Raise your hand if you love being body shamed!

Body Shaming at Bloomingdales. My personal experience.

I write this to highlight how normalized body shaming is. A lot of times until someone turns on the lighbulb, we don’t see how often if happens. Don't worry, HERE I AM. I'll highlight it for you! 

I was recently in the department store Bloomingdales trying on a dress for a friend’s wedding. I know what I like and I know what looks good on me. I found a few things and went to the dressing room. One dress I loved, I felt like would look best if there was a way to cinch my waist (show of my figure, duh!) This is the conversation verbatim as I came out of the dressing room to talk to the sales associate. (I rarely ever ask for help in stores, but it wasn’t a busy hour so I thought why not) 

Me: “I love this dress, but do you have any belts that I could try on to wear with it? I lose my body shape” 
Sales Associate: “You don’t want to wear a belt with that.”
Me: “Yes, I would like to, I lose my body shape so I want to show it”
Sales Associate: “But then it will show your tummy. You don’t want that. (says while pointing to her “tummy” for added effect and shaking head in no motion)
Me: “Yes I do want a belt. I want to emphasize my waist.”
Sales Associate: You do? (puzzled/surprised/alarmed expression)
Me: “I love my tummy. My body is awesome, Thank you.” (I did a full up and down gesture with my hands of my entire body as I said this - obviously ;) ) 
Sales Associate: “ok belts on on second floor” (defeated voice)

The entire time another sales associate was standing right next to us and said nothing. 

Is this the worst thing in the world? No, obviously not. It is very subtle. She was criticizing me and my body and my judgements/love for my body in a very subtle way. Yes, I know most people would not say anything or overly gesture and shout how much they like their body, but most people are not me. I'm not being "too sensitive" if that's your first thought. This is not okay. I stayed firm and expressed myself. Would I have done the same on a less confident body day? Maybe yes, maybe not. (Yes, these happen. I am normal too. Just like you. There is no perfect - don't forget it).

I left the store and reached out to Bloomingdales on twitter: 

They asked me to private message them so I sent them the above conversation. Then I received an email from someone in the marketing department in NYC also asking a number and a time to contact me. I gave both the number and the time, but no one contacted me. Let that tell you what it will. 

In other news… thank you Nordstrom for having the dress I wanted in stock. I ordered online from them :) 

No one should have to go into a shop and feel like if they ask for help, they will be body shamed. I don’t care if someone is in a larger body, a thin body, a curvy body, a disabled body- who the F cares. A body is a body. Stop making people feel bad for existing in their own body.  If someone feels good (and also isn’t asking if they look good - PS I looked fucking great) then no comments need to be made.

Even if you aren’t the person that would body shame someone. Don’t also be the person or stands by and says nothing. Use your voice. If if you are body shaming yourself? Stop that too. I can help with that, click over here :) 

Have a similar story to share? let me know below or you can reach me directly over email: kim@kimberlyweiss.com I would love for you to share this so people know and understand how much this happens - both in whispers and out loud. 


UPDATE: I ended up speaking to both the store manager and someone in customer service at their main office. They were of course apologetic and felt bad, but other than shaming the employee (which is not what I wanted), nothing changed. I suggested changing their training and that I would be happy to provide my services if they wanted help in this area. All I got were apologies and shock. While I appreciate that they were sorry, it's going to happen again if company culture is not changed. Until then I'll be shopping in Nordstrom. 

What really happens when you go on a diet, lose weight, and feel AMAZING

What happens? 

You try a “diet” called a “diet”  but also code named often as “cleanse” “way of eating” “clean.” 

It works. 

You lose weight. 

You feel light. 

You get compliments. 

Fast forward 30/60 days/3 months/1 Year. LIFE happens. You eat carbs. You eat sugar. You tell yourself you are “bad” because you at “bad” food. You go on vacation, you were “SO BAD” and “ate so much." 

You feel bad about yourself. You start another diet. Repeat cycle. Repeat again… FINALLY (maybe?) realize it’s not about putting food into “good” or “bad” catgories, you are tired of falling in/out of feeling good/bad. 

The problem is that these things DO NOT WORK. They only work short term. They do not teach you how to deal with what is really going on (in your body or head). You know that an apple might be better for you than a cookie. duh. You don’t need a fucking diet plan to tell you that, but you still sign up for these plans. You follow, it works, then it doesn’t, feel bad, repeat. It's not great. You know it's not. You are happy and feel great when you do them/end them, but then when you are "bad" you feel guilt and shame and honestly disappointed in yourself so you try again. The problem is not you. It's what you are trying and the system that takes advantage of keeping you on the shitty diet mentality treadmill. (We can call it the "clean eating" treadmill if that makes you feel better. Same thing). 

It doesn’t matter how it is broken down. You guys -->> you can literally go ON a cookie diet. (google it). It IS a thing. You will lose weight. You will feel lighter. You will get those same compliments I mentioned earlier. 

You join programs and you tell other people you do it because you want to “be heathier” I don’t care if it’s the south beach diet, the atkins diet or now whole 30. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. You don’t tell people it’s because you want to lose weight, but secretly you do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight by the way! Topic for another blog. You say you want to “get healthy” because socially that’s acceptable even though “get healthy” is usually code for “lose weight” when health is about waaaaaaay more than weight. You know this and you are thinking "YES I know. But I still want to be thin."

It sucks. It sucks to see people do these things. It sucks to see people feel good. Then fast forward 6 months/1 year/2 years and realize they are still in the same place. They still think they are good or bad based on what they ate.  Their value is what the number on the scale says or their pants size (not actually how they feel or what their doctor actually says).  Maybe they are thin/fat/really "in shape". Doesn't matter because visually you often can only tell a tiny bit about how someone feels day to day. I know people on all levels of the body spectrum that have the same exact thoughts and say/do the same exact things. It sucks. 

The honest truth is that I’m not even against these plans as a whole. I love people testing out new things for themselves and their body.  The problem is that they say they go into with with wanting to develop a healthy lifestyle, but usually these programs are not grounded in long term success and what the person still *really* wants is not "health" but is to lose 20/30/40/50 pounds and be thin. Thin becomes more important than health, but no one wants to say that. These plans are not set up for that. They are set up to give you short term wins and teach you that if you eat this way you are good, if you don't then that's why you are not healthy, don't feel good and are fat and unworthy. 

If you are reading this and relate, Email me: kim@Kimberlyweiss.com Shoot me a quick email and tell me ONE thing you could use some help with. I promise to answer. Or share your thoughts below. You are not the problem. Your body is not the problem. Your willpower is not the problem.