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Weight Stigma Awareness Week


These are my thoughts, yo.

Weight Stigma Awareness Week

jasmine banks


You’d Be Great If… …not that I remember ever asking anyone, “What would make me great?”

I have scoured my mind, looking for one scenario when I actually asked someone,

“What do you think would make me great?” I came up with the grand total of NONE!

And yet my mind is filled with occasions when I am being told,

“You’d be great if you lost weight.”

I heard this from Miss Peterson, when I tried out for the Booster Squad. My jumps

were perfect, my splits dead on. I had spirit, I had physical flexibility, I had fat. I

didn’t make the team… “You’d be great if you lost….”

I was riding a horse; galloping around the corral, red hair flying. I was free, I was

flying, no really, suddenly I was flying through the air…I was flat…on my back. I

went to the doctor and was told that I would be fine because I was strong, but…

“You’d be great if you lost…”

“And the horse would appreciate it also.” I was stunned, hurt and never rode a

horse again out of guilt that I might be too oppressive a presence on the saddle.


But the times that made me feel not just “not great,” but hideous and repulsive,

happened after what I felt were mutually enjoyable sexual experiences. I had spirit.

I had “skills.

“You’d be great if you lost…”

I had been had. Funny it hadn’t been an issue a few minutes earlier when I was

being grabbed in the throes of passion.

It’s difficult to remember being the person unable to reply to the lover, “It didn’t

seem to be a problem five minutes ago.” Or to the doctor, “My weight has nothing to

do with the reason I am here.” It has taken time, work, laughter, and support to no

longer apologize for who I am or colluding with others’ judgments. But I have

changed. I can say with confidence that if I was the person then that I am now, I’d

have looked Miss Peterson in her eyes and said, “The reason you don’t want me on

this squad is because you don’t like the way I look in the uniform, it has nothing to

do with my ability to execute the moves.”

Or looked at the lover and said, “You’d be great if you’d shut the f*&# up.

Well, maybe nothing quite that confrontational. I prefer peaceful interactions. More

realistically I see myself being able to offer the simple reply of, “Who asked you?” It

is without a doubt a change for the great.

Submitted by Deah Schwartz, PhD


*story courtesy of