I Did a Bad Thing: I Body Shamed…

I did something bad yesterday. I did something that I have been warning people not to do pretty much since I started this blog. I judged someone harshly for the way that they look. I made assumptions about them based on the way they were dressed, and I even went so far as to giggle about them behind their back with someone I don’t even know. I’m not proud of any of these things, but there it is.

It was in Zumba class. This woman has been taking the class for a few weeks now, so while I wish I could say that yesterday was the first of my bad behavior, I’d be lying. This girl is very thin, with big boobs and no hips. She’s an inch or two taller than me but looks like one of those “perfect” girls that you see on the beach in bikinis. A grown woman with the body of a 17 year old cheerleader. She is clearly in great shape and frankly, I’m jealous. But, my judgement did not come from being jealous of what she looks like, I went one worse than that. I judged her on her clothes. She comes to class in spaghetti strap tank tops with sheer overlays and bootie shorts (there are no men in our class). She wears no sports bra and stands front and center (again, there are no men in our class). I think it’s the no sports bra thing that gets me the most. While her boobs aren’t that much smaller than mine, they are definitely large for her frame. I know for me, if I am not strapped in by $100 worth of Lululemon, I’d hurt myself. I’d also have bruises. Zumba is not what you would call “low-impact,” we jump around. I don’t understand how she’s comfortable. And don’t even get me started on the bootie shorts. I have no desire to see the bottom half of anyone’s butt cheek during Zumba class, nor do I need anyone seeing any part of my butt cheek.

I think that my judgement comes from two places: a lack of understanding, and jealousy, obviously. I can tell myself over and over again that I’m happy with how I look and I love my curves, and most of the time that is true. But, given the opportunity, would I trade bodies with this girl who basically embodies what a woman is supposed to look like? It would be hard to say no, especially if I didn’t have to work to maintain my figure (which I would have to do, because I have a love affair with chocolate so this is a moot point). At the end of the day though, I don’t understand why she wears what she wears to our class. Does she want to be noticed? Is she insecure? Is she trying to make us jealous? Impress us? And the biggest question of all, how does she get away with not wearing a sports bra? I mean, honestly.

I take solace in a few things in this situation. First, I have acknowledged that I am judging someone and why. Maybe now I can stop doing it. Second, and this is super catty and not at all enlightened, I am a much better dancer than she is. And third, her boobs are probably fake.

Clearly I’m quite conflicted in my feelings towards this girl. I would like to not judge her and applaud her for her confidence, but apparently I’m kind of a bitch. Maybe I could talk to her, get to know her, try to understand her a little bit. Maybe she’ll confide in me that she wears glasses and can’t see in class so she has to stand front and center. Maybe she’ll tell me about the perils of breast implant surgery. Maybe she’s a super nice person who would actually become my first new friend in Park Slope. The fact is, I need to get past my own nonsense and my own insecurity in order to do anything other than be a nasty girl.

Zumba, in other places: Confessions of a Zumba Addict
Body Shaming, in other places: Weight Watchers, Stop Shaming Jessica Simpson and Why I Never Stole Cookies from the Cookie Jar


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