Why is it that I am delighted when a butterfly lands on me, yet, I swat violently when a moth so much as dares to enter my atmosphere? I came to the conclusion that it's because butterflies are prettier. Beautiful things get a pass in this world. If something is hideous or even slightly displeasing, we have less empathy for it; ugly things suffer. I had to let that marinate.
How must it feel to be passed over, or worse, targeted for ridicule because you are not conventionally attractive? I have been guilty in my lifetime of judging the book by it's cover. If someone smelled bad, seemed not to care about their appearance or, heaven forbid, was obese, I judged them. I am not proud to admit it, but I was extremely intolerant of obesity.
I seized every opportunity to climb atop my fat soapbox, often going on tirades. My friends jokingly remarked that I "hated fat people," to which a typical response would be "I don't hate them, I just don't want to have to subsidize their bad habits" before laying out the laundry list of ailments associated with being overweight and lamenting how I should get health insurance discounts for keeping myself in good shape. I made insensitive comments, minimized the weight loss struggle ("just stop eating so much and so unhealthily!" I'd think when I saw a large person) and in some ways, disliked overweight people without ever having befriended one. Weightism is one of the last socially acceptable forms of discrimination.
Everyone cannot be a butterfly, but that does not make them any less worthy of love. I know that God created all things for a purpose, yes all things, even those that I do not find beautiful. In 2011 I made a conscious decision to stop speaking so venomously about people who are overweight, to start seeing them with new eyes. In the process I came to a realization about obesity: It is merely an outward manifestation of inward struggle. If we all had to wear our private battles like a badge where everyone could see, it is likely that we would stagger and fall beneath the weight of judgement.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you