Hey, pal with foot-in-mouth issues:
I’m sure you didn’t mean to call me “messy” in front of a good chunk of people we know when you noticed that I had a red face and was wearing gym attire. I’m sure what you meant to say was “you look like you’ve had a good workout”. I’m sure that was it.
You calling me “messy” in such a public context, however, is a fail. What it says to me is that it’s not appropriate for me publicly exhibit signs of having recently performed physical activity. Well, not quite that. What it says to me is that it would be preferable if I were to perhaps not sweat or get red while doing said activitiy. Perhaps also that I was giving off a few too many “I don’t give a fuck” vibes because I was all cracked out on endorphins from a tough but amazing workout.
When you call me “messy”, it makes me feel like my choice to pursue a healthy activity is a bad choice. It makes me feel like my very real and human physiological response to exertion is unacceptable. It makes me feel like it’s preferable for me to be seen and not heard. It makes me feel like I should feel bad about my body.
And I don’t, I really don’t.
Don’t call me messy. Don’t set up barriers for me to trip myself over on in my quest to be a fitter, healthier, more productive member of the world. Just don’t do it.