Remember growing up all of the horrible names bullies used to call you? They teased you mercilessly and they were mean to the degree that it left deep, emotional scars. They say that bullies act this way because they feel insecure or bad about themselves to some degree.
I never fit in in middle school in particular. I was bigger than the other girls, lacked an understanding of what was trendy, wore glasses and had nothing in common with the other kids. I was teased hard and it caused me to do bad in school, deal with childhood depression, often come home from school crying. But the worst teasing was done at home.
My mother has fat shamed me my entire life. At a very early age – as young as 7 or 8, she began making me aware of the fact that I was larger than my female classmates. She went as far as to try several 90’s fad diet plans on me with intent of having me lose weight. By my mid teens, she had me attending Weight Watchers meetings and accompanying her to a special Swedish Spa where you would lay on a table while electrodes all over your body worked your muscles for you. She always made sure that I knew that my body was wrong.
Now that I am an adult, I hate my body. I’m overweight – probably by a lot more than I would have been without the body shaming. But the worst part of it all is that not only do I shame myself for my body – I shame you for yours.
I saw a larger gentleman out walking his dog this morning without a shirt and I made derogatory comments about how “No one wants to see that”. And while that may be true, it’s not fair of me. Just because I am uncomfortable with my body, doesn’t mean he has to be uncomfortable about his. I do this often. I comment about the clothing some larger women wear and how I find it inappropriate but the truth is, I wouldn’t have the confidence to wear some of the things some plus sized ladies will.
I would never in a million years say any of these mean things I think aloud to the person. I know too well what it feels like to be bullied or body shamed. But the things I am thinking – they are terrible. They are immature, cruel and most of all… they are unfair. I’d like to think that I don’t really believe some of the cruel things I am thinking. I’d like to think by admitting to you that I body shame, that I don’t really mean it.
It is not right to body shame anyone for any reason whether aloud or to yourself in your head. I’ll be working on that one…