“You need to eat a sammich”

This weekend those words were directed at SJ Tucker, the singer who recently had surgery.  More specifically, I heard an older woman tell her:

It’s good to see you looking so well. But dear, you need to eat a sandwich!

SJ Tucker at Faerieworlds 2008. Photo by Kightp on Flickr.

SJ Tucker at Faerieworlds 2008. Photo by Kightp.

I know this expression can be a joke.  It can also be, perhaps, an expression of concern.  But most often, it’s an expression of judgment.

  • Your body isn’t “appropriate”.
  • You aren’t taking care of yourself.
  • You don’t eat “properly”.
  • Your body is too short/small – don’t you know we’re all supposed to be one size?

SJ is petite in both senses of the word – she is short and slender.  This is not new, either.  She has not lost a lot of weight due to her illness.  SJ is, simply, SJ.  Faulting her for being “too thin” or “too short” is just as offensive as declaring that I am “too tall” or “too fat”.

At the time, I was sleep-deprived, tired from setup/cleanup, and not only felt like I would be unarmed in any debate, but that I might possibly be overreacting in my anger.  I also know that SJ is used to dealing with her fans, has had this particular “concern” expressed in the past, and can take care of herself.

So I didn’t say what I was thinking.   But I’ve continued to think about it this week…so I’m venting it here.

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