Larger women also take up space in a way that doesn’t fit in with the historical notions around women being docile helpers who are supposed to melt into the background while also being decorative and pleasing to look at. I’m a very tall woman (6') and I experienced this from age 11 until well into my 20's, even though I was often asked if I were a model. It wasn’t enough to be thin or conventionally attractive; I was literally taking up too much space and that made a lot of men uncomfortable (men were the only ones who ever bullied me). Women bully other larger women as well, but so much of this is just ingrained patriarchal thinking.

As a middle-aged woman, I am really done with caring what other people, particularly men, think about my appearance or behavior, but I still can’t abide bullies. I wrote this the other day to express just that. People need to get a life!

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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