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01-22-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
SarahBear
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I'm tiny.

Yep. I am an exceedingly small individual, at 5'2 and currently hovering around 90lbs (ideally I should be at least 98lbs).

Usually this doesn't bother me. I don't really think about it unless I'm standing in very close proximity to someone who is on the complete opposite end of the size spectrum. Generally, I see most people as being "average size," apparently even when others perceive them as over or under weight. I guess I see a wider range of "average," when I pay attention to someone's size at all.

Obviously, I do not diet to achieve this. It's far from intentional. It's often a struggle just to maintain my weight.

I've never had people just blatantly comment on my size before. People often think I'm younger than I really am, and I know that's mostly because of my size, but people aren't rude about it. Until now.

I work at David's Bridal and for some reason that atmosphere apparently makes people think it's okay to comment on my size. Usually they're polite, but sometimes they aren't. My coworkers are great, except for one, who made constant rude remarks about my size Monday… even going so far as to flip me off, and state, "Curves are better," when another girl and I tried on the same wedding dress (which we do sometimes when it's slow - and on top of that, mine was two sizes too big and hadn't been clipped and hers fit perfectly, so of course it's more flattering on her). Obviously this lady is deeply insecure and thinks tearing me down is going to give her a few moments of satisfaction… but why? I just don't understand why people think this sort of thing is okay. I certainly wouldn't think of telling her she's fat so I feel better about being small. It's the same thing.

I know I shouldn't care, because all it does it show that these people are insecure. It reflects badly on them, not me. But it does bother me. I don't want to be tiny. I'd love to be a size 6, 8, 10, or 12. Being tiny doesn't make me feel good about myself - it makes me feel weak and fragile. It makes me feel like I look like a child.

My size is partly genetics. My mom is small, too, but my bone structure is so tiny and delicate that it seems obvious to me that Crohn's played a part (I started showing symptoms around eight and was undiagnosed until 16). So it bothers me more than it otherwise would when people say things like, "It must be nice to be that small." No. It isn't.

It's an awful thing to say, but there are people who make me wish I were contagious.
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01-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #2
Cat-a-Tonic
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Aw, Bear, I am sorry to hear all this - particularly about your (w)itch of a co-worker. Is there a manager that you can speak to about her comments? If not, the next time she says something, perhaps you could respond by saying something like, "I don't appreciate your comments about my size" and shut her down, don't respond further to anything else she says or repeat the phrase until she gets it.

I can definitely relate to having issues with just trying to maintain your weight - I'm in the same boat there. I'm at a "healthy" weight and trying like mad to stay there, it really is a fight every day. I can also relate to looking younger than your age - I'm 34, but my family went to a winery last weekend, and the wine tasting server lady carded me AND put a stupid wristband on me - I looked around and didn't see one other person with a wristband, so that made me feel pretty lame. People keep telling me that when I'm older, I'll appreciate looking younger, but I've been hearing that for years and years now and it hasn't happened yet. I'm not sure if people mean something like, I'll look 60 when I'm 70, and I also don't know if I'll appreciate that or care, or if I'll even live long enough to appreciate it? In the present time, though, it's annoying and makes me feel abnormal. I guess a lot of people want to look younger and be thinner, but in my personal experience, they really don't want the baggage & symptoms etc that go with it. I'd rather be healthy and happy and normal than feel like this all the time.

So yeah, that was long and rambly, but I totally get it and really feel for you. Hopefully things will improve a little bit if you can get your co-worker to shut up. *Hugs!*
01-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #3
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The things she said Monday she said in front of an assistant manager, who did stick up for me but didn't say anything about the nature of the comments. I've talked to several people there about how I dislike these sorts of things, but I don't believe she's one of them so she may not have known how hurtful I consider it to be. If it continues, it'll have to be brought up with the store manager. I would rather avoid that if possible though, so if it keeps occurring I'll probably just bluntly point out that I have to bleed out of my ass to look this way and see if that puts an end to it.

I hear the same, "You'll appreciate it when you're older," comments. Still looking forward to that day, whenever it may be. Hopefully the appreciation will kick in soon for you! I don't mind getting carded, of course, since I am only 22, so it's understandable… but they do examine my license far more closely than anyone else's. I'm pretty sure most of them think it's fake and just can't prove it… because it's not.

I'm sorry you deal with the same issues, Cat! Hopefully we'll both get some meat on our bones soon!
01-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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That's awful! I feel for both of you. I was always tiny and I don't have Crohn's and would get comments about my weight all the time back then and how much I didn't eat (It didn't take a lot to fill me up) I think people thought I was anorexic but I was healthy. It all changed when Jack got Crohn's, he lost weight, I gained it. He didn't eat, I ate for him. I'm 5'4" and was about 105 lbs give or take a few, in the 4 years since Jack's diagnosis I have put on 50-60 lbs. I also got carded until I was 40. It would be the same thing, several times we would be out with friends and someone (liquor control board a couple of times, cops a couple of others) would come up to me and ask to see my ID, look at it for a long time, hand it back and walk away without checking anyone elses. After a while we would just laugh about it.
People still think I'm younger then I am but it doesn't bother me as much anymore.
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01-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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Bear, many people still examine my license very closely when I get carded, that hasn't changed for me over the years. Many people look shocked when they see "1979" as my birth date, apparently that seems totally implausible to them and therefore they seem to think my ID must be fake too. The odd part is, when I had my first flare a little over 4 years ago, at age 29, my hair started going gray. I can tell I'm starting to develop the beginning of wrinkles here and there, too, and a little bit of sagging in the face, my cheeks are less full than they were, I always have dark circles under my eyes and look tired, etc. I feel like, when I look in the mirror, I see someone who is at least 34 if not older. So it's crazy to me that people in general still insist that I look so young. If I point out a gray hair or a wrinkle, they insist they see nothing of the sort. It's very odd how perception can vary so much of yourself vs what other people see. I feel older than my age physically thanks to the IBD, arthritis, etc - and I feel like I don't look particularly young on the outside - maybe what I feel inside translates into how I view myself in the mirror, I don't know. But at any rate, if you're anything like me, you'll apparently still look young to other people even if you feel like you're showing signs of aging.

As for the weight thing, it seems like a constant struggle and it's hard to explain to other people. Just this morning, I was eating a donut at my desk. I don't often eat solid food for breakfast, but donuts are tummy-safe for me and I had bloody d last night so I felt like a few extra calories are needed today. My co-worker (who has UC!) came up to me and asked if I should be eating that donut. I just briefly explained that it's low-fiber so it's okay. Apparently my co-worker's UC has been in remission for years and he can eat anything he likes without repercussions, so he's fairly clueless about IBD when it comes to having dietary restrictions. I still felt like that was weird, though. I hate explaining things like that, and particularly to a fellow IBD'er! I feel like people are judging me - I can tell some people hate when the skinny girl eats a big bag of potato chips. Never mind the fact that I've been having d and I lose sodium easily and I need extra calories on bad d days, so the chips are just damage control - no, it's the SKINNY girl eating CHIPS so we hate her! Nobody's said that to my face but that's the vibe I get from some people. And to have someone with UC question my dietary choices today, that hurt.

Sorry, I'm venting in your thread. But long story short, go eat a donut (or whatever your go-to snack is) and try not to worry about what other people think. I'm still working on that myself.
01-22-2014, 02:11 PM   #6
SarahBear
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I'm sorry you've dealt with similar issues as well, Jacqui! I'm glad the age thing doesn't bother you - I really look forward to that!

Cat, I know what you mean about perceiving yourself differently than others. If I look at myself in a mirror, I don't see a particularly small person. It has to be put into perspective somehow for me to notice it at all. I do feel like I see my face differently than others do as well.

Yesssss, people are so quick to anger about those things. Luckily, most people I work with have a very nurturing nature, so they're more likely to feed me than feel resentful. It's just that one person. And mmm, donuts sound good.
01-22-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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I feel for you, Bear. People seem to assume that if you're thin or small, you're happy about it, and look down on people who are bigger (metaphorically, obviously!)

Of course, what she's saying to you is completely wrong, and you would be totally in the right if you spoke to your manager about it. Hopefully that would result in a stern word with the colleague in question!

Maybe if you wanted to get her to get over her insecurity and have some empathy for others, you could try saying something to her in a 'nice' way next time she makes a comment - like "I know, I'd love to have more curves like you. You know, people don't realise, but it's just as hurtful being told you're small as it is to be told you're big." It's admittedly nicer than anything I'd want to say to someone who was that rude to me, but sometimes in a work environment it's easier to try to help people understand than to say what you think of them - which often just feeds into their stupid prejudices.

On another note, about looking younger than you are - a little while ago I opened the door to a salesman (and I was fully made up and dressed for work, mind you) and this conversation happened:
SALESMAN: "Hi, are your mum and dad in?"
ME: "Er, what?"
SALESMAN: "Your mum and dad, hun? Could we speak to one of them?"
ME: "I'm twenty-four. This is my house."
SALESMAN: "Oh."
*awkward pause*
ME: "I'm probably not going to buy your solar panels."
SALESMAN: "...No." *leaves*

This happened again this week (different salesman), although to be fair this time I was wearing pyjamas with pink and blue cats all over them, and I just told the guy that Mummy and Daddy had gone to the gun shop and would be back soon. He left pretty quickly - I figured since I apparently look 12, I might as well use it to my advantage somehow...
01-22-2014, 02:28 PM   #8
ce1210
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Ha I feel your pain, sorry to hear about your cowrker being so snotty. People constantly tell me they are "jealous" and "how do you stay so skinny" lol when I would give anything to gain back like 20 pounds. I tell em "its called the crohn's diet, when I feel a lil pudgy I eat a piece of processed cheese, then proceed to sh*t 20 times, and voila! 5-10 pounds lighter!" For me if I don't make it a joke I feel like I'll end up causing someone physical or emotional harm, I hate being 6'4" 150lbs especially when 3 years ago I was 215lbs and in great shape. Most days I feel like a skeleton, but at least I'm not overweight I guess as that would just be one more health issue...and if your coworker is young and "curvy" be sure to remind her that young and curvy leads to middle age and overweight ;-)
01-22-2014, 09:20 PM   #9
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The co-worker in question is middle-aged and only slightly overweight. Someone I would consider to be of average size. I discussed it with the assistant manager today and she said she didn't see the gesture and heard only one of the comments (that was presented in a semi-joking way), or she would have stepped in. She also said the coworker used to be extremely overweight and had gastric bypass surgery, so I guess that explains her insecurities. I still don't understand why she would want to pass the insecurities on, though.
01-22-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
Jennifer
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It seems to never be possible to leave the school playground behind. People are always going to be rude and insensitive. If possible just tell them that you don't appreciate them trying to make you feel insecure with their comments or something along those lines. If it continues or gets worse then ya you'll have to talk to someone higher up because you've done all you can do to try and stop their behavior.

Hope she slips and falls on her ass Bear.
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Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
01-23-2014, 04:31 PM   #11
Cat-a-Tonic
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I was reminded today of a way to feel more normal about my weight (or at least totally confused about it?). I work out a lot (as often as my body allows me to, and purely to improve my health & muscle mass), so I like buying workout clothes. But it's very odd, the sizes make no sense. You pretty much just have to eyeball things. Sports bras in certain brands, I can wear a size XS. But in other brands, I am apparently an XL! If you measured them, they'd be almost identical, they both fit me pretty well, but the size on the labels are like complete opposites. I just bought some workout pants today - the label said size 10, which normally would be gigantic on me, but I held them up and they looked like they'd fit, so I tried them on and they were perfect. There is no alternate reality where I'm a size 10 - on a good day when my weight is up a little bit, I'm a size 6. But the makers of workout clothes are apparently insane and label things all wrong. So Bear, if you want to feel not so tiny, perhaps go try on some workout clothes in various different brands! Being able to put on "normal" sized clothes, even if the labels are totally wrong, it is an interesting little boost for the self-esteem. I now own size 10 pants that fit perfectly - hah!
01-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
Amaze
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people can be such jerks for no reason. Sorry you have to experience this baloney
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01-25-2014, 04:28 PM   #13
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I'm incredibly underweight (I posted the specifics here: http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=57710 ). I get incredibly self-conscious about it, but that's more to do with the fact people are assuming I'm anorexic, and therefore also assuming the stereotype of anorexia (vain, mentally ill).

My low weight has caused me terrible problems because it causes doctors to assume I'm anorexic, which has given me no end of problems with them assuming I'm using stomach complaints as a way of covering up anorexia (or something, I've no idea what their logic was), and the discrimination I've had within the medical system has been so bad that if I did have anorexia or any mental illness, the last thing I'd do would be to admit it to a doctor.

Outside the medical system and other formal environments (for example, I can imagine looking unhealthily thin might cause problems getting some types of employment), I'm not sure. I've had strangers shout "anorexic" at me in the street, but that's about all. I have had a few comments from acquaintances about it - for example, one guy saying he was worrying about hugging me because I might break.

I honestly think people who are overweight have it worse though, I think the stigma of being overweight is worse than that of being underweight. Which is pretty stupid in itself since there shouldn't be stigma and shouldn't be comparisons, but unfortunately that seems to be how it is. But I do think that explains why some people have a grudge against thin people, it's the consequence of overweight people feeling stigmatised themselves.

I'm sorry you're having these problems though. I think it just never crosses most people's minds that diseases like Crohn's could be involved. They see thinness as either something you must be very proud of, or they see it as linked with eating disorders. The idea that there are still people who actually struggle to eat enough seems to come as a surprise to some.

Oh, and last time I was in hospital, another patient asked me what school I go to. Smallness = young for some reason. I don't mind that though.
01-26-2014, 09:10 AM   #14
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Sarah Bear hey im new to this, posting. I am 5.1 and thin and people keep say your losing weight ? You don't look good! Being sick makes us aware of other peoples feeling. We would not say that, that way. We would say it in a away it would not hurt people. I told someone what I have and braced for her reaction. Here she has a friend who has crohns so you never know.keep going ! also I'm from donora,pa so hello neighbor!
01-26-2014, 12:03 PM   #15
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Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming. Seriously, why do people always feel the need to make comments on someone's size all the time? Sorry you deal with this hun. I have lost 62 lbs in the last 2 years, not trying either. People are always saying how awesome I look etc. They ask my secret, I say get sick....they shut up pretty quickly
01-30-2014, 03:14 AM   #16
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Hey SarahBear, just wondering hows work and if that biatch is being....well.. a biatch lol
01-30-2014, 03:16 AM   #17
Amaze
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Isnt it funny that your'e tiny and want to be bigger and I'm huge and I want to be smaller?
01-30-2014, 04:11 AM   #18
Cross-stitch gal
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Sounds familiar!!!! My main comments come from my customers though. My management makes no concern at all of how I'm treated (their main concern is getting customers to come back and spend money at our store). Only time they ever did anything is when a couple of people in charge were making bets as to how much I weighed a few years ago and I turned those two in. Oh the joys of being smaller than everyone else!

I'm 5ft and about 85lbs...
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01-30-2014, 08:59 AM   #19
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I was 23 pounds lighter when my co-workers saw me for the first time after surgery.The shocked look on their faces said it all.I've since gained a couple pounds back,but that's it.I have been asked by people who don't know I have crohn's how I lost all that weight?I've been tempted to reply similar to you with the crohn's diet,you should try it blast but have held back so far.I did get asked once by a friend if I was contagious.He was serious!It's hard to stay positive at times,SarahBear,we all know that.You have a supportive community in the forum.
01-30-2014, 12:06 PM   #20
Amy2
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I'm 5' 7" and reached my full height in the 8th grade, when most of the boys I liked were about 5' 4" or 5". I hated being "tall". I tried to stand slumped over, sat whenever possible, etc. I can't believe it, but I felt like a freak for a couple of years.

And people made rude comments, especially one very short teacher I had. Once she was deciding where everyone should sit, based on height and she had us all stand up.
There were several guys in my class who were a lot taller than me, but she had me and another tall girl standing last and she hemmed and hawed about where she could put us freaks, even asking what the class thought! It was very embarrassing.

Looking back, it's crazy to me. I was 5' 7", which isn't even very tall. In fact, I would like to be a little taller! But, when I was in the 8th grade, I would have been completely jealous of your tinyness. And some who make comments to you, probably are somewhat jealous, others are just being mean, like my 4' 11" teacher.

I knew a sweet guy who was 6' 7" and EVERYONE asked him how tall he was or made a lame joke...

Criticising people for their body type is just so juvenile!
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01-31-2014, 09:15 AM   #21
UnXmas
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I'm 5' 7" and reached my full height in the 8th grade, when most of the boys I liked were about 5' 4" or 5". I hated being "tall". I tried to stand slumped over, sat whenever possible, etc. I can't believe it, but I felt like a freak for a couple of years.

And people made rude comments, especially one very short teacher I had. Once she was deciding where everyone should sit, based on height and she had us all stand up.
There were several guys in my class who were a lot taller than me, but she had me and another tall girl standing last and she hemmed and hawed about where she could put us freaks, even asking what the class thought! It was very embarrassing.

Looking back, it's crazy to me. I was 5' 7", which isn't even very tall. In fact, I would like to be a little taller! But, when I was in the 8th grade, I would have been completely jealous of your tinyness. And some who make comments to you, probably are somewhat jealous, others are just being mean, like my 4' 11" teacher.

I knew a sweet guy who was 6' 7" and EVERYONE asked him how tall he was or made a lame joke...

Criticising people for their body type is just so juvenile!
I felt so similar growing up. My adult height is only 5'5", but that's because as soon as I hit my teens (when everyone else shot up), I got so sick and stopped growing and never grew again. But up to the age of about 11 I was always one of the tallest and I'm now ashamed about how embarrassed I used to be about it, I thought it especially bad being a girl, how I used to try and bend my knees, especially in school assembly when everyone stood in rows to sing and I was a head taller than most of the others.

I used to worry that when I grew up I'd be too tall (taller than men), and here I am, at a final height of 5'5"!! And the fact that the reason I'm only this height is that I developed bowel problems that taught me that I didn't even know the meaning of embarrassment when I thought being a tall girl was embarrassing. I guess I disliked it so much because I had no real problems back then and a healthy, perfectly functioning body that I took totally for granted. Not anymore.

Last edited by UnXmas; 02-03-2014 at 05:17 AM.
02-02-2014, 11:28 AM   #22
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I feel you sarahbear! I'm 4'11 and really thin so people always think I look very young. I'm 19 and people always think I'm like 12 and I hate being tiny. I'd always get embarrassed when strangers ask me what my age is until today (i've been smaller than average compare to other kids ever since i was little). Not only that, i think my small body frame is preventing me from getting jobs. Not sure if I don't try hard enough to look for it but I feel self conscious and that people wouldn't hire me. But yeah, I wish people weren't so obsess with judging people based on their looks and understand people who are thin is as sensitive as people who are bigger. But look on the bright side, you're not that tiny, I know people and myself who is tinier than you! don't let people's opinion put you down in anyway
02-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #23
SarahBear
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Sarah Bear hey im new to this, posting. I am 5.1 and thin and people keep say your losing weight ? You don't look good! Being sick makes us aware of other peoples feeling. We would not say that, that way. We would say it in a away it would not hurt people. I told someone what I have and braced for her reaction. Here she has a friend who has crohns so you never know.keep going ! also I'm from donora,pa so hello neighbor!
Hey, neighbor!

I agree - I'd never say anything about anyone's weight to them. I even hate directing women to the women's (plus) size section at work because it makes me feel awful. Telling someone, "I can't try you in that dress because you're a size 2 and the smallest thing we have is a 10," is just as unpleasant.

Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming. Seriously, why do people always feel the need to make comments on someone's size all the time? Sorry you deal with this hun. I have lost 62 lbs in the last 2 years, not trying either. People are always saying how awesome I look etc. They ask my secret, I say get sick....they shut up pretty quickly
It is awful. I agree - the easiest way to shut people up is to be brutally honest. It's sad that we have to shock them into being polite.

Hey SarahBear, just wondering hows work and if that biatch is being....well.. a biatch lol
She hasn't said anything since, but I've been avoiding her! I've gotten a lot of comments on my size this week, but none of them were rude, fortunately!

Sounds familiar!!!! My main comments come from my customers though. My management makes no concern at all of how I'm treated (their main concern is getting customers to come back and spend money at our store). Only time they ever did anything is when a couple of people in charge were making bets as to how much I weighed a few years ago and I turned those two in. Oh the joys of being smaller than everyone else!

I'm 5ft and about 85lbs...
The majority of the comments I get are from customers, as well. They're usually polite, but the rude ones really get to me. The only plus side is that in my position, I'm able to avoid customers who are rude. I'm not really obligated to interact with the customers as much as my coworkers, I just chose to because I enjoy it. Because of this, management wouldn't interfere on my behalf, either - they would just tell me to walk away.

I was 23 pounds lighter when my co-workers saw me for the first time after surgery.The shocked look on their faces said it all.I've since gained a couple pounds back,but that's it.I have been asked by people who don't know I have crohn's how I lost all that weight?I've been tempted to reply similar to you with the crohn's diet,you should try it blast but have held back so far.I did get asked once by a friend if I was contagious.He was serious!It's hard to stay positive at times,SarahBear,we all know that.You have a supportive community in the forum.
I was asked by a professor once if I was contagious. In class. In front of everyone. I openly said I had Crohn's, but her reaction was incredibly rude and insulting. She could have just asked what it is, or discreetly kept her distance, then went home and googled it.

I'm 5' 7" and reached my full height in the 8th grade, when most of the boys I liked were about 5' 4" or 5". I hated being "tall". I tried to stand slumped over, sat whenever possible, etc. I can't believe it, but I felt like a freak for a couple of years.

And people made rude comments, especially one very short teacher I had. Once she was deciding where everyone should sit, based on height and she had us all stand up.
There were several guys in my class who were a lot taller than me, but she had me and another tall girl standing last and she hemmed and hawed about where she could put us freaks, even asking what the class thought! It was very embarrassing.

Looking back, it's crazy to me. I was 5' 7", which isn't even very tall. In fact, I would like to be a little taller! But, when I was in the 8th grade, I would have been completely jealous of your tinyness. And some who make comments to you, probably are somewhat jealous, others are just being mean, like my 4' 11" teacher.

I knew a sweet guy who was 6' 7" and EVERYONE asked him how tall he was or made a lame joke...

Criticising people for their body type is just so juvenile!
It's awful that you were treated that way! 5'7 sounds like a wonderful height to me!

I feel you sarahbear! I'm 4'11 and really thin so people always think I look very young. I'm 19 and people always think I'm like 12 and I hate being tiny. I'd always get embarrassed when strangers ask me what my age is until today (i've been smaller than average compare to other kids ever since i was little). Not only that, i think my small body frame is preventing me from getting jobs. Not sure if I don't try hard enough to look for it but I feel self conscious and that people wouldn't hire me. But yeah, I wish people weren't so obsess with judging people based on their looks and understand people who are thin is as sensitive as people who are bigger. But look on the bright side, you're not that tiny, I know people and myself who is tinier than you! don't let people's opinion put you down in anyway
I'm not sure that saying, "There are smaller people!" would make people stop making rude remarks. There's actually another girl I work with who is shorter than I am, although I think I'm a bit thinner. Being thin as well as short makes a big difference, because I'm perceived as having a more child-like shape. Height is far less of a problem than being thin, really.

You may not be fully grown at 19, by the way. Women grow until around 21 and men until 23 or 25 - I forget exactly. I actually measured myself yesterday and found out I'm now 5'3, not 5'2! I'm not sure when that happened, but it must have been recently (even though I'm 22).
02-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #24
dave13
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Hi SarahBear,I've lost 4 more pounds. It must be so gradual I just don't notice it.I feel pretty good though.Now I'm back to work and have heard so many of the 'you lost a lot of weight' comments it doesn't bother me.I'm in remission and feel pretty good(most days).I'm still hoping as I'm able to be more active I'll have more of an appetite,it's a theory.I'll give my friend who asked me about being contagious some credit.He asked when it was just he and I,not in front of people.Your professor was way out of line.Keep the faith!
02-03-2014, 04:08 PM   #25
jwfoise
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I was asked by a professor once if I was contagious. In class. In front of everyone. I openly said I had Crohn's, but her reaction was incredibly rude and insulting. She could have just asked what it is, or discreetly kept her distance, then went home and googled it.
"No Professor, like your stupidity, it is not contagious"

(not that I would have the nerve to do it either)
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