Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 07:51:04 PM

Title: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 07:51:04 PM
BG: I would never dream of using the word "little" to describe me.  The way I describe myself is "sturdy...I've got hips like a broodmare and tree trunks for legs."


We are on the fourth and final week of Basic Training.  Things really escalated today and it really bothered me.  I'll start from the beginning.

On the last day of the first week, we tried on uniforms to figure out our sizes.  I don't even remember what I said, but that was the first time.  Jessica replied, "Well, you're not built like a linebacker.  I need a 40."  It made me internally quirk my eyebrow a little but I didn't think anything of it; all I said was, "So do I."

Sometime during the second week, I needed to get by her.  I said, "Excuse me," and she stood her ground.  Jessica said, "Nope, you can't get past me."  It was obviously a game, so I didn't mind, but I did eventually get past her, smiling, and said, "Ha, I got past you!"  Her reply?  "Yeah, because you're skinny."  I said, "No, it's because I planted my hips and pivoted."  Thinking back to what she said the week before, I wondered why the pattern?

Week three, on Friday, we were working on takedowns, joint locks, and handcuffing and I was partnered with Michael, someone with whom Jessica will be working.  (Aside: People who are going to the same facilities tend to talk to one another more just because we know we'll be working with each other).  Jessica came to ask Michael a few questions, and we began to help her with some techniques we were doing.  The one thing requires wrapping your arms around the other person, from their side, and compressing their chest with your elbows.  Michael was showing her things by using me, and once she did it on me, she said, "You're too little.  I can't bring my elbows in like that, you're just too little."  That was when I decided to stop responding and stop trying to argue the opposite when she said things like that.  I went the complete silence route.

Then today happened, and I thought my eyes were going to roll out of my head.  She made four different comments about my size; I'll get to the best of them in just a moment.  The first comment was about my shoulders being little.  I looked at her confused because they are anything but.  I forgot my decision to stop responding and said, "They're just as wide as yours.  They're big, not small."  She replied, "Yeah, maybe big to an infant."

"You're not as big as you think you are."  "I'm not as small as you think I am."  I don't remember what she said that to, but I know it was when I forgot my decision to stay quiet.

There was a comment about my hands being little; when I showed her that mine were bigger than hers (again forgetting my decision), her response was, "Yeah, but you have little bones.  My bones are big."  That was when I remembered my decision to stop responding.  I stared straight ahead like I hadn't heard her.

The next comment was about my height; we are the exact same height.  I know this because it is printed on her ID badge and she had showed me previously.  "Yeah, but you're little," in response to Michael being able to prop up me.  I acted like I didn't hear it.

My favorite, though, was when it was just me and her sitting there and, out of the blue, she told me, "Some people said they didn't want to work with you because they were afraid they'd break you."

Folks, I was awarded a state award for soccer goalie in high school.  There is no "breaking" me.

Despite the exact four instances I identified, there were repeats of the same comments she had made before.  "Yeah, I'm using Magpie because she's little" and "I can't use Magpie for that one, she's too little."  At this point, I am done.  I tried getting her to stop by pretending like I didn't hear anything.  I want to say something to get her to stop, but at the same time, I think maybe I should just tell the instructors.  It's not that I don't have thick skin, it's that I'm tired of constantly being on the defensive then having to keep my mouth shut.  I frankly don't want to be anywhere near her because of it.  She searches me out then finds a way to work how small she thinks I am into the conversation.  It's getting exhausting.

Should I say something to her or just go to the instructors?
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 12, 2012, 07:57:37 PM
Is this military basic training?  I'm not sure I'd go to the instructors but big, small, identical I would think they might be taking note and would expect her to get past size issues, real or imagined.  It isn't like in an actual situation you couls request somebody of another size.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 07:59:33 PM
This is Department of Corrections Basic Training, sorry for not being clear.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 12, 2012, 08:02:33 PM
This is Department of Corrections Basic Training, sorry for not being clear.

OK, I might talk to them. I think they could still act like they believe you are smaller and address that excuse with her. If she can't  stop somebody who is smaller than her then she needs more help from her because there will be a small prisoner sooner or later.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 08:04:11 PM
This is Department of Corrections Basic Training, sorry for not being clear.

OK, I might talk to them. I think they could still act like they believe you are smaller and address that excuse with her. If she can't  stop somebody who is smaller than her then she needs more help from her because there will be a small prisoner sooner or later.

That's just it, I'm not actually smaller than she is.  We are the exact same height, except I'm skinny and she's not.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 12, 2012, 08:08:09 PM
OK.the same height but skinnier is smaller to most people.  That being said, she still needs to get past it and learn to deal with it.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Kaypeep on November 12, 2012, 08:12:14 PM
I'm not understanding why she's saying these things.  Is she complaining that your size prevents her from learning the moves?  Is she just someone who runs at the mouth and has to comment on everything all the time?  Or do you think she's trying to get you in some kind of trouble or have people think less of you because of your size?
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: JenJay on November 12, 2012, 08:12:31 PM
I wouldn't go to the instructors at this point because you haven't said anything to her. Next time look her right in the eye and say "You make a lot of comments about my body and it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop." If she argues "What? I said you were little. Most people would take that as a compliment!" just reiterate "It makes me uncomfortable." and keep saying that. I'd give it two, maybe 3 more times and then I'd go to an instructor. Hopefully it won't come to that.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: afbluebelle on November 12, 2012, 08:17:04 PM
I'm not understanding why she's saying these things.  Is she complaining that your size prevents her from learning the moves?  Is she just someone who runs at the mouth and has to comment on everything all the time?  Or do you think she's trying to get you in some kind of trouble or have people think less of you because of your size?

It sounds like a little of the last one combined with alpha chick dumbosity. Not that military is the same as what you are doing, but I've ran across some of the same behavior in my own job. She might have insecurities of her own, or be afraid of being seen as the weak member, so by belittling you, it makes her look better. I really don't think going to an instructor would help at this point... just make a comment about wiry people having better reflexes. Or give her a noogie. Noogies are awesome >:D


P.S. Don't really give her a noogie. It sometimes backfires... especially in a training environment :P
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Kaypeep on November 12, 2012, 08:23:21 PM
I'm not understanding why she's saying these things.  Is she complaining that your size prevents her from learning the moves?  Is she just someone who runs at the mouth and has to comment on everything all the time?  Or do you think she's trying to get you in some kind of trouble or have people think less of you because of your size?

It sounds like a little of the last one combined with alpha chick dumbosity. Not that military is the same as what you are doing, but I've ran across some of the same behavior in my own job. She might have insecurities of her own, or be afraid of being seen as the weak member, so by belittling you, it makes her look better. I really don't think going to an instructor would help at this point... just make a comment about wiry people having better reflexes. Or give her a noogie. Noogies are awesome >:D


P.S. Don't really give her a noogie. It sometimes backfires... especially in a training environment :P

That's what I'm thinking, but I was wondering what the OP's take on it is.  Honestly, in light of the fact that this is prison guard training, I don't think you should be going to a supervisor to complain about this.  I think you need to start developing a thicker skin and fight back, so to speak.  If she comments on your size, joke back.  "If you can't manage little old me, how will you manage the big guys?"
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 08:25:29 PM
Sharnita:  To me "smaller" is an overall thing, not just a weight thing, unless one is specifically talking about weight.  The way I see it, and the way it appears to me that Jessica is implying it, is synonymous with a slighter build.  I am of no slighter build than she, just skinnier.

Kaypeep: I think she is doing it to make herself feel better.  She is constantly belittling me (heh, no pun intended) by making me being smaller than her a negative thing.  She does it to uplift herself.  Michael has absolutely no problems doing the moves on me and he is larger than she is.  Instead of saying, "I prefer doing that move with Michael," she says, "You're too little," and it becomes a focus on my "size" rather than that she prefers using Michael.  A constant focus on my "size", to me, signals jealousy.

I have thick skin, believe you me; years of being called a he-she will do that to you.  I couldn't care less what she actually thinks of me, but going to work everyday to hear how she somehow thinks her "size" makes her better than me is tiring.  I shouldn't have to put up with that.  I expect it from the offenders (and much, much, much worse), but I don't have to take it from a coworker.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: MrTango on November 12, 2012, 08:28:25 PM
My impression is that the woman sounds insecure in herself, so she has chosen to call the OP (who is roughly the same size) "small" as a way of coping with her own insecurity.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 12, 2012, 08:36:55 PM
OP, if we share a house and your room is 12 x 12 and my room is 12 x 10, my room is smaller, right.  They might be the same lenght but one is basically a bit skinnier.  It isn't a character flaw or anything, despite the fact that she talks like it is.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 08:40:19 PM
OP, if we share a house and your room is 12 x 12 and my room is 12 x 10, my room is smaller, right.  They might be the same lenght but one is basically a bit skinnier.  It isn't a character flaw or anything, despite the fact that she talks like it is.

I know it's not a character flaw, despite her acting like it is, I just think you and I define it a little bit differently.  I am smaller only in one aspect, not all aspects, but she is focusing on all aspects, I think, to keep me from realizing it is about my weight.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: WillyNilly on November 12, 2012, 08:41:25 PM
I wouldn't go to the instructors at this point because you haven't said anything to her. Next time look her right in the eye and say "You make a lot of comments about my body and it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop." If she argues "What? I said you were little. Most people would take that as a compliment!" just reiterate "It makes me uncomfortable." and keep saying that. I'd give it two, maybe 3 more times and then I'd go to an instructor. Hopefully it won't come to that.

I agree with this.  You aren't going to change her mind on your size, but you might be able to change her behavior.  So don't address the opinion she's expressing just that she's expressing it.  I would be a bit more... baiting?  Aggressive?  I'm not sure the word but I'd publicly call her out "why are you so obsessed with my body?" "you make a lot of comments about my body, its very uncomfortable." "please stop checking out my body and commenting on it." It won't change her mind but it will probably embarrass her enough to stop making comments to you, or behind your back.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 12, 2012, 08:43:21 PM
I wouldn't go to the instructors at this point because you haven't said anything to her. Next time look her right in the eye and say "You make a lot of comments about my body and it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop." If she argues "What? I said you were little. Most people would take that as a compliment!" just reiterate "It makes me uncomfortable." and keep saying that. I'd give it two, maybe 3 more times and then I'd go to an instructor. Hopefully it won't come to that.

I agree with this.  You aren't going to change her mind on your size, but you might be able to change her behavior.  So don't address the opinion she's expressing just that she's expressing it.  I would be a bit more... baiting?  Aggressive?  I'm not sure the word but I'd publicly call her out "why are you so obsessed with my body?" "you make a lot of comments about my body, its very uncomfortable." "please stop checking out my body and commenting on it." It won't change her mind but it will probably embarrass her enough to stop making comments to you, or behind your back.

I thought about that, but I wasn't sure exactly how to execute it.  Perhaps, "Why do you keep making comments about my body?"  If she says, "Because you're little," I would say, "So you've said, numerous times, so why?"
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 12, 2012, 08:48:44 PM
I might even mention that if the "little" inmates figure out her weakness she is dead meat.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Yvaine on November 12, 2012, 08:48:55 PM
OP, if we share a house and your room is 12 x 12 and my room is 12 x 10, my room is smaller, right.  They might be the same lenght but one is basically a bit skinnier.  It isn't a character flaw or anything, despite the fact that she talks like it is.

I know it's not a character flaw, despite her acting like it is, I just think you and I define it a little bit differently.  I am smaller only in one aspect, not all aspects, but she is focusing on all aspects, I think, to keep me from realizing it is about my weight.

See, when I read the post, it really does seem to be about all aspects. Whether it's because she has funhouse mirrors in her brain and genuinely perceives you as short and small-boned compared to her, or whether she just latches onto some random thing to tease people about, it doesn't seem to be primarily about weight. I don't know what her deal is.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: JenJay on November 12, 2012, 08:49:18 PM
I wouldn't go to the instructors at this point because you haven't said anything to her. Next time look her right in the eye and say "You make a lot of comments about my body and it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop." If she argues "What? I said you were little. Most people would take that as a compliment!" just reiterate "It makes me uncomfortable." and keep saying that. I'd give it two, maybe 3 more times and then I'd go to an instructor. Hopefully it won't come to that.

I agree with this.  You aren't going to change her mind on your size, but you might be able to change her behavior.  So don't address the opinion she's expressing just that she's expressing it.  I would be a bit more... baiting?  Aggressive?  I'm not sure the word but I'd publicly call her out "why are you so obsessed with my body?" "you make a lot of comments about my body, its very uncomfortable." "please stop checking out my body and commenting on it." It won't change her mind but it will probably embarrass her enough to stop making comments to you, or behind your back.

I thought about that, but I wasn't sure exactly how to execute it.  Perhaps, "Why do you keep making comments about my body?"  If she says, "Because you're little," I would say, "So you've said, numerous times, so why?"

If you want to have a discussion about your body and/or her issues with it that'd be the way to go. If you just want her to stop I stand by my original advice.  ;)
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: JenJay on November 12, 2012, 08:49:51 PM
I might even mention that if the "little" inmates figure out her weakness she is dead meat.

That, too!
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: ccnumber4 on November 12, 2012, 08:52:48 PM
Did you say you will not be going to work at the same facility that she is?  If so, I would just get through this training and be done with her.  I would not complain about something like this to the instructors at a Department of Corrections Basic Training.  That is likely to backfire and give you a reputation that may follow you. 

I know people who do this.  My best friend likes to refer often to the fact that she is "barely 100 pounds!"  And I've had people say roughly the same types of things to me that you are experiencing.  Makes no difference to me, I'm secure in who I am.  I say ignore it. 
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: SamiHami on November 12, 2012, 09:57:56 PM
It may not be exactly ehell correct, but after her next comment I would suggest rolling your eyes and saying something along the lines of, "Your constant comments about my size are really becoming creepy. If you have a crush on me, I'm not interested. If you are jealous of me, go on a diet. Whatever it is, just get over it already." After that, I would not speak to her unless absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Shopaholic on November 12, 2012, 11:03:29 PM
I thought of a few responses, not sure all of them are EHell approved:

1. "Yes, I am. Now let's get back to training."
2. "So you've said. I am thinner than you, we have established that fact. That's the way Deity made me/genetics works. Now can you let it go?"
3. "Oh, honey, you've got it backwards - it's not me that's little, it's you that's big!"

I do think you should stop arguing with her, it's getting you nowhere. I don't think there's something to go to the instructors about either.
She has some insecurities, that's for sure. Don't get sucked into her vortex.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: LA lady on November 13, 2012, 06:42:26 AM
MM, I think  you are giving her remarks far more attention than they deserves.  The first thing you should do is stop counter-arguing with her.  Dismiss her remarks for the silliness they are, when it fits, and tell her to stop commenting on your body.  Tell her this in the moment, in front of the same people she makes her comments in front of.  She will only be embarrassed if she chooses to embarrass herself by making her remarks in front of other people.

Sometime during the second week, I needed to get by her.  I said, "Excuse me," and she stood her ground.  Jessica said, "Nope, you can't get past me."  It was obviously a game, so I didn't mind, but I did eventually get past her, smiling, and said, "Ha, I got past you!"  Her reply?  "Yeah, because you're skinny."

MM:  "You say that like it's a bad thing." 

Quote
Michael was showing her things by using me, and once she did it on me, she said, "You're too little.  I can't bring my elbows in like that, you're just too little."
 

MM:  "Better work on that, then.  You won't get to choose the size of the offenders you have to deal with."

Quote
She searches me out then finds a way to work how small she thinks I am into the conversation.  It's getting exhausting.

"Co-worker, you make a lot of comments about my body.  Please stop."
 
After that, you can upgrade to "Co-worker, you keep making comments about my body.  It is rude, unnecessary, and inappropriate to the workplace.  Don't do it again."

I recommend that you avoid the phrase, "It makes me uncomfortable," as that is exactly what she intends to do, and you will just be feeding her behavior.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: BarensMom on November 13, 2012, 07:25:55 AM
Sounds like you might need to use the magic phrases:  Hostile Work Environment or Workplace Harassment.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: petal on November 13, 2012, 08:05:02 AM
at this stage of the game i think id be saying straight out to Jessica  "cut it out, i dont want to hear anymore comments about my weight or build"

i know you say you'll be able to deal with comments from prisoners but workmates are different. as i see it,  prisoners will make a lot worse comments about your weight (and many many other things. 
they will be tougher to deal with so if youre having difficulties with colleagues  then maybe some assertiveness training is the way to go?
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Oh Joy on November 13, 2012, 08:13:20 AM
I spent many years in an enforement environment, so I preface this response with the disclaimer that what is considered polite and appropriate here may not be considered polite and appropriate elsewhere.

Would your dynamics and culture support a pocket phrase such as, 'It's not going to change - get over it,' delivered directly but lightly and with a bit of a smile?  It sounds confrontational, but it would not be considered so in places I've trained when working with people from one's own department or class.

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: WillyNilly on November 13, 2012, 08:28:19 AM
I wouldn't go to the instructors at this point because you haven't said anything to her. Next time look her right in the eye and say "You make a lot of comments about my body and it makes me uncomfortable. Please stop." If she argues "What? I said you were little. Most people would take that as a compliment!" just reiterate "It makes me uncomfortable." and keep saying that. I'd give it two, maybe 3 more times and then I'd go to an instructor. Hopefully it won't come to that.

I agree with this.  You aren't going to change her mind on your size, but you might be able to change her behavior.  So don't address the opinion she's expressing just that she's expressing it.  I would be a bit more... baiting?  Aggressive?  I'm not sure the word but I'd publicly call her out "why are you so obsessed with my body?" "you make a lot of comments about my body, its very uncomfortable." "please stop checking out my body and commenting on it." It won't change her mind but it will probably embarrass her enough to stop making comments to you, or behind your back.

I thought about that, but I wasn't sure exactly how to execute it.  Perhaps, "Why do you keep making comments about my body?"  If she says, "Because you're little," I would say, "So you've said, numerous times, so why?"

If you want to have a discussion about your body and/or her issues with it that'd be the way to go. If you just want her to stop I stand by my original advice.  ;)

Again I agree with JenJay.  Asking "why?" is you trying to continue the conversation, to get her to talk to you about your body and why she's focused on your body and why she's thinking about your body and why your body affects her.  If you want to her to stop talking about your body shut her comments down, don't ask her to flesh them out (no pun intended).  I know I suggested one "why" comment, but I must admit in my mind I was thinking you'd say it with a rhetorical tone.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 13, 2012, 08:34:19 AM
I think you need to just ask her to stop. Don't engage, just ask her to stop.

But I would also really consider it in terms of the environment you will be working at. I know it's different when something like this is coming from a co-worker, and definitely not acceptable,  but I would imagine you will hear a lot worse from the inmates when you actually do start working in a prison.

You may need to look into how you are going to cope with comments and language they may use. I would imagine that a workplace doesn't come much more hostile than that, although I have no personal experience.

Good luck getting her to stop. At least you know you won't have to work with her in the long run.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 13, 2012, 10:05:11 AM
I wouldn't go to the instructors.  She sounds very insecure about her body image.  I've met people who just have such negative body images, they perceive everyone being smaller than them even if they are of the relatively same size. 

Honestly, since your in the last week and don't expect to be working with her in the future, I'd use this week as an opportunity for me to improve my skills in ignoring taunting.  But if you want to address it, this is an easy fix to get her to shut up. 

After your training is over, catch up to her and say "Co-trainer, I really thought over the weekend all of the comments you made about you being so much bigger than me.  It sounds like you might have a poor body image and I'd be glad to be that sounding board if you want to talk about it."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: audrey1962 on November 13, 2012, 10:08:09 AM
She's insecure. Ignore her. Do not feed the drama llama.

My dad had a saying, "don't tell people you can do [whatever]. Show them."

Don't tell her that you can keep up with her or are the same size or whatever. Show her by being better at your training than she is. Show everybody. People will figure out that she's insecure and that you know what you're doing.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: TurtleDove on November 13, 2012, 10:12:14 AM
She's insecure. Ignore her. Do not feed the drama llama.

My dad had a saying, "don't tell people you can do [whatever]. Show them."

Don't tell her that you can keep up with her or are the same size or whatever. Show her by being better at your training than she is. Show everybody. People will figure out that she's insecure and that you know what you're doing.

Agreed.  To "tattle" or engage with her makes YOU seem insecure, which I don't think is what you want to accomplish.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: MrsJWine on November 13, 2012, 10:15:23 AM
My reaction to her would be about the same as it was to someone who told me she likes to lick the siding on her house. It's such a very weird thing to comment on that I'd say, "Um. Okay," in a very blank tone of voice. I get that she's doing it over and over again, and I fully understand how even mildly weird comments can make for an oppressive workplace if they're repeated over and over again. But she hasn't repeated them in a vacuum. It might be hard at this stage, but try to detach yourself from the annoyance. Pretend she's saying something else (like, "Schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries.").
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: CakeBeret on November 13, 2012, 10:23:02 AM
I would tell her, "You seem awfully obsessed with my body and it's creeping me out. Stop." And then gloss over any future comments as if they didn't happen.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: HonorH on November 13, 2012, 12:57:15 PM
Personally, I'd tell her, "Your comments about my size are getting old. If you can't get past your ideas about people smaller than you, one of these days, you're going to end up on your backside, and it'll be some mean, scrawny little inmate who put you there. You're not going to be able to choose only to deal with the big bruisers, after all. Stop obsessing about my size and learn to deal."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 13, 2012, 02:45:03 PM
This?

The next time she says anything at all, just stop what you're doing and stare at her for a good 5 seconds.  Then very calmly state, "Mary, that's the Nth time that you've made a comment about my weight or build this week.  You REALLY need a new topic of conversation, because that topic is way past its expiration date.  Plus, it's actually none of your concern.  You just have to learn to deal, because inmates come in all different shapes and sizes too."

Or I like the comments about her being creepy too.

Or maybe, "That's the Nth comment like that that you've made today.  Maybe you should spend more time learning the moves and less time commenting on what you feel is wrong with my body."

I just say to point out the number of comments in a day/week b/c otherwise she could counter that you're being too sensitive.  But pointing out four comments in a day or two about someone's build or weight?  No, that's not being sensitive, that's responding to inappropriateness and creepiness.  So it bodes better for you, especially if you have a bit of an audience.

It almost seems like she's going for a reaction by trying to make you defensive or mad.  Give her one, but make HER look silly. 
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: AbbyW on November 13, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
I would focus on the comments that are training related and ignore the rest.  I'm not sure how she thinks she can accomplish her job if she is unable to practice holds on everyone.  She won't be able to choose her job assignments based upon their size.  If she can't figure out how to do holds on all body types properly, then she can hurt herself and someone else.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Minmom3 on November 13, 2012, 03:34:32 PM
"JESSica, you have issues.  You need to work on them!"  And then every time she makes a size comment to you, you respond "Told you, issues!".
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Kaypeep on November 13, 2012, 07:00:22 PM
I'd head her off at the pass.  If you're partnered with her for anything, before you start the exercise say to her "And don't go using the "Oh, but Mental Magpie is too skinny!!!" excuse for why you can't do it.  Build a bridge and get over it."

if she comes over to socialize with you, say "I'm glad you want to chat.  But I have to warn you now that if you bring up any mention of how skinny I am, you're going to have to give me $5 for each comment."  Or, "I'd love your company, but not if you're going to comment on me being skinny.  So it's up to you if you want to sit and join me."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: bloo on November 13, 2012, 07:21:06 PM
MM, I think  you are giving her remarks far more attention than they deserves.  The first thing you should do is stop counter-arguing with her.  Dismiss her remarks for the silliness they are, when it fits, and tell her to stop commenting on your body.  Tell her this in the moment, in front of the same people she makes her comments in front of.  She will only be embarrassed if she chooses to embarrass herself by making her remarks in front of other people.

Sometime during the second week, I needed to get by her.  I said, "Excuse me," and she stood her ground.  Jessica said, "Nope, you can't get past me."  It was obviously a game, so I didn't mind, but I did eventually get past her, smiling, and said, "Ha, I got past you!"  Her reply?  "Yeah, because you're skinny."

MM:  "You say that like it's a bad thing." 

Quote
Michael was showing her things by using me, and once she did it on me, she said, "You're too little.  I can't bring my elbows in like that, you're just too little."
 

MM:  "Better work on that, then.  You won't get to choose the size of the offenders you have to deal with."

Quote
She searches me out then finds a way to work how small she thinks I am into the conversation.  It's getting exhausting.

"Co-worker, you make a lot of comments about my body.  Please stop."
 
After that, you can upgrade to "Co-worker, you keep making comments about my body.  It is rude, unnecessary, and inappropriate to the workplace.  Don't do it again."

I recommend that you avoid the phrase, "It makes me uncomfortable," as that is exactly what she intends to do, and you will just be feeding her behavior.

This. The bolded especially. The bolded was what I was going to post but LA Lady did it already. Do not tell her she's making you 'uncomfortable' and I don't think you should admit to her she's 'creeping you out'. That's what she wants and you'll be admitting it's working.

Very firmly and authoritatively tell her to 'stop' and use words like 'inappropriate'.

Use as few words as possible and give no reasons or explanations. Make direct eye contact.

Not only will she be dealing with smaller inmates but you will be dealing with way more obnoxious ones.

However you choose to deal with her, I hope it works out! I'd love to know how she is by the end of training (hint for update!). 8)
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Julian on November 13, 2012, 10:30:41 PM
EvilJulian is sorely tempted to count off her remarks - loudly.

Jessica:  'MM is skinny!'
MM: 'One!'

Jessica: 'MM is tiny!'
MM: 'Two!'

and so on.  When she asks, just tell her you're keeping score.  At x you win a prize / bet.

(There is a reason EvilJ doesn't get out much...)
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Iris on November 14, 2012, 12:07:39 AM
If you are not going to be working with her I would advise using this as a personal training opportunities. Disclaimer: I have never worked in corrections, this is based on shutting down inappropriate comments from teenagers. At some stage in your professional career - I'm guessing sooner rather than later - you are going to get inappropriate comments from inmates. If you show even a *hint* of JADEing or that it bothers you even slightly it will never end. So this could be a golden opportunity to practice your deadpan face. You could also - depending on the culture where you will be working - practice your emotionless "That's not appropriate. Don't say it again." The trick is to say it like a statement of absolute fact. An alternate approach is to use the deadpan face, fix them with a hard stare and just say "hmm."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Redsoil on November 14, 2012, 01:10:30 AM
Some years ago, I got similar comments from big, boofy blokes; because I rode a Kawasaki Z1000R - not exactly a "small" bike for the times.  My standard reply to "How on earth does a little girl like you manage a big bike like that?" was "Sweetie, it's not the size that counts, it's the skill."  For the record, I didn't consider myself "small" at 5'6", though I was slender.  It's true they were quite a bit bigger than me, though.  It's as much about attitude and ability as anything, in my book.

Don't give her the upper hand.  Simply give back comments that emphasise your ability, your prowess, your sporting skill, your strength (as opposed to sheer mass, which she seems to think "wins").  Anyone observing will form their own opinions of her insecurities, and applaud your ability to remain calm under provocation.  Wit beats cattiness anyday!
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 14, 2012, 03:16:53 AM
Her: "Blah blah blah you're so small!"

You: "Hey, enough with the size comments already!  You keep bringing it up, but it doesn't matter how big you think your opponent is.  You've got to be able to do this move on anybody.  Ready to try it again?"
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Phoebelion on November 14, 2012, 05:05:49 AM
I haven't read the whole thread.  I would go with the why are you checking out my body?

But I'd also speak with the instructor/s to see if any of your other class mates have spoken to them with concerns of your "smallness".  I can't think they haven't heard her harassing you.  If asked, I'd tell them exactly what was happening.

I'm "little".  At least compared to everyone in my daily life and family.  They call me the runt or the milkman's kid. 

I'd also point out that being "little" is a distinct advantage at times.  You or parts of your body can get into places where other people's can't.

DH loves my little hands to get into a car engine and put on bolts where his "big manly man" hands can't get.

Enjoy your "smallness" - even if it's on someone else planet. 

Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Really? on November 14, 2012, 12:32:54 PM
Hi MM,

You've gotten some good advise and hopefully some of it will work.

I say address is head on as she's actually harrassing you. (Not giving any legal advise). I've been through something similar and didn't recognize it as harrassament until after the fact. Something like "So you've said, you know these are inappropriate comments and could be ensued as harrassement has worked for me in the past". I don't know the situation but I can see where its might make her mad if you say this but whatever. I;ll be a learning experience for you to deal with people who will try to do this to you.

I believe people are correct she's got some issues, and I really like the suggestion of pointing out to  her that if "small" is a problem for her, she's not going to be effective in dealing with her job.

Me me me
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: mharbourgirl on November 14, 2012, 02:05:33 PM
I'd just like to comment on those who said some variation of 'Well, if you can't take HER comments about your body how are you going to handle the nasty things offenders will say to you?'.

The two things are actually worlds apart in nature.  Offenders can say what they want, a corrections officer can just let it bounce off because they don't have an emotional stake in whether the offender likes them or not.  A co-worker, on the other hand, and especially in this kind of environment, has to be someone you get on with and can TRUST to have your back in a tense situation. And that means not dishing out the same kind of unpleasantness coming from the offender.  This co-worker is dangerously insecure in her self-image and I wouldn't want to work a shift with her knowing full well that at any random comment from an inmate she might just join the inmate in trashing me publicly if she was in the mood to do so.  Not a healthy work situation for anyone.

Oh, and co-worker isn't an alpha.  She's an alpha-wanna-be.  She's behaving in ways she thinks alphas behave and expecting that will give her automatic dominance over a female she feels threatened by.  If she were a natural alpha she wouldn't behave that way. 
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Sharnita on November 14, 2012, 02:16:33 PM
I think you misunderstoof - we were saying that if tje COWORKER claims she can't handle/ stop OP because of her "small" size then the voworker is in trouble because the job requires her to deal with inmates of various sizes, incuding smsll/skinny ones.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Fleur on November 14, 2012, 02:20:08 PM
I think you misunderstoof - we were saying that if tje COWORKER claims she can't handle/ stop OP because of her "small" size then the voworker is in trouble because the job requires her to deal with inmates of various sizes, incuding smsll/skinny ones.

No, mharbourgirl is correct: there were one or two posts essentially saying that Mental Magpie had to deal because of the job she is training to do. I POD mharbourgirl's entire post.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: peach2play on November 14, 2012, 02:28:17 PM
"Please do not take your insecurities out on me."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Iris on November 14, 2012, 03:15:19 PM
I think you misunderstoof - we were saying that if tje COWORKER claims she can't handle/ stop OP because of her "small" size then the voworker is in trouble because the job requires her to deal with inmates of various sizes, incuding smsll/skinny ones.

No, mharbourgirl is correct: there were one or two posts essentially saying that Mental Magpie had to deal because of the job she is training to do. I POD mharbourgirl's entire post.

I think I may have posted one of the posts to which you were referring, but I think you misread my post, and the situation. MentalMagpie will NOT be working with this woman, it says so in the OP. MM only has to put up with her during basic training. To me, that puts her (the skinny-shamer, that is) insulting behaviour on a level with that of the inmates - yes, she definitely has insecurities but MM can, if she chooses, just let them slide off because after the next few weeks it's not her problem anymore.

I certainly didn't mean "Well, if you can't take HER comments about your body how are you going to handle the nasty things offenders will say to you?" as mharbourgirl has suggested, and I think that is certainly a harsh reading of the posts like mine. I simply meant "Hey, you're in training, this is another aspect of your job, why not use it as an opportunity to practice that?" Naturally it's up to MM, but personally I wouldn't bother with supervisors etc for someone that I only have to deal with for another few weeks. That's just how I operate. YMMV.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Mental Magpie on November 14, 2012, 06:47:29 PM
I think you misunderstoof - we were saying that if tje COWORKER claims she can't handle/ stop OP because of her "small" size then the voworker is in trouble because the job requires her to deal with inmates of various sizes, incuding smsll/skinny ones.

No, mharbourgirl is correct: there were one or two posts essentially saying that Mental Magpie had to deal because of the job she is training to do. I POD mharbourgirl's entire post.

I think I may have posted one of the posts to which you were referring, but I think you misread my post, and the situation. MentalMagpie will NOT be working with this woman, it says so in the OP. MM only has to put up with her during basic training. To me, that puts her (the skinny-shamer, that is) insulting behaviour on a level with that of the inmates - yes, she definitely has insecurities but MM can, if she chooses, just let them slide off because after the next few weeks it's not her problem anymore.

I certainly didn't mean "Well, if you can't take HER comments about your body how are you going to handle the nasty things offenders will say to you?" as mharbourgirl has suggested, and I think that is certainly a harsh reading of the posts like mine. I simply meant "Hey, you're in training, this is another aspect of your job, why not use it as an opportunity to practice that?" Naturally it's up to MM, but personally I wouldn't bother with supervisors etc for someone that I only have to deal with for another few weeks. That's just how I operate. YMMV.

FWIW, I read a few just as mharbourgirl did.  I have been trying to figure out how to articulate my feelings, but she did it pretty well for me.  I also have strict rules to follow when the inmates say something inappropriate; I do not have those guidelines for a coworker and think they are not fully applicable to a coworker.

I have not been near her the past two days, but will be near her tomorrow during firearms training.  I'm just waiting for her to say something about the shotgun being too big for me and that she's surprised it didn't knock me over...at least I have a set phrase to respond.

"Your numerous comments about my body are inappropriate and they need to stop."
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Fleur on November 15, 2012, 04:14:16 AM
I think you misunderstoof - we were saying that if tje COWORKER claims she can't handle/ stop OP because of her "small" size then the voworker is in trouble because the job requires her to deal with inmates of various sizes, incuding smsll/skinny ones.

No, mharbourgirl is correct: there were one or two posts essentially saying that Mental Magpie had to deal because of the job she is training to do. I POD mharbourgirl's entire post.

I think I may have posted one of the posts to which you were referring, but I think you misread my post, and the situation. MentalMagpie will NOT be working with this woman, it says so in the OP. MM only has to put up with her during basic training. To me, that puts her (the skinny-shamer, that is) insulting behaviour on a level with that of the inmates - yes, she definitely has insecurities but MM can, if she chooses, just let them slide off because after the next few weeks it's not her problem anymore.

I certainly didn't mean "Well, if you can't take HER comments about your body how are you going to handle the nasty things offenders will say to you?" as mharbourgirl has suggested, and I think that is certainly a harsh reading of the posts like mine. I simply meant "Hey, you're in training, this is another aspect of your job, why not use it as an opportunity to practice that?" Naturally it's up to MM, but personally I wouldn't bother with supervisors etc for someone that I only have to deal with for another few weeks. That's just how I operate. YMMV.

FWIW, I read a few just as mharbourgirl did.  I have been trying to figure out how to articulate my feelings, but she did it pretty well for me. I also have strict rules to follow when the inmates say something inappropriate; I do not have those guidelines for a coworker and think they are not fully applicable to a coworker.
I have not been near her the past two days, but will be near her tomorrow during firearms training.  I'm just waiting for her to say something about the shotgun being too big for me and that she's surprised it didn't knock me over...at least I have a set phrase to respond.

"Your numerous comments about my body are inappropriate and they need to stop."

To the bolded: exactly! I think that the two situations are completely seperate. I also like your wording. It is economical, cold, and to the point.
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: wyliefool on November 16, 2012, 11:37:18 AM
There's also the tried and true "Oh knock it off already, willya!" Complete w/  ::) and  >:(
Title: Re: Skinny Shaming (long)
Post by: Alpacas on November 16, 2012, 12:20:24 PM
"Please do not take your insecurities out on me."

Definetly like that one.

MM could also remind Jessica that her problem with MM's size is just that. Its Jessicas problem and she needs to  overcoming it as the other colleagues had no problem with MM during the physical training.
I would probably remind her to practice more if she has problems with skinnier opponents, as Michael/colleague had no problem dealing with MM.