But recently I posted this article on my personal FB page that might have seemed like some kind of cry for help, attention, maybe even the need for compliments. My friends responded kindly, most explaining that they understood that was not my goal at all which I completely appreciate. But still, the topic at hand was one I had considered writing about for sometime.
I'm fat. No really, I am, it's alright. Actually I'm obese by medical standards. Albeit "mildly", or is it "moderately"? I don't know what the term for, a-hair-beyond-fat, is these days. Regardless, I am. Always have been; okay, since the age of 5. But even at 5 I don't think I'd be considered eligible for any Gap Kids modeling contracts.
It's something I never really talk about. I mean sure, maybe with other "fat" friends and family members. Maybe sometimes I talk about my body in a negative way as a means of highlighting how good others have it; but I've never been the kind of person who takes a look in the mirror and can't see beyond the superficial. I'm pretty fucking great. No, really, I love myself, who I am and what I stand for. I can honestly say I'd be best friends with myself. I mean, who wouldn't want me in their corner?!
But nonetheless, this fat body of mine still overshadows all that awesomeness upon first meeting. Again, that's never been something I've talked to anyone at length about but it's something I'm glaringly aware of. In fact around age 9 or 10, a family member (who was and is still fat!) told me they'd give me cash if I lost weight. I was in elementary school and told by a loved one who had been with me since birth that this pudgy shit just wasn't going to cut it.
So, being 30 now and still fat, I saw that article and it struck a cord. It's something that I feel often but never talk about. So here goes.
Growing up I was always the largest girl in my class. And back then, my friends, one was hard-pressed to find "cute" and "trendy" clothing for pre-pubescent chicks with my waistline. Everything was stretch pants, sweatshirts and old lady clothing. You should see my school pictures-thank God I'm not famous or you would have by now!
My first real honest to goodness relationship didn't happen until I was 24, but I'll get back to that.
My first honest to goodness "sexual encounter" happened when I was 13. I didn't lose the Big V or anything but that was when I met my first penis and decided right then and there that there was no possibility I was gay. After that, most encounters with the opposite sex went pretty similarly. I was always the great friend, you know? The one that no one wanted to date but that guys were okay with hooking up with every so often. I was the chick they'd fool around with while they were between girlfriends. While it's kind of shitty to say that was "my thing", I can admit now that it really was.
I wasn't the town bicycle or anything like that, I just mean to say that I never got beyond friends with benefits. The only experiences I had ever had with someone who was even remotely interested in me was purely as a hookup and under no circumstances were we to ever move past that. Again, I'm okay with this now. I'm 30 for goodness sake who gives a shit? But back then I did. It sucked. It hurt. It was confusing. Why wasn't I good enough? Oh, right, because I was fat. Again, that's what I believed.
I met the man that would be my first real boyfriend when I was 21. We became friends and though he was in a relationship, granted a shitty one with someone else, we started to hook up. He eventually broke up with her and we started hanging out regularly and I gave up the V that next year when I was 22. I don't regret it, let me make that clear. I loved him at the time and considering we ended up together for a total for 7 years, I think it's safe to say I could've done far worse.
Unfortunately during those seven years, he never once told me he loved me. This is because he didn't. I knew that, he was always very clear about it and felt truly guilty that he didn't feel the way for me that I felt for him. However, this knowledge not only made me want to fight harder to prove how great I was, it also caused my personal insecurities to run rampant at all times. The girl he had been in a relationship with before me was a size "0". When I met him I was a size "20" and over the course of our relationship, ballooned up to size "26". To be fair, his waist line grew as well but it never once mattered to me, I always (and honestly still do) found him to be incredibly good looking. And as part of my attempts to prove my worth, was constantly praising him and complimenting his looks and physique. Never once receiving that same feedback from him.
He complimented my skin, always reveling in how soft I was. He loved my tiny feet and liked the smoothness of my hair. But I wasn't beautiful in his eyes. It pains me now to write this but it's true. Again, it's something that bothered him because he did care about me at least to some degree but, for some reason, he never felt the need to compliment me like I so desperately needed. Instead, for seven years I felt like an embarrassment. Like he wished he could introduce someone prettier to his friends and family. I knew he was pressured from some of his friends and even one of his close family members to leave me; they all thought he could do better and to them that meant someone thin. The only compliment I ever received from that family member of his was that I had a huge rack, "sweater mittens" he called them. That was pretty much where my worth began and ended in his eyes. They had all been waiting until someone better came along and I lived with that knowledge for seven years.
This is the only picture my ex had ever told me I looked "hot" in. We had been together for five years at that point. Immediately my response to him was "that's because I look thinner" and his reply, "yeah."
That was it, that was my worth. I was nothing more to him and if I was, for some reason he could never put it into words.
I'm not angry, no honestly, not at all. I loved him and I needed to love him. I needed that experience like we need every experience we will ever go through in life. Through that relationship I learned who I was as a person and what I brought to the table. I understood how to show someone I loved and cared for them and I learned what I needed from a partner. That I'm deserving of a real relationship. That I'm more then some friend with benefit to be kept secret but a person deserving of a real "status" to be promoted and appreciated.
I posted that article as a kind of PSA of sorts. Reminding people that everyone's got something going on, you know? That, before we scroll through the 'People of Walmart' page on our lunch breaks, we remember that these are people. Real life people with real life insecurities and needs like the rest of us.
You go shopping and a stranger makes a funny face at you. Hell, that face could have been about something entirely different, they might not have even been looking at you; but you went right to that shitty place in your head that made you question what it was about you that merited that kind of look from them. It still mattered to you to some degree and you had to second guess everything all over again.
Well I can happily tell you all that, you know what? You look good baby! Go 'head with that fine ass and shashay-shauntay all damn day! We may not tell ourselves that all of the time, but if it's so easy for us to say it to others, why can't we take a moment and look into the mirror and say it too?
So here's my "mirror moment". A few of my FB friends did this "5 Pictures Where I Feel Pretty" post on their pages and because it's important that everyone know that I really don't look upon myself negatively (at least not a lot!), here are my five "pretty" pictures:
This was taken right before I cut my hair to donate. I had just changed up the style, parting it diagonally and adding side bangs. My eyebrows were just done and my nails were manicured that week. I felt on point!
First function I had ever attended with a "new man". I was wearing my favorite dress that I had just gotten tailored and was pretty pleased with the way I put myself together.
This one was a selfie-which I NEVER take because I don't think I can do "sexy" or whatever faces so I don't even bother. But I was having a great night at a friends party and decided to play around. I totally felt like hot-shit (in a good way!) that night and dammit I was going to flaunt it!
The quality of this one isn't great because it's a picture of a picture. But I'm including it because it was taken right before I participated in my town's annual 5k walk/run event. I never would have participated in anything like this three years ago. I knew I would finish dead last for the event, which I did (there was an 8 mile going on too so thankfully it wasn't like people were waiting for my to roll over the finish line) and who wants a bunch of strangers watching them sweating and breathing heavy in a not-in-any-kind-of-sexy way? But I did it and I finished and I was surprised by how good I looked when I got a copy of this picture the following week.
And bonus picture. This one was taken at the Big E with my favorite friend Tammy. This girl is my rock and I spend the majority of my free time with her and her incredible family. We took a picture the year before in the same spot and I loved that one too so I made it an annual tradition.
Being me, big booty and all, I like it <3