Oh yeah. I’m thinking, would anyone say to someone in a wheelchair, “If only you weren’t bound by that chair…?” I imagine it’s not like the person hasn’t considered such a thing. The inference that the person is compromised by circumstances and not enough is the problem. Harsher but perhaps more accurate, is the perception of disability.
And there are those who argue against any handicap being a limitation. Or maybe it’s against limitation being a handicap.
As my default is the glass is half empty (can you tell?), I suspect if I were to end up in a wheel chair (god forbid) I’d be inclined to drive it off a cliff :).
I was never ok about my weight. Still, in fact, although I am distracted by other things more plaguing. I regret that I bought into being overweight as a disability. What disabled me was having a weight problem. If only I hadn’t of wasted so many years postponing my life with if onlys.
In general, people complimenting a pretty face mean well. They mean to be encouraging. They mean to say, I feel your pain. The assumption that you’re in pain is a whole other kettle of fish.
It’s a weird dynamic because (fat) liberation is dependent not only on conversation but confrontation — speaking the truth, no matter how uncomfortable. Like you did. And if people tiptoe around in politeness, it’s all the more isolating and perhaps marginalizing.
Maybe we need an etiquette primer and thicker skin.
Hey, thanks for responding, Heather!