ve seen it happen often: it’s a hot day, and a new friend is wearing some cute cutoffs. You see scars from what is (presumably) self-harm, and you stare. Then, you say something along the lines of “What are those?” or “Did you cut yourself?” or maybe even “What happened to you?” DON’T. What was supposed to be a fun spring day has now turned into an awkward and uncomfortable experience for your new friend. Now they are faced with a difficult choice. Do they explain their history or ignore it? Is it their obligation to tell off anyone who crosses the line? You’ve just pointed out a possibly traumatic piece of their lives, and they are left having to give you an answer that you were not entitled to in the first place. If someone chooses to share their personal stories revolving around scars that they have, then that is their decision. It is no one’s job but theirs to make that call.

 

Number two: People’s weight! “Have you gained weight?” “You’re so skinny!!” “I don’t think that shirt flatters your shape.”  Keep all that sh*t to yourself. People are aware of how much they weigh, so you are not helping them to become more confident by pointing out what they already know. Whether vacationing or doing everyday errands, you will see overweight people, but you do not need to point out that they are fat. You will also see skinny people, but you do not need to point out that you can see their bones because they know. Many people might say in response, “But I’m concerned for their health!” Well, then ask a doctor or the parents of close friends if they’ve been eating right. Calling anyone out in public is not the way to help them. Their weight is their personal business, and it could also be their personal struggle. Don’t give them a reason to be uncomfortable with themselves.

 

Number three: People being trans or gender non-conforming. Some people choose to transition and have top surgery, others do not. Some people choose to not shave their legs, armpits, or bikini line. Some men wear skirts. Some women have facial hair. If you see someone without a shirt on, and they have scars under their pectorals, that’s okay! If someone has more or less body hair than what you are accustomed to seeing, do not be scared! If you think that someone is wearing something that does not match their gender, please remember that gender is a social construct and all clothes (skirts included) look good on everyone—relax.

 

Let people be this spring, and every spring after; it’s time for new beginnings. So, mind your business, and enjoy this warm weather that’s coming our way!

 

Cover