D.U.F.F. before (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). In that post I kind of alluded to what I want to talk about here -- I said that in a group of girls, there's a good chance that each girl feels like the DUFF in one way or another -- or insecure in some way that makes them feel less attractive or worthy (of their needs, thoughts, opinions, etc.).
For instance, The Truth About Cats and Dogs: Smart woman is insecure about her looks; beautiful woman is insecure about her intellect. Cyrano De Bergerac: Christian is a beautiful idiot and Cyrano is a soulful poet with a big nose.
But somehow we seem to never be able to get past our own insecurities to realize that other people are feeling the same way. We see the beautiful person walking down the street and think they have everything they want (and the things we want as well). They see us and long to know the satisfaction of the soft serve ice cream cone with sprinkles that we're holding.
I have sold and sell my friends short in thinking that because they were/are thin and beautiful (and they were/are) that they had no care in the world, and more to the point, that they couldn't sympathize or empathize with me. My misery had no company. It would take many years and getting over myself to realize that my friends had their own issues and insecurities (though I won't expose them here).
Not everyone is going to understand what it's like to live with and inside an overweight/obese body. Not everyone is blessed with this opportunity for personal growth and character building. There are things that my fellow obese/overweight friends will understand a little better than my "normal"-weight friends but even then everyone's experience is different.
Everyone suffers. Everybody hurts. We may not experience the same flavors of suffering, but we know what suffering is when we see it. I think there's a substantial amount of grace in allowing someone to try and understand how you feel. It might be easier (on some level) to say that no one else understands what it's like to be you, in your skin, with your problems, and with your hurt, but that's a very lonely life, eh?
I'm not sure whether this post is an apology to my friends for pigeonholing them, a lighthouse's beacon for people who feel like their adrift and alone, or a call to action to allow people to be vulnerable and insecure without needing to be changed, controlled, or fortified. Heck, I'm not sure that I even had a point in writing this.
Okay, well after leaving this alone for a few minutes I realize that I do have a point: don't make assumptions about other people based on your perceptions and what you observe. That's your filter, your bias, your narrative. But do get to know people...they may just surprise you.