(Picture of me in about 3rd or 4th grade.)
I use the word fat lightly, because ‘fat’ when I was growing up is a completely different thing than the ‘fat’ of today. It’s sad, but true. What once was in the ‘fat’ category is ‘skinny.’
When I was in about 4th grade I started getting “chunky.” That age is the time for going through the awkward “tween” stage—where you are not quite adult, but not quite a child anymore. Your body is a miss mash of old and new.
Added to this, you have mean girls that point out aspects of you that you are trying to ignore or hide. This is the time period that was the beginning of the end of having frivolous friendships for me.
Memories stay with you forever. Especially when you are young. They scar you, but shape you into your true self. My strongest memories of my grandfather in my childhood are those of him calling me fat or insinuating that I was fat. I remember most vividly how, on multiple occasions, he told me he was “going to put a lock on the refrigerator,” because I was, “getting too fat.” (To be fair, my grandfather has never been soft and cuddly or particularly P.C. to anyone.)
It took me until my early 20’s to start appreciating my curves and body for the beauty that it holds. I was working at Bloomingdale’s at the time. I was actually at about my smallest (which was still plus size), but I still put myself in the ‘fat’ category. A coworker, who was a small size 0, kept on telling me how beautiful I was and that she wished she had my curves. It seems so minute, but a few positive comments from someone started to change my view point of myself. I began reevaluating myself and trying more figure hugging clothing. This was the beginning of my appreciation for the curves of a woman.
Going through life being a chunky pre-teen to a curvy woman has led me to appreciate the people that love me for who I am. There’s no room for people who bring me down. Keep those who appreciate the ‘real’ you close and let those who don’t ‘get’ you fly away. Life is too short.
Words hurt, but they can also give you power in a positive way. Everyone has their own scar stories to tell, but it’s what you do with that pain that can either make you great or shrivel up. The power is yours…
*** This was originally posted on The Curvy Elle Blog.