June 19th, 2013
Around 3:30 p.m.
A woman came in the store today, rushing in through the racks and crowd and said: “I need something to cover my disgusting, fat body!” She was standing behind me, so I hadn’t seen her yet, instead I first closed my eyes and told my mind to repel the hurt and pain that was being slowly passed onto me. I turned and looked at her. She was wearing baggy sweater and pants of greyish colours, her hair was in a ponytail, grey hairs all over the place, and her eyes defeated and alone shining sings of long-forgotten “help” and “recognition”. She looked like she was hiding.
“Why don’t we relax a little bit and have some fun?” I tell her as I direct her towards our maxi dresses, one specifically, which is turquoise with a lace, split back and falls smoothly all the way to the floor.
“That’s too fancy for me, I hate my legs, my arms, my stomach…” so on and so on. I could barely hear her anymore, an immense feeling of sadness was creeping over me. I thought to myself of the pain, rejection, and loneliness that woman must be going through. I have difficulty dealing with people who victimize themselves or are unable to hear anything else but their own harming thoughts, they drain me, they tire me and they must scare me because I was walking past her fast in all desire to ignore the situation.
She finally found a dress, something inadequate for her figure, something that would hide her body and not accentuate its curves and beauty. Along the sad and empty conversations comments such as “I don’t like when they yell at me”, “I used to be a ballerina”, “my husband would kill me if he knew I bought this dress, oh he will be so mad” came out. This woman was calling out for help, nothing in her was left standing in self-dignity and strength, instead she shared with me images and words of hatred, sadness and humiliation over and over again, she shared with all who would hear. I called her beautiful, I told her to have fun, to enjoy herself, to accept her body, I even told her she needed a new self-esteem… she could not hear me, she was gone, she felt empty.
I watched her go with the silly dress in her hand, and I felt an immense need to yell. To scream to the world of the injustices and unnecessary punishment of people! I felt the need to demand change by screaming and running like a monkey, by hanging from a tree, by beating my chest with my fists. The truth is: I felt that I let her down today.