I remember the first time I was publicly fat shamed. I was a 16 years old and on a class trip to the Jewish Heritage Museum in Manhattan for leadership training. We were having lunch in the museum’s cafeteria; honestly I don’t remember if I actually ate anything since this was during the time I would skip meals with the goal of getting thin. I do remember that at one point my friend got up to get a second helping of food at which time I asked him to get me a can of soda. He came back with a can of Diet Coke, I looked at the can and then up at him in confusion. He then said, very loudly I might add, “You could stand to lose a couple of pounds.” The entire table and those next to it laughed. I left the soda right in his hand and walked away. No one stood up for me and he never apologized. He claimed that it was a joke. I wasn’t laughing.
Such occurrences only got worse once I got older. In fact,one of my mother’s oldest friends no longer greets me with a, “Hi, how have you been?,” like the average person would, but with a, “You’re fatter.”