Stare only at my biceps and wide back and tell me I have nothing to add to this meeting.
Judge the protein shakes at my desk, and label me a freak as I order healthy items off a menu.
Call me a meathead and a moron and misunderstand my interests and intent.
But be sure to say goodnight when you clock out for the day and I’m still working on me, my family, my job, and becoming better.
Look at me.
You see the fat hanging over my pants, my oversized clothing, and the sweat pouring from my body.
You watch me eat, stare at my body, and whisper things in your friend’s ear that I probably don’t want to hear.
Call me lazy and unhealthy. Tell me I’m disgusting to my face.
But make sure you’re at the gym with me at 5 am every morning to see me working twice as hard as everyone else. Watch me in my environment with people who don’t judge, so you can see my weight doesn’t prevent me from bringing joy and happiness to this world.
Look at me.
You say you can’t see me because I’m too thin. That I have no “meat on my bones.”
You call me sickly and gross and suggest I stop starving myself.
You bump me in passing, but ignore me when we’re alone.
But make sure you actually eat with me and see that I’m staying nourished and doing what I can. Stand with me as I learn to love my body for what it is, and not what’s beyond my control.
Go ahead, look at me.
Take your time and don’t just use your eyes.
I’m not hiding and not embarrassed of who I am.
But before you turn away, make sure you take note of everything you can’t see.
That’s me. The real me. I’m not defined by size, shape, or body type.
You look at my appearance, but you don’t see who I am. What you’re missing is real life, real people, and a chance to improve this world.
And if your vision is too blind to see that reality, make sure you take one more look: this time at yourself.