Yesterday, I had a bunch of errands to run. At one point, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything yet, and so stopped at a salad bar restaurant called “Souper Salad”. As I was getting out of the car, I noticed a mother with two girls (one probably about 12 and skinny, one probably about 9 and on the chubby side) meeting a man. Both the woman and the man were overweight.
As the scene I’m about to relate played out, I found out that the man was the woman’s husband and children’s father. The mother and the two girls had just gotten back from a doctor appointment, and the mother was telling the father all about it.
When she told about what the doctor had said of the younger girl, the conversation went like this:
M: And what did the Doctor tell you, Grace*?
F: Why don’t you just tell me?
M: I want to make sure Grace heard what the Doctor said, and listened to the Doctor. What did the Doctor say, Grace?
G: (mumbles something I couldn’t hear)
M: What was that again? I couldn’t hear you, speak up!
G: He said I have to lose weight!
M: And what else did he say?
G: (mumbles again)
M: SPEAK UP! I can’t hear you!
G: I have to stop sneaking food!
M: That’s right! No more sneaking food.
At this point, they were far enough ahead of me I couldn’t hear them anymore. And that’s saying something because I heard the previous conversation in a parking lot off a busy street with them at least thirty feet away from me.
They ended up being just ahead of me in line at the salad bar, and I got to witness more of the mother shaming Grace. Every time Grace chose something the mother approved of she’d say, extremely loudly, “GOOD JOB, GRACE! That’s what the doctor was talking about!” The poor girl looked mortified.
I was considering writing about the damage shaming fat kids does to them, but then, as I caught up on my blogs and twitter this morning, I found this article by The Rotund’s Marianne Kirby. The article states three things she’d tell her own parents about raising a fat child, if she could go back in time and talk to her parents as the child she was. You might not want to read the replies, they are kind of horrific and also show most people didn’t even read what Marianne wrote.
Seriously, go read the article. She said what I wanted to say so much better than I could. And if there was a way for me to find that family and make the mother read that article, I would.
*Name changed to protect the innocent.