The weight issue
Vincy people are weight obsessed. They have a habit of greeting you with a comment about your weight if they have not seen you in a while. You either put on size, get fat, look ‘well’, or you lost weight, and if you have lost quite a bit then they secretly speculate about your health. When it comes to weight Vincy people ‘does be fast’ in your business. They talk about your weight like they are your doctor or your bathroom scale. To show you how weight obsessed Vincy people are, if they haven’t seen you in person then they comment on your weight from your photos… your photos.
Not even little children are safe from this type of body scrutiny. Adults have a way of policing children’s weight, especially girls. I have seen (well-meaning?) adults comment about the weight of toddlers. It is this way that little girls are socialized so early to be concerned about their shape and body size by the weight-obsessed adults. It is amazing how easily we transfer our neuroses.
It is something I could never quite understand. Weight and body issues are personal. Weight gain or loss can be triggered by any number of factors. These factors could include age, genetics, hormones, stress, and medication. Many of these factors can be out of the control of the individual. Most folks are not comfortable talking about their personal struggles, so imagine how awkward/uncomfortable it is when someone who has a health-related weight gain issue is greeted with “You bursting with fat.”
Then there is fat shaming. Every year around carnival time when women choose to wear either a two piece or one piece bathing suit base for their costumes, that they paid for, they are met with derision and ridicule for daring to play their full selves under the heat of the July sun. Heaven forbid, they take two days out of a full year to free up themselves and enjoy the season like everyone else. It’s a good thing that for many of these women no rain, (metaphorical or otherwise) can stop their celebration.
When you get to a certain age, it is difficult to stay fit. One day you wake up to find that your metabolism has slowed all the way down and nobody warned you that that was going to be a thing. It is twice as hard for you to see and maintain your gains when you exercise. Further complicating matters is childbirth and the toll that all the slings and arrows of an unpredictable life can take on your body. Women have it to deal with, oui.
My mantra these days is each of us will have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling mantra. Everybody has their own path to power-walk or run on their journey to fitness. I hope that folks who are quick to comment on another person’s digits have their own numbers in check – blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar. Fat or slim, those numbers are the greatest equalizers.
Still, because Vincy people are who they are, it might be necessary to arm yourself with some choice comebacks, if you are not in the mood to entertain those discussions. Don’t let them steal your joy, though. Sometimes a good cut eye and an intellectual read would suffice, while you sashay along the cobbled streets of Kingstown, living your best life.