Thursday, 8 January 2009

What do teachers talk about in staff rooms?

Their weight.

Dieting. Fruit.

How much they weigh.

How much they'd like to weigh.

How they plan on losing weight.

As a 24 year old girl who fluctuates between 7.5 and 8 stone (7.9 today, they had the scales out), evidently this is not something I can really get involved in. Also, their motive for saying things like "I used to be your size once" is something I can't really work out; I can only imagine it is to instill a sense of fear into my size 8 frame...."JUST YOU WAIT TIL YOUR MY AGE, WAIF! NOT SO TONED AND TAUT NOW, EH?! BAHAHA - CHINS AHOY!"

Oh, and the men? They don't say much. Just the women. These (on the whole) normal, average sized women, young and old, prattling on with their permanent choice of conversation: weight and body size.

Blame the media, blame society, blame our love of things that are visually pleasing, blame yourself, blame others, blame food, blame packaging, blame life choices - it doesn't matter.

If, just for 10 minutes, whatever size you are, you remove yourself completely from the equasion, sit back and listen quietly to those around you (as I did today) - you will see just how bloody irrational the whole thing is.

But of course (I'll say it before someone else does) - I probably just don't understand.


pink jellybaby said...

If you're that tiny, then no, you don't qualify to talk about it... kidding. You're lucky if you're that size, although then of course you get the 'ohhhh she's SO skinny' crap. I don't think women can win either way if i'm honest!

Elaine said...

I don't think they say it to instill a sense of fear in you at all. When they say " I used to be your size once" I think it's to let you know that they really miss being that size, that they miss their youth (or pre pregnancy form), and are actually as jealous as hell.

I used to be that size once as well. BUT if I see someone looking fantastic, I tend to say "You look fucking fantastic!"

Miss Maturity said...

Oooh thank you for lifting the lid of the secret world of the teachers staff-room. I remember being in both Primary and Secondary school wondering what the hell went on in there. However, weight issues? Aw, I'm disappointed I was expecting some secret world of mystery with hidden tunnels for quick lunchtime escapism (think Hogwarts in one room.)
Oh well, next it'll be that the Tooth fairy doesn't exist cos I know they're lying about Santa (crushing childhood memories one at a time!)

Blue soup said...

I can understand what you are saying - I felt much the same way when I was 8 stone. I'm certainly not large now but I am at my heaviest and largest ever. Size 12 is not large. Size 12 is healthy and no cause for concern. But as a young woman who was a size eight all my adult years until the last year of university, and then a size ten until this past year, I find my weight and body size/shape something that I am struggling to accept. I don't talk about my weight in the way that the teachers do, but I do think of it on a daily basis. Absolutely every day. The question is, what do we do to help girls like me feel comfortable with a perfectly healthy size?

Anonymous said...

Are they having this discussion while shoving cakes in their mouths by any chance?

Best post this comment anonymously I think.

longredcape said...

Ugh I know, that irritates me. People act downright MAD at you if you're skinny. It bugs me so much I don't even want to talk about it.

Clarissa said...

How much do they weigh? You can tell us!

blueskies2day said...

Even as someone who has felt fat since I was nine years old, I can't understand this irrational fixation with body size. It should not be something women talk about all the time: the obsession in itself is as unattractive as being overweight in the first place!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

PJB - I get told how tiny I am at least a couple of times a week. I'm like yes, I know - I'm the one who has to try and find jeans that fit!

Elaine - Ah, now see, I'd much prefer being told I look fucking fantastic. That would in itself be fucking fantastic. Good ethos.

Miss Maturity - That's the thing, there's me expecting a good bit of gossip, but it's generally just like a WI meeting a lot of the time.

Blue - One thing I know is that the answer lies not with the magazines that tell us all how happy we should be with our weight. By mearly mentioning it they are drawing attention to the issue, then on the next page they'll be drawing a ring of shame around a celeb with a muffin top hanging over her jeans. It's double standards all the way.

Anon, whoever you are... ;) - Actually, to their credit, no - they have set up a fruit club where everyone puts in a pound and you buy back the fruit then buy more fruit etc. There's a big bowl of the stuff sitting on the staff room table. A good idea.

LRC - Yeah, I've been on the receiving end of some comments. People comment on your weight no matter what the size, like PJB says.

Clarissa - All I can say is there was a debate about whether the scales were wrong, as one woman weighed 5lb more than she did that morning by the afternoon. Hense why I jumped on to check if they worked. They did. Ahem.

blueskies - Exactamundo my friend. There is nothing more boring than a woman, or man, talking about their weight or body incessantly.

Huw said...

My own keen observations of women in offices reveals another subject matter:

Men are useless, I can't stand men, let's talk about every silly thing we have ever seen a man do.

swiftly followed by

Oh, I love him, he is so amazing, let's talk about how amazing we find men.

Then repeat. Or discuss weight.

Brennig said...

I know I'm male and therefore alien to discussions of this nature but... I just don't get it. They should stop living their lives through the false mirror image of the magazines they buy.

wee-h said...

I totally hear you, im a skinny mini as im only 4 foot 11 inches tall, if i was any bigger id look like a bowling ball!

Seriously, you are lucky right now, so enjoy it (and remember when im saying this that im the same weight as you right now, at 30).

However, this weight becomes harder and harder to maintain as your metabolism slows down as you get older. I don't want to be be-moaning that fact in years to come, so soup and salad it is for me!

surviving myself said...

The men didn't say anything because they knew better than to have any input whatsoever into a conversation about weight with females.

Lapa said...

Bom post!

rosiewishes. said...

I saw the title and started thinking about what was spoken about in my staff room... and I couldn't come do much other than agree with you! And yes, it's said as they stuff a cake in their mouth.

I also got the whole "Ooh but you're so skinny!" and "I bought a belt/dress/pair of jeans just like that but now I can't wear them because you look skinny in them!" I hate the word skinny!

...sorry, ranting. But I agree!

Darfuria said...

Hello there - I fucking love your header (although I'm a little irritated by the title text blocking out the awesome writing behind).

I hate the sound of people eating too. Although, the reaction you get from people when you tell them that they are eating quietly is just as annoying. I can't think of an angle of approach I haven't tried in the current situation I am in, and it always works out badly for me.

Anyway, it's late so I don't have much time to read around, but I'll certainly be checking back tomorrow.

Brennig said...

On that... I love the header too. I love the use of irony when ranting about spelling, yet there's two mis-spelled words in there. :)

Reluctant Blogger said...

As a child I always assumed they gossiped about the pupils in the staffroom.

Oh the weight thing winds me up quite often. I am fatter than I would like at the mo due to my six weeks' enforced rest when I hurt my tendon but I too am usually a size 8 or 10 and people always look at me disparagingly and say things like "I don't suppose you eat anything but lettuce leaves." or "how can you be that skinny after 4 children." I try not to get cross cos I know they are just fed up because they are fatter than they would like.

I like skinny - both for myself and in terms of who I fancy. But I am happy for others to be exactly how they choose but it would be nice if they didn't drone on about how they want to lose weight the whole time or give me a hard time because I run and don't pig out. People are all sorts of different shapes and sizes and that is fine by me but if you are fatter than you used to be it is because you do too little and eat too much.

Homer said...

I have never heard anyone talk about their weight in my staffroom. We're far too busy slagging off the head, and laughing at the kids with nits and impetigo.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Huw - Urgh, an equally boring subject of conversation. I've given up whinging about men. Not that I have any to whinge about, particularly.

Brennig - Easier said than done for most, I think. Unfortunately for my ears :(

wee-h - I shall trot around the house in my bikini whenever possible to make the most of what my mamma gave me (then lost herself)

Surviving - You are a smart, smart man.

Lapa thank you!

rosie - Ahhh, the good old guilt trip. They always make you feel bad, as if their muffin top is your fault. I hear you.

Darfuria - Thanks so much for that. Glad you like the header...had to get the old title in amongst the ranting somewhere unfortunately though ;) Noisy eaters are a difficult breed. Although I never had any problem telling the ex when he was chomping a little to loudly for my liking. A well placed TUT seemed to work.

Brennig - Ahh, see I was wondering when someone would pick up on my ironic slant there...yes...definitely premeditated that was. (PS. There's no spell check in MS Paint)

Reluctant - How refreshing to hear someone who is not only happy with their size but also does something about it when they're not. I eat like a pig at the moment and one day I won't be able to, I know that, but until then I shall enjoy eating and being active before some bone disease or other sets in and I become a lard arse.

Homer - I must admit, there is a smidge of that too. Where you been hiding, you little scamp? All well?


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