The first time I remember feeling fat was when I was 5. I was sitting in my desk at school and I hated how big my legs got when I sat down, so I’d kind of perch on my chair with my legs crossed so that wouldn’t happen.
I wasn’t even anyway fat. In fact, I was tiny. I had to buy clothes for 6 year olds when I was 9. But still, somewhere in the back of my mind, even though I was embarrassed about not being able to borrow my friends clothes because they hung off me, I still thought I was fat. I know I’m not the only one. Ask any little girl if they are happy about their body and they will point out areas they hate. Even if you once were a little girl who hated your body you will still be surprised about how much venom they can muster to describe their body. And how you they are. Nobody should ever hate their body, but nobody who is under the age of 16 especially. And if you are under the age of 13 it should be against the law.
I’m writing this because the worst thing you can say to a girl is call her fat, because that word has been conditioned in our brains to sting more than calling us sociopaths, or idiots. I’m writing this because over the summer I have gained weight and now I can’t bear to wear tight clothes. Even though I love tight clothes. I’m writing this because I have heard so many guys joke about getting with fat girls, comparing the worth of a girl to her body shape and yet they don’t even think twice about the fact that if they were held up to the same standards they would be the joke?
Perceived ideas about bodyweight and appearance have stopped so many of my friends (and me) from doing things. It has made us shy and apologetic. It has made us go on ridiculous diets, and do horrible things. I feel shitty because I hate my weight. i am not the only one. I know that so many other girls out there feel the same and are struggling with the same not so great relationship with food and body image and it makes me sad and kind of angry. Sad, because I know I wasn’t the only one who grew up valuing being thin and beautiful over everything else. Angry, because it didn’t have to be like this. If I had been a boy it wouldn’t have been like this. How many little boys value their whole self worth on appearance? How many men? Obviously in this shallow world it is difficult for men too, and I understand that it is still somewhat taboo to talk honestly, as a man about how you feel about the pressure of conforming to a certain body image, and I am in now way trying to take from that.
But you will probably never have strangers shouting criticisms about your body in the street You will never have the shop assistant tell you that you that spanks would “sort all that out” when your trying on a dress. Nobody will ever tell you that the amount you eat isn’t ‘lady like’, or that the club you go to ‘only lets in skinny girls’. You never have to fear people whispering “does she actually think she’s skinny enough to wear that?'”
We shouldn’t place so much value on the size of our thighs. I could probably say this until I was blue in the face and it wouldn’t make me feel any different, but we shouldn’t. I have a little sister who’s 13 and the thought of her hating any part of herself makes me feel sick. So, even though it’s hard, I am trying to stop placing all my self worth on how much I weight and instead on the type of person I am. It’s hard. Very hard. But if it means that my sister cares a tiny bit less about how she looks and a tiny bit more about the person she is, it will have succeeded.
So the next time you call anybody fat, or criticise how they look, think. If they are a shit person, criticise that instead. We all worry so much about what’s on the outside. Your body gets you around. Your body dances to beyonce. It loves you. Try to love it back a little.
(also for clarification if they are a horrible person and wearing awful clothes feel free to criticise the clothes. They are a reflection of the person inside, of course. At the moment, my inner person must be a chav)