The other night I got asked, yet again, if "that" was a baby bump. I replied, yet again, that it wasn't, and conversation moved on to other things. As per usual, I tried to make the other person feel better about their social faux pas.
What i really wanted to do was vent about how crappy it feels when somebody asks you if you're pregnant when you're not. For me, it makes me feel fat, it puts my body on display in ways that never happens for men, plus it reminds me that I'm not pregnant. Since it seems to happen on a scarily regular basis, it's no longer something I can just laugh off.
As I reigned in the strong negative feelings, I began to consider how I should respond next time. The thing is, I do have a larger than average belly. (Apparently I have a 4 months along kindof look, which is probably why people feel safe saying something). And it's not just to do with my size. About fifteen years ago, when i was a size 8, an elderly lady stood up for me on a train, insisting that i was "in the family way". She remained upright, refusing to accept my views on the matter, so in the end I accepted the seat. It seemed the easiest way to avoid further embarassment.
But, anyway, I realise there are two ways I can respond in future. The first is to take the approach of some plus size models who embrace their curves. They talk of body acceptance, of finding clothes that are flattering to fuller figures, and of walking through life with confidence.This is definitely a good approach, and one I would do well to take on board. I'm sure some of these plus size models would have a great one-liner response too.
But there is a small part of me that worries that simply embracing my "condition" is the easy way out. If I am slightly overweight, wouldn't it be better to lose the weight and be healthier? So, this year I am not going on a diet per se. I will continue to seek out dresses that I enjoy wearing and that suit my figure. But I will also try to resist those chocolates and cakes, and be more disciplined in my exercise. And, I will come up with a great response for next time - something that's funny and shows respect for myself, without being too harsh to the other person. Any ideas?