If you see something beautiful in someone
Well my loves…it happened again. In fact, it happened twice in a week. TWICE in the past week, I have been asked if I am pregnant. Once it was “Are you expecting? No? Well, you’ve put weight on”, I told that person I was not expecting, and that in pointing out a stranger’s weight gain, they were being rude. The second one was “Ach, do you have a wee bump?” to which I just said “No.”
Both when I was in work, both from people I don’t know. I’d had quite enough of that. So fed up with that question in fact, that I did the following;
Yup, I announced to the 27000 people who have liked my facebook page, as well as the 3500 people who follow the shop on instagram that I AM NOT PREGNANT. 30500 people in total. Which is quite a lot for a Saturday afternoon.
My facebook post was met with LOTS of lovely comments, lots of compliments and people being incredibly kind and supportive. Which was wonderful, it felt like a big hug. Though I wasn’t fishing for compliments, I appreciate every person who took time out of their day to say something lovely to me.
I was also touched by the many ladies who reached out to tell me about their own experiences of being asked if they are pregnant. Some with medical conditions, some who are struggling to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy, some who, like me, are on medication, some who are recovering from surgery, some who are trying desperately to get pregnant, but it hasn’t happened yet, and some who have had miscarriages. I feel very lucky that they shared their stories with me, and to be surrounded by such brave, brilliant women.
Because this is the thing, no matter how vulnerable I feel at the moment, or low, or scared, for the most part, I am able to tough the day out. I know that the weight I have gained is because I am doing what I can to take care of my mental health, and for the moment, that has to be my priority. That’s not to say that I’m not extremely pissed off and downhearted when I fight to put on clothes that used to fit perfectly.
However, there are plenty of women who are walking through their day with a huge weight to carry. A brave face might be hiding a wealth of secret pain and that is the main reason why no one should EVER ask a woman if she is pregnant, or expecting, or if she has a wee bump. It’s just not appropriate. In fact, it is nosey, over familiar and just plain rude. If a woman is pregnant, and if she thinks you need to know that, she’ll tell you. Anything up that point is nothing to do with you.
One of our lovely facebook followers shared the following image with me, and I think it sums the whole thing up perfectly:
If you have ‘matured’ into the kind of person who cannot help but comment on the appearances of the people around you, PERHAPS you could give some thought to the quote at the start of this post: “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it”
Perhaps rather than pointing out weight gain, you could admire a woman’s hair, lipstick, outfit, shoes, coat, jewellery…. pretty much ANYTHING other than how you think they might have put on weight. You could go deeper and compliment their PERSONALITY, IMAGINE THAT! Tell them how lovely they are, that you think they are funny, kind, smart, hard working…again ANYTHING EXCEPT A NEGATIVE/ OVER FAMILIAR/ POTENTIALLY HURTFUL COMMENT ABOUT THEIR APPEARANCE OR FERTILITY.
When dealing with those in customer service, unless you can find something kind and positive to say, feel free to stick to safe topics such as the weather or traffic. We live in Northern Ireland, the weather changes almost by the minute and traffic seems to do the same. There is no need to comment on the weight of the person ‘serving’ you.
And, as ever, if you are the kind of person who needs to be inappropriate in this way, you are the kind of person for whom online shopping and deliveroo were invented. Stay home and be weird by yourself. Let me be chunky in peace.