The Fine Line between Opinion and Judgment (Semi-Rant)

“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

J.K. Rowling

Warning:  Rant!  How about this blog post title?  Who’s got their claws out?  Haha, nah, it’s not like that.  Well, really, it sort of is.

This morning I was out running some errands for my upcoming wedding, and I stopped in a little pub to have some lunch.  While sitting there, minding my own business,  I couldn’ t help but overhear two women sat in the booth directly behind me.  The waitress we had was a little on the heavy side.  Now sure, I notice other women’s bodies, because have my own insecurities, and hey, it’s human nature.  However, what I was listening to on the other side of that booth was atrocious.

“They shouldn’t let fat people serve food in this place – it’s supposed to be a health conscious establishment – it makes me not even want to eat.”

This is what one of the women seated behind me said to her friend about our waitress and what’s worse was the poor girl heard her!  I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because there was a point in my life where I might have had that same thought.  However, I was wrong to have ever thought so negatively, so a grown woman should know better than to think it, let alone  say it, within earshot of another living, breathing human being.

I wanted so badly, and imagined in my mind (à la Ally McBeal) that this girl would come over with the check and ask “seriously, did anyone ask your opinion about whether or not I should work here?”   Or say something like, “they shouldn’t let judgmental and ignorant people eat in public, but hey, the World’s an imperfect place.”  It would have made my day.

I don’t know about you, but judgment is getting WAY out of control these days.  I don’t blame the Internet, because obviously intolerance and judgment are as old as dirt, but I do feel that it has made us all feel much more free with our opinions.  For instance, today one of the biggest Twitter discussions is about Renee Zellweger’s face.  People have judged her for everything from her weight to the shape of her eyes over the last decade.  Leave the woman alone, again, did she ask for an opinion? Also, there’s NOTHING else going on today more pressing or worthy of an “opinion” than the flaws found in complete strangers?

Seriously, unless somebody asks, why feel the need to leave a nasty, critical comment?  Why should another person even care what is thought about them?  I’m taking a risk even sharing what I think right now.  Like, who the hell am I to have an opinion about having an opinion?!  Wow!  I’m dizzy now.

The only thing I can say is the next time it seems like two cents are desired, ask, “is this person asking for an opinion?”  If they want an opinion, give it.  Believe me, I am full of opinions, and not all of them are sunshine and rainbows.

The point I am trying (and possibly failing) to make here is this:  There’s a time and a place for thoughts and judgments,.  However, unless someone actually wants an opinion, 99% of the time, that time and place is just plain ol’ kept to oneself.

Okay, I’m done.

Do you ever catch yourself being judgmental?


Spread the good word!


  1. October 22, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    1. This (Or say something like, “they shouldn’t let judgmental and ignorant people eat in public, but hey, the World’s an imperfect place.”) would have been AMAZING.

    2. Parts of this post reminds me a lot of a post I wrote last year titled “Fat People Deserve” (I won’t link to it because I don’t want to be all spammy). Basically, it used to be that when you typed “fat people deserve” in google, the autofill entries were AWFUL. I need to update that post, though, with a note that google finally removed those autofill options (and now “fat people deserve” brings up NOTHING). Anyway, the opening quote of this post is what reminded me of my post the most. I think many people judge the obese as much as if not worse than they judge people who actually deserve to be judged (for being cruel, for example). It makes me really sad. And honestly, being obese myself (for now, anyway!), it makes it REALLY hard not to be self-conscious anytime you step foot in public as an obese person.

    3. To answer your question, yes, I do catch myself being judgmental, and I get upset when I notice myself being that way. Ironically, though, the thing I’m most judgmental of is…you guessed it…people being judgmental. How meta is that?! That *feels* like justified judgmentalness, but honestly, I don’t think we should judge people unless they’re actually hurting someone or something. And even then, I would want to temper my judgmentalness with some compassion and understanding, because I would say that at least 99% of people are genuinely good, deep down, and there are often reasons for their mean behavior (whether they’re obvious reasons or not, the reasons are probably in there somewhere). But yeah, when I find myself judging someone, I then have to try not to judge myself for judging them (similar to what I was talking about in my reply to your comment on my blog post today!). It’s a tricky thing!

  2. Erin
    October 23, 2014 / 12:37 pm

    Thanks for reading, Ashleigh! I felt super torn about posting it, but I was just SO annoyed after that happened. I’m opinionated most of the time and judgmental some of the time too (though most of it is over the Kardashian family, sorry they BUG me soooo much!) I sort of draw the line though with a lot of things, and obesity is definitely one of those things. I guess as someone who has struggled for more than half of my life with my relationship with food and my body, I can’t help but get inside other people’s shoes when it comes to weight. It hurts me to hear people judge about it, because there’s almost always so much more to it.

    I love that J.K. Rowling quote and I had forgotten about it until that happened and I started thinking on the way home. It’s such a powerful quote, because I think we do live in a society that forgets which traits are really worth judging and shaming people for. Ugh, I could go on all day. I’ll have to read your post about it, I’m intrigues and I’m sure I will love it!


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