Sarah Conley Red BalloonsA couple of weeks ago, someone I know made hurtful comments on social media about overweight people. The context of their perspective isn’t important, because regardless of their personal activism, their words were insensitive and hurtful. Many people I know were outraged, but I took the statement especially personally.

Although I wouldn’t consider this person a bonafide friend, we had worked for many hours together in close quarters. We joked around, they asked about my life, left comments on my Instagram, and seemed genuinely kind. To say that reading their impassioned statement against overweight people felt like a stab in the heart would be an understatement.

A long list of questions raced through my head. Were our interactions genuine? Were they having these same thoughts during our time together? Was everything I ate scrutinized and (in their eyes) used to bolster their argument?

After many drafted message attempts where I tried to be as level-headed as possible while still communicating my own disappointment, I realized something. Here’s the truth: I’m never going to know the answers to my questions. Even if I sent any of those drafted messages, chances are I wouldn’t believe the reply. In the words of Maya Angelou, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Other than questioning the integrity of our interactions together, the truth is their words change nothing. Whether others like me or not holds no bearing on what really matters: how I feel about myself. To quote another great icon, Rupaul, “what other people think of me is none of my business.”

If you can look in the mirror and be satisfied by who you see looking back, then no one else’s opinion of you really matters. I mean it! Even if you look around and realize that you’re not quite where you want to be, take comfort in the strides you took to be where you are today.

Sharing this story has helped me work through my hurt feelings and hopefully it’s helped you as well (though I hope no one else has this experience). If you’ve gone through something similar, tell me about it in the comments below – pretty please!

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  • You know the first person I thought about when all of this happened was you. My feelings were not only hurt for me but for you too. I knew it would be more personal for you and more of an insult for the rest of us. Alas, I loved this post. It reminded me to stay calm and think through things a little more.

  • You know the first person I thought about when all of this happened was you. My feelings were not only hurt for me but for you too. I knew it would be more personal for you and more of an insult for the rest of us. Alas, I loved this post. It reminded me to stay calm and think through things a little more.

  • Pammy Anders

    My coworker says we are good friends, and we do lunch often. But she’s bad for making nasty remarks about bigger girls, joking about how they walk and how fat their bums are. And I’m bigger than most of them! I have to wonder what she really thinks of me…!

  • Pammy Anders

    My coworker says we are good friends, and we do lunch often. But she’s bad for making nasty remarks about bigger girls, joking about how they walk and how fat their bums are. And I’m bigger than most of them! I have to wonder what she really thinks of me…!

  • I always & STILL think you are beautiful!

  • Staci

    A guy I was dating once commented on another woman, saying she was too big to be wearing shorts. I was/am bigger than her and said so. He just looked at me as if to say “Yeah, I know.” Needless to say, things didn’t quite work out.