Hi. You don’t know me, exactly, but you know me in theory.
I am the person you prey on. I am a new mom, a few months postpartum. I’m exhausted. I don’t have a spare minute in my day. My body is larger and jigglier than it was before but I’m reaching the point where I can’t use my recent pregnancy as an excuse. On top of everything, my son has had some health problems, making it for a very emotional, hectic past few months.
It starts innocently enough. You want me to think you care about me, by sending me a Facebook message expressing sympathy or concern or commiseration. I know what you’re up to, and I try to ignore. “You are beautiful, your body has done a great thing, you are more than your looks,” I remind myself.
The messages pick up. I continue polite non-answers, try not to engage you any further. But your exclamation marks and smiley faces continue. My three-year-old calls me a princess and declares my raggedy Mizzou t-shirt “beautiful, mommy!”
Finally, it comes. You invite me to your “accountability group,” or you tell me about some miracle face cream. The subtext is clear: you think I’m fat, you think I look tired, you want to exploit my insecurities to make a buck.
Well, guess what? I’m not going to be polite anymore.
You can take your body shaming, and shove it.