It's 2019 And We Should Be Done Fat Shaming By Now

It's 2019 And We Should Be Done Fat Shaming By Now

Bullying someone for their weight is something that can stick with them for the rest of their life, and we need to leave “fat shamers” in 2018.

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In 3rd grade, at the early age of 7 years old, I had my first bully.

Almost every child experiences this, but it can settle with everyone differently throughout life. Switching schools three times throughout my childhood due to the scrutiny, the consistent bullying only got worse until 6th grade. Everybody has insecurities of some sort, whether it's inflicted from a source of self-deprecation or from a rough experience with a childhood bully.

My first bully picked on my teeth and my smile, ironically something that a majority of people now consider my best feature.

I had braces and a palate expander for four years beginning in the 4th grade, and based on that time span, you could imagine that they surely weren't too pretty. Once I got braces and began to grow into my insanely buck teeth, the comments shifted directly to my weight.

I've been left almost unharmed by my 3rd grade bully coming into class and telling me I look prettier when I smile with my lips together, but the comments on my weight have honestly affected me to this day. I'm not sure why that specifically became such a topic of sensitivity for me.

That's not to say it doesn't still happen, because let's be honest here: if you're overweight, that's something that you'll always carry with you, especially if you're bullied about it at any point. The comments are just less direct now that I'm easing my way into adulthood. The girls in elementary school who would call my then-healthy weight disgusting have turned into the woman at the prom dress shop who told me the dresses I felt beautiful in weren't for me because "they show my shape".

I may never forget being put in a corner to look at myself in a dress made for my grandmother while a girl a fraction of my size was in front of a giant, well-lit mirror standing on a platform in a beautiful designer gown; it's a perfect analogy as to how us plus-sized women and men often feel in society.

Those who are plus sized often have a harder time dating. It's a rarity to see women on the runway who even resemble us. Jan Singer, the previous CEO of Victoria's Secret, said we aren't worthy of being included in her shows because we aren't a part of anybody's fantasies.

It's an enraging, vicious cycle, and from hometown bullies to CEO's of massive companies, there are people making it harder every day for us to escape it. Some people devastatingly don't make it out of this cycle alive because we feel so undesirable and unworthy at times.

“Fat shaming" takes lives, even of those that are physically still here. It consumes you, and it's painful to live a life feeling revolting in your own skin more intensely than somebody who hasn't lived this life of insecurity brought upon them by judgment from others.

If you do one thing today, tell somebody you like their hair. Their top. Their smile. It's important to empower others and coexist in a way where we can all strive for happiness and let go of the pressure to be physically “perfect".

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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To All Lawmakers, Keep Your Laws Off My Body

My body, my choice.

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This past week, Ohio and Alabama received a lot of attention in the media after bold decisions were made regarding abortion laws in these two states. Alabama has signed an extreme abortion ban into law which gives no exception for even rape or incest. Women and doctors could end up facing 99 years in prison for performing an abortion in this state. In most cases, rapists only serve about 6 years of jail time. This means that a woman could spend more time in jail for attempting to abort the fetus than the man who planted it inside of her. In Ohio, similar laws are being put in place that denies women from getting an abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, that is only 5 weeks into the pregnancy, or one week late of a period. Most women do not even know they are pregnant at that time.

I originally was very hesitant to write this article. Not because I did not know what I thought about the issue, but rather because I was afraid what other people would think of me writing about this. I'm typically not one to post anything too political but there comes a time when something must be said.

When it comes to abortion laws, pro-life advocates often argue that the fetus could be the next Einstein or the person to cure cancer. However, the women who are going to be taking care of the child could have potentially done the same. Instead, they are often forgotten about and their lives are changed for good. There are so many women who will have to give up so much such as their education, career, and happiness as a result of the laws that are being put into place.

Furthermore, if a woman is not capable of taking care of a child at the time she gets pregnant, the child will end up being the one to suffer the most. If the woman has no option but to keep the baby, the baby has the potential of growing up in an unstable home where it will not have the resources it needs to live.

Pro-life advocates push for women to just give the child up for adoption, but that has its own set of problems. If the woman puts the baby up for adoption, there is a ginormous possibility that the child will live their entire life going in and out of our country's broken foster care system. Lawmakers should not be advocating for the protection of fetuses unless they are able to make sure the fetus will be able to grow up in a stable environment.

Putting laws to prevent abortion into place isn't going to stop abortions from happening. Instead, it is going to make women turn to hazardous practices that could end up with them harming themselves. Many people, including some pro-life advocates, have even admitted that the bills being put into place are too far.

The most amazing thing to me about the bills being signed into place is that the support for them is heavily reliant on men. It is very easy to jump behind supporting something that doesn't affect you. These men will never be able to experience what it is like to carry a child around for nine months and care for it after. That is why it makes absolutely no sense that they are able to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies.

Being pro-choice is not necessarily being pro-abortion. It is being for women to have the freedom to do what they believe is best for themselves. A women's right to make her own choices should not be a conservative or democratic issue. It is a human issue. It shouldn't matter what the circumstances are. If a woman feels she is not ready for a child she should have the ability to do what is needed to be done. I hope that as a country we are able to take the necessary steps to prevent us from moving back in time. So to all lawmakers, keep your laws off of my body.

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