MIXED RACE FEMINIST: Hi, do you have any more lemon and poppy seed muffins?
STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: No, I’m sorry, they ran out earlier.
MIXED RACE FEMINIST: Oh, okay, never mind.
STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: The blueberry muffin is also very good, you could try that one…
MIXED RACE FEMINIST: (I can choose my own food, thanks…)
STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: …and it’s skinny as well.
MIXED RACE FEMINIST: Sorry?
STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: The blueberry muffin is skinny too.
MIXED RACE FEMINIST: [appalled] Er… thank you?!
THE BOYFRIEND: [thoroughly amused] He’s calling you fat!
STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE: No, I didn’t mean that! It’s just, that’s why you wanted the lemon muffin, right? Because it’s skinny?
BECAUSE DIETING IS MY MISSION IN LIFE. See also: my preference for Diet Coke, only worse because there is no non-skinny option for the Starbucks lemon and poppy seed muffins (of which I happen to love the FLAVOUR) so I don’t even get to choose to subject myself to a stranger’s assessment of my contentment with my body and eating habits! I have actually ordered Diet Coke before and been told kindly, “Oh, you don’t need to diet!” I happen to agree with this assessment from the angle of “Yes, because very few people actually NEED to diet!”, but will make filthy eyes and a biting response anyway because I cannot describe just how much I despise strangers commenting on my appearance, positively or negatively. (See also: “You’re dead pretty! If only you lost some weight…”)
For what it’s worth, Mr “I’m Entitled To Comment On Your Food Choices” Starbucks Employee, I love my body the 90% of the time I can block out the world telling me I shouldn’t, and the other 10% of the time I can usually find somebody else who loves my body to (problematically but effectively) bolster my self-confidence. ALSO, I went into your store for those damn muffins and didn’t fancy anything else, so you’d better not think you put me off a potential purchase by getting me all worried about my weight, because I will eat a lemon and poppy seed muffin every day of my life if I choose because I LOVE FOOD and will enjoy as much of it as I damn well please, ’skinny’ or not!
And for anyone who thinks I’m getting up in arms over a harmless comment, let me ask you this: If a man of my size had requested a skinny muffin that was not available would the employee have taken the liberty of pointing out an equally skinny option? No. Because women, even women of a socially acceptable size, are not just expected to be on a diet; they are expected to want to diet. And I can’t think of many more harmful messages to give women OR men than that.