What about in your neck of the woods?

My mom's friend made an interesting comment the other day. She just moved from Miami to the Mid-West a couple months ago. She called my mom and said "You know, your daughter would fit right in up here." Yes, the comment was a little offensive but it got me thinking. She said in the places she has been up there a many of the women have been over weight. Not just the older women, but all of them, even a lot of the teens. She did say that they seemed to be less concerned about there appearance in general. (Keep in mind, she was not saying they were ugly or unkempt just that it was so different from South Florida where most of the women dress to the nine for the grocery store. Everything is about designer labels. Everywhere you look you see over made, fake tanned, fake boobed thin girls.) I began to wonder if I truly would have fit in better over there. I have been in south Florida my whole life and the pressure to look good to have any value has been pushed down my throat always. I tended to think that the whole country was the same. I felt we all read the same magazines and watch the same media so we must all be affected. Do you think being heavy is more acceptable in some parts of the US? I would love to hear views from people all over the country.


  1. That woman's comment was more than just a little offensive. What a rude effin beotch to say that to your mother. I hope to hell you Mom doesn't regularly let people talk about her daugter like that and why she would feel the need to pass such a negative demeaning comment on to you is beyond me. God some people!

    I digress...

    I come from the Midwest, Illinois more specifically (live in Amsterdam now and Swansea, Wales before here). What I've found is that fashion varies so much not only country to country but also from state to state.

    The midwest is farmland (most the midwest not including bigger cities like Chicago, St. Louis, etc.). We're farming, coalmining people where I come from and we dress like farming coal mining people I guess. Of course there is always the exception to the rule and you can really stereotype the entire midwest but a leathery tanned, fake boobed, bleach blonde, stick thin person would definately stick out like a sore thumb.

    People where I come from are jeans and a t-shirt type people. Dressing up means wearing nice clean tennis shoes with your outfit. Pressures for teens is catching up to have the newest fashions, the labels etc but things tend to catch on a little bit slower in the MW.

    I'd like to point out I am still thouroughly sickened by that rude ass woman's comment to your mother. Ugh, you don't deserve that shit.

  2. I don't know that it's more acceptable...just more common. I live in Oklahoma, and there's still a bias against fat people...even though this is a "fat" state. There are still those who dress up to go to the grocery store, but pajama pants are equally common.

  3. I do think it's more acceptable in some places. I'm pretty heavy, and down here in Mississippi no one looks twice. You see a lot more big folks down here, and we like our food, and yet I still get flirted with like crazy (as I should, being fabulous). My boyfriend lives near Denver, Colorado, and people are much richer and thinner there. I worry that I'll be a pariah when I visit. I personally think people are just the size they are barring a medical condition, and we should all just live our lives as happily as we can without being obsessed with other folks' opinions.

  4. That is definitely true. I'm from Michigan and I moved to Florida for college. In Michigan being overweight is much more acceptable and in Tampa the pressure to be thin was intense. Just walking around a college campus felt like a beauty contest. I definitely was not used to how high maintenance most girls are down south. It was a bit of a shocker for me, coming from a state where people really don't worry as much about clothes, weight, hair, etc.

  5. Well, I live in So Cal. and it's pretty image conscious, too. However, most people are overweight here. They're real concerned with what they drive, who they hang out with, clothing labels, etc., heavy or not.

    I feel the pressure sometimes. I have friends that are heavy, some that are thin, others that are in between. I wanna be in that first or second group, and I'm making great progress. I won't ever have a tiny butt (which is fine with dh), but I will have a healthy body! That's a good thing about CA, too - health conscious, not just thin conscious.

  6. I absolutely do believe acceptable image differs in different regions of the US. I live in Texas near Houston. Here Like a size14 is still a small size. and Texan men are all about the boobs, you just don't have to have the skiiny body to go with them! As far as designer labels go I would say to some folks the name is important but to most ladies the goal is to look pretty. If you can do do that with stuff from Walmart or Target more power to you. Like you might compliment another lady here on a shirt she might say " Isn't this cute I got it at XY or Z for 10$!!" The importance is the you look feminine.

  7. Yes, absolutely. I'm from Wisconsin but spent 8 years in NYC. People are heavier in WI, in general, and the lifestyle is completely different. In NYC its easiest to walk everywhere, and there are lots of healthy quick food options everywhere. I honestly didn't know anyone who ate at McDonalds or other fast food joints. Of course, it really depends where you live within both places since people will stare at you if you're heavy in the upscale areas of Milwaukee every bit as much as they would in NYC. Excellent blog!

  8. Oh, oh, oh...is this a blog I can relate to!

    I was born and raised in South Florida and I've felt the "gotta be thin" pressure forever and a day. It was tough in high school, but once in college. Wow.

    (I was set up on a blind date with a guy who was more overweight than I--and BALDING--who looked at me as soon as I sat down and said, "I'm sorry. This just isn't going to work. I need someone a little bit more fit than you. I'm just not attracted to you."

    It was demoralizing and hurtful--especially considering while I wasn't initially attracted to him, I was still willing to get to know him as a person.

    He was far from the only guy to ever make a comment about my weight; I've heard women snicker and make fun while I've worked out on machines near them. It's brutal.

    I've heard women across the country as a whole tend to be a little big and I've wondered if I'd feel more comfortable, but SoFla is home and for a long time, I was okay being the square peg.

    Now, for the first time, I'm losing weight for me--for my health, for my life--not to look good and I can't help but wonder if as the pounds start coming off, I'll be less invisible. Time will tell...

    (And for the record--really, really, REALLY rude comment your mom's friend made! UGH! I hope you didn't let it get under your skin!)

  9. I've gotten a few different perspectives, having grown up in Wisconsin but living the last 12 years in the coastal South, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. I would have to say that it feels like in the Midwest, it is less important to be stick-thin, and fashions in general seem to run more towards the utilitarian. Also, it seems to me that ladies in the South keep their hair longer at a more advanced age-- something I find pleasant. (Has anyone else noticed that, or is it just me?) I know that for me, as far as my weight and general fitness go, it seems much easier to maintain in an environment where you don't fight the urge to hibernate three or four months of the year! Back home it always seemed like there was this "Winter Padding" thing I would develop to some degree, which I haven't struggled with as much in a warmer climate.

    A note about the Denver/Boulder area: Last summer I worked in Boulder for about 2 months, and it IS a place of insane levels of fitness. At first when I came out there, I felt doubly trounced because of the adjustment for altitude. All of the super-tan, muscular people freaked me out a bit, but the atmosphere really is one of JOY regarding nature and the outdoors. I was expecting to feel really self-conscious on the hiking trails and so forth, but the beauty of the landscape is so enthralling that I soon forgot myself. The urge to go a little higher so that I could see the next great view totally canceled out my feelings of being a sweaty dork.

  10. I also grew up in South Florida and know exactly what you are talking about. In high school, I had a flare-up of a genetic disease, basically making me allergic to the sun. Since then, I can't go outside very often and have to cover up from head to toe when I do. I had just started college when all of this came about (at UF) and was bombarded by infinite numbers of tanned, Stepford looking young women (my peers) when I moved. I was lucky enough to meet many people, including guys, who did not care. I still get comments about my Dita Von Teese-esque complexion from time to time, but I just brush it off. Florida is a place of superficiality and fakeness. If you let people tell you what to like, you will start believing them. I personally think fake tans and anorexia-chic are laughable trends. I did not know that looking like you have been stranded for months on a desert was hot.

  11. I just moved from Oklahoma to Texas, and both places seem to have more heavier people than Southern California, where I am originally from and lived until 2005. Also, people seem to be nicer in OK and TX to heavy people, than in SoCal. My experience, being overweight since 2001, and extremely overweight since 2004, has been that in SoCal, I was barely worthy to look at when I was gaining my weight. When I moved out here, it was more acceptable. Almost like "the norm". But that is just my experience. And that was way rude and insensitive what she said. Why do people feel the need to make those comments? I remember once last winter on a very cold day, I was helping an elderly lady that I didn't know very well with her household tasks. She asked me to check her mail (which was a bit of a walk), and I had stupidly just brought a very light jacket. She said I might get cold, but then again probably not since I am so thick. :(