These days, looks are a big deal. Some want to be skinny as rails, others prefer curves, and then there are some that just don’t care. You see billboards, magazine covers, and ads plastered everywhere with women’s bodies. Commercials of Victoria’s Secret models struttin’ their stuff in thongs – you go, girls! Then you have the Dove campaign, Real Beauty, where women of all shapes, sizes, age, and ethnicities are appreciated – you girls go, too!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been known, and picked on, for my tiny figure. Which meant being given ridiculous nicknames:
- Skinny Minnie
- Bird Legs
- String Bean
- Slim Shady (more slim than shady)
- Skeeter Bites (for my lack of rack)
When I was younger, the nicknames didn’t bother me. It wasn’t until I was in high school and I realized that most of the other girls had been going through some changes over the summer… and I was exactly the same. Tiny chest, tiny waist, tiny arms, tiny legs, tiny ass. Nothing but skin and bones as my doctor would tell me.
I tried not to let it phase me. I was still a cute little girl. But that was the problem. I didn’t want to be a “cute little girl”. I thought I was ready for womanhood, whatever the hell that means.
Ninth grade, second semester I had gym and wellness class. Dobyns-Bennett being the overachieving school that it is, made us take a week of swimming. My pale, 80 lb frame was terrified. Not because of the swimming, I loved being in the water. I was afraid because as I was changing in the locker room, all the other girls had these beautiful, woman-like bodies. And there I was, the twig. Flat chested to the extreme. I was embarrassed to step out of the doors because I knew the boys would be there. Watching. Judging. Whispering.
Like I expected, nearly all of the boys made remarks to me about my small chest, and they’d go on and on about how filled out the other girls were. Later in the locker room, I’d hide in the showers and cry. I thought I’d never have a boyfriend because I wasn’t beautiful enough. It crushed me.
You all know my story though, like I previously wrote about in Wave of Worthy. I did get a boyfriend, who happened to be in that exact same wellness class, and then started my train of bad decisions.
To this day, I still fret over my body. All throughout school, college, my pregnancy, jobs, someone always has something to say about my weight. Even my family still. Everyone knows I eat. Girl loves some food. Biscuits and gravy are my JAM. I can’t go a week without a Little Debbie binge. (It is what it is. Don’t judge.) But even having a healthy appetite, it’s hard for me to gain weight.
The most I’ve ever weighed was a whopping 120 lbs when pregnant with Jack. My boobs were ginormous, my butt actually filled in my jeans, and that pregnancy glow was on fire. Those last three or four months of pregnancy were the best I ever felt about myself. The baby bump looked good on me.
Obviously, that didn’t last. Jack made his grand entrance and I went back to my stick-like figure. Nearly everyone I knew, especially other moms, were almost jealous at how quickly I lost the weight. Truthfully, I didn’t lose it as easily as they think. It didn’t just disappear overnight. After Jack was born I was exhausted, like every new mother, and I was on my own. When he was up, I was up. When he was asleep, I was cleaning, doing laundry. I barely slept, and my diet consisted of peanut butter crackers and water. I lost the weight because I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I should’ve been.
Since then my size has stayed the same…up until about five months when I started working a stressful desk job that caused me to eat double my weight every single day. Dealing with the IRS and high-end millionaires made me want to stuff my face with twinkies to bare through the pain.
My thighs and buttcheeks got a little more plump. The jeans that were usually a little loose in the waist turned into a half hour of sucking in just to pull up the zipper. My chest burst out of my bras. At first I freaked out. Like, Oh, great. I’m in a job I hate, last thing I need is to have to buy a brand new wardrobe. But once I realized I didn’t have that horrible thigh-gap I’d get made fun of for, I welcomed the extra pounds with a smile.
Very few people noticed the weight gain. My mother and grandmother were really the only ones. Anyone else I’d mention it to would practically laugh in my face because I was still small, and the pounds didn’t really matter.
I’m slowly becoming less proud of my body – again. No matter what I weigh, or how I look, it’s never enough.
That’s what’s wrong with society today. Rather than celebrating bodies, we keep shaming them. Making jokes about the girls who are a little chunky. Picking fun at the women with thigh gaps and skinny arms. You see all of these ads and pictures of women being glorified regardless of their shapes yet, girls are still tearing each other down.
I. Do. Not. Understand.
It needs to stop. So freaking what if I’ve got skinny ass legs. So what if I can touch my elbows together because my boobs are so small. So what if I’m a 00 and can wear girls clothes.
Do I wish I had a little something more? Hell yes I do. Because I’m a single mom, and it’s kinda hard to find a sophisticated man that’ll take me seriously because I practically look like a child. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve been referred to as Jack’s big sister by total strangers.
I don’t judge the women I see because of the size of pants they wear. I don’t care how big people are. As long as they’re healthy and happy WHO CARES. It’s no one’s business what a girl weighs.
So, for the girls poking and prodding and being jerks, here’s some advice:
Get over our differences. Stop tearing other women down. Appreciate the fact that we don’t all look the same. Acknowledge those who are proud of who they are and lift up the ones who aren’t. Don’t make girls feel bad for being bigger or smaller. Please, be kind.
We’re women too.