Wednesday, October 29, 2008


After doing laps for 75 minutes in the pool today I was in the locker room getting dressed. A woman tries to hand be a business card while saying, "I don't want you to be offended but I want to let you know about this." She starts to mumble something about losing weight. I said, "Oh, no thank you." She persists, shaking the card. Me again, "No thank you." She goes on. Me, "No thank you. I'm part of the size acceptance movement, I have a fat acceptance blog." She tells me, "It's easy, it's a cleanse, the weight just comes off, you don't have to do anything." (Yeah, right). Again, "No thank you, it's not for me." She goes on, I gather my stuff and head out the door, saying, "Have a nice day." She is still talking as I head out the door, saying something about I'll change my mind when I start to have health problems.

What the heck? Do these people feel led to equally accost underweight people in public. After all they are at similar morbidity risk. I realize they think they have my best interest at heart and they think that justifies such rudeness but I feel like telling them it doesn't. However, I also feel like I need to continue to be polite since I don't want to give them further fuel for their misguided views of fat people. I'm not sure that worked either, I'm sure she just thinks I'm in denial and too lazy to deal with it. However, I don't really care what she thinks either. If she persists again I don't think I'll be as nice. I'm also thinking I'm using one of dressing room curtains from now on.


spacedcowgirl said...

That is absolutely unbelievable. What are people thinking?! I was already shaking my head in disbelief and then you got to the part about how she claimed you'd change your mind once you started having health problems.

This kind of thing is so not OK.

purplegirl said...

Wow, that is just ridiculously rude. I can understand her approaching you once, she's just trying to make a living (by preying on women's body insecurities), but to continue after you refuse or to make that "health" crack is just plain rude.

Does your gym have a policy about people soliciting in the locker room? I'd report her if you see her again.

Lady Jaye said...

I was about to say the same thing (to report her). It's harassment the minute you say the initial No thanks and she keeps on going. Also, don't start changing in a cabin because of her.

vesta44 said...

That is just so rude. I think I would report her, that's solicitation, and most places don't allow that. If it had been me, I think after the first time I told her "No thank you" and she persisted, I would have asked her "what part of no did you not understand?" And then I would have ignored her, turning my back on her until I was ready to leave.

Cherie said...

I'm not sure what our community center's policy is on solicitation. I should check. I just can't bring myself to be too rude back to her, she's disabled, if I had to guess it looked like Parkinson's or something similar. However I have no problem with blunt. At least I've seen my husband in action in fending off a lot of this type of thing, we call him an Amway magnet. Anyway, it got me fired up for the cause again :o)

Eli Reed said...

What the hell is wrong with people?

If you don't want someone to be offended, how about ceasing and desisting on that offensive thing you're currently engaged in?


Corinna Makris said...

I really appreciate that you shared this experience. I would think that this has happened to all or most fat people. Many times I've had strangers and friends want to talk to me about cleansing, fasting and becoming vegan (all of which I have tried) in order to lose weight and be healthier.

How about taking her card which, probably has an e-mail address, and then sending her links to Health at Every Size websites?

I agree with you about not being rude. I think she is probably motivated by wanting to earn a living and also thinking that she is helping you.

If you could see her as just being misinformed then you don't have to feel insulted and if you share information with her, hey - she might even realize that HAES is actually way better for a body then fasting or cleansing.

Even if you decide to just ignore her at this point I think you handled yourself very well in the face of hostility. Good for you! :)

Miriam said...

One of the downsides of all the bullshit Lifetime/Hallmark Specials ("She was stricken with [disability] but, from that, worked twice as hard to be a person from whom others could learn important life lessons about living") is that we often forget that people with visible disabilities can be assholes the same way that people without visible disabilities can be assholes.

We don't really do anybody any service by not calling out rudeness, no matter who perpetrates it.

Not saying we should be rude to anybody, with or without a visible disability, but, on the other hand, it's sort of rude to a person with a disability to make exceptions for their behavior, good or bad.

This woman deserves to be called out and reported to the management for her harassment of you. You had the confidence to be able to say you had a FA/HAES blog. But what of the fat women in that room who don't have that confidence and, upon undressing, will be subject to her critique of their bodies and lives?

Cherie said...

Like I said if she brings it up with me again I will be very blunt. If she persists I will bring it up with rec. manager. I refuse to let "my" pool become a place where I feel uncomfortable. I've had issues with other people there in past, mostly chauvinist old men, and was able to effectively tell them back off.

peggynature said...

I had this same experience once at a bus stop. I gave her a business card and told her to call a temp agency if she needed a job that badly.

Theresa said...

You should've offered her a card for a psychiatrist, and said something like "when the voices stop this will come in handy", I'm just kidding. However, she was incredibly rude to you from the get go.

Brigid Keely said...

I've had diet people preach at me, and I've also had absolute strangers come up to me and advertise great! fantastic! miracle! acne medication! Uh, thanks? However, I do have very very thin friends, especially when we were in highschool, who were frequently accosted by concern trolls who wanted them to eat a damn sandwich because they were OBVIOUSLY anorexic and about to die at any second. In truth, they were genetically prone to thinness, and were very physically active and healthy. Basically, if you are female then you are a target for other people (both male and female) to make judgement calls about your body and assume you don't know how to maintain it.