Okay, I admit I’ve never been fatter in my entire life than I am at this moment, but does that give people the right to rub it in my face whenever they feel like it? It happens all the time, like, someone (friend, officemate, office manang) would take a look at me, realize that I’ve grown way too huge for my own good, and be unable to resist the urge to come up to me and tell me about it, probably thinking, “Oh no, I can’t possibly let her go through life this way, I have to do something.” And so for the nth time in my life I would get to hear the remark “Tumaba ka,” or some derivative of it. My own mother, for goodness’ sake, never fails to mention it every time I come home in the weekends. She greets me with, “Nakupo, kalaki na ni Rina,” as if it’s some gruesome fact that she’s managed to shove to the back of her mind during the days when she doesn’t see me, only to have to face up to it again every time I walk in the door. Remarks about my size has joined her usual motherly litanies, along with “Parang walang nangyayari sa buhay mo” and “Bakit hindi ka kaya mag-abroad para makaipon ka” I actually miss those days when she was just scolding me for not helping out more around the house.
And it’s not just my mother. My sisters also never fail to point out the painfully (and hugely) obvious. My sister told me the other day, “Siguro kung ganyan kalaki ang tyan ko sobrang depressed na ko.” Well excuuuse me for not equating my sense of well-being with my weight.
I know these people mean well, it’s just that I guess I’ve heard the comments far too often it’s not funny anymore. I just pretend that it’s funny; I give a short laugh and ruefully say, “Yeah, I know, I know.” I’m a non-confrontational person, and I don’t want to be too defensive or sensitive about it; it’s not like I can just scream, “Well, so what?”
What gets to me is the implied judgment in those remarks. They’re not just statements of fact or even observation, along with the remarks are the implied messages saying it’s my fault that I got to be this way, it’s my fault that I’m not doing anything about it. Well then, if it’s my fault then it should be my business, right? Right.