When you’re a good looking white boy, with blond hair and a charming smile, words roll out of your tongue, like molasses. That was Jamie; he was that kid who was popular, good looking and well-liked. So he was excused for any silly questions that would blurt out of his mouth. As if he’d asked what’s on the lunch menu or did I give that kid a wedgie already? Kids would think hey that’s just Jamie. So when he asked how much I weighed, in front of my classmates, I was shocked but not surprised.
“How much do you weigh?” casually probing again, there I stood looking at him blankly, thinking do I lie or just tell the truth. “Come on…” he’d say trying to get a rise out of me. Frozen, the only thing I could do was look for some support from the girl standing next to me; luckily she took my cue, said: “that’s rude Jamie.” But he replied back, “Oh how heavy could you be 120 max.” Which goes to show you, men (and boys) don’t know much when it comes to women and their weight. Feeling faltered and anxious all at once, I exclaimed it was none of your business and sat back down on my chair to shut him up.
I hated myself that day. But it started well before high school when I was an adolescent, having moved to a foreign place with new friends, new sights, and new customs. Part of those traditions would include late night snack gorging on Doritos and hamburgers. Somedays I’d wake but my parents still asleep from working late hours, so I’d indulge in the occasional ice cream for breakfast.
With all this self-care, I grew and grew, vertically and horizontally, but that didn’t stop me, it just made me want more. My parents noticed and shamed me telling me that I was too fat, not knowing how to stop their child from growing in every which direction. I outgrew my classmates, I outgrew my clothes, and I grew myself. To the point of hating myself, I couldn’t see the end of this vicious cycle of comfort eating. If I had a bad day at school, I’d run home with a bag of chips in one hand, soda in the other and go to my hiding place. In the closet, it was dark, contained, but most importantly no spectators. Numbing myself of all the bullying and shaming that came with being a chubby girl with a funny accent.
Looking back I wished I had someone to look up too, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t be who I am now. It goes to show how strong our young minds can me, overcoming life’s obstacles. We all do it; somehow we cope with them. Some are lucky they can turn to family/friends, but I had my chocolate bars, ice cream sandwiches, and neon colored chips to keep me company.
Hate is a strong word, but if you grew up fat, it takes a lifetime to heal from all the fat shaming, or at least that’s what I have experienced. I may not be the weight I want to be but at this point being happy and healthy is more important. Let’s face it I only have this one body and if it’s happy and functioning my psychosis can shut the hell up! Enough already, torturing myself thinking that one morphed body type is ideal for oneself is overrated and stupid.
Gone are the days of lusting over Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, or Naomi Cambell. The young girls now have Ashley Graham and other body positive ladies to look up to. Ms. Graham posted on her Instagram, a photo of her sitting on the beach while vacationing, showing off her lumps, bumps & cellulite as if they were a badge of honor. I’m there right with her sipping on a colorful cocktail when my brain tells me I’m not good enough, and she politely pushes aside all my negative thoughts.