I am absolutely tired of hearing things like, "You would be so pretty if..." and "Wow, that fat lady on Mike and Molly..." or "Did you see how fat..." These are the snippets of information that attempt to go into my brain all day long. I stop them before they get there, but knowing how information is processed in the noggin, I know that the seed has been planted, and therefore, I will still internalize the gist of what was being said - FAT PEOPLE are not equal to everyone else.
When I was in the 6th grade, I struggled A LOT! I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to fit in so badly, that I pretty much did whatever I could to make that happen. In fact, I would lie, steal, cheat, or _________(insert here) just to get someone to like me. I grew up in a small town and pretty much everyone knows everyone there. I was involved in Camp Fire (which was fantastic and still many of my best memories are from these experiences) but by 6th grade the lines between cool and uncool were quickly being delineated. I soon realized that I was on the uncool side. I wanted to be cool so badly! So, if someone said they did so and so, I would lie and say I did so and so too. You can see where this is going. Eventually, I alienated myself even further from everyone, because I was uncool, FAT, and a liar. I got a letter from EVERY girl in my 6th grade class. They all signed it and basically told me how much they hated me. They called me fat, and liar, and stupid, and worthless. Luckily, there were some other friends of mine in the other 6th grade class that didn't participate.
And, there were two girls, Bethany and Patty, who weren't a part of it. They were probably considered uncool too, but on the day I got that letter, they became super cool to me. They allowed me to play tether ball with them at recess. They didn't know about the letter, or they were too nice to participate, or they just didn't care if I was cool. I never got the chance to ask. But they were nice to me. Even if I was uncool, a liar and fat.
It took many years for me to realize that I was lying to myself and to others in order to gain approval. I was trying to make up for being fat with some other cool 'fact' about myself. The problem was, that those made up things didn't really matter. I needed to focus on the cool stuff that was already inside of me and get that straightened out. Unfortunately, it is about 27 years later and I still am struggling with wanting to be the cool kid. I have figured out that being the cool kid just really means being accepted. And when you are fat in American society, you are far from accepted...