I was thinking about how big women get this reputation of being less than a person compared to skinny women. I started to think about how this came to be and why, as women, we are degraded for simply having a different body shape. Where did this idea come from? I started to think about all the influences within our society that dominate the idea of body image and came the conclusion that big women, obviously, are very beautiful. We aren’t at fault for the societal standards put in place. We don’t fit in so we make our own category that everyone wants to be part of.
It took me a while to realize this. I was bullied in middle school because I was, and still am, fat. It was an agonizing experience. I felt ugly and even though I was barely understanding the concept of dating, I felt unwanted. I was bullied because of the physical features I carried. It was always something they bullied me for. They bullied me because I didn’t shave my legs, I had stretch marks on my legs, I was too fat to wear certain clothes, or just didn’t cut the image that made a popular kid.
My image of beauty was tainted by fat-shaming. The sad reality was that I didn’t experience fat-shaming only at school, but I experienced it at home. In my Latinx culture men prefer young thin women. My mother, being a fat woman herself, experienced that first hand. After having 2 children and gaining weight she was traded for a woman that was younger and thinner. That trauma translated itself into fear. My mother feared that I would suffer the same fate as a fat woman and she reminded me everyday of how fat I was and how I needed to lose weight. Even my father compared me to my cousins not only by my body shape, but as a woman.
I was compared to relatives on my house keeping and physical shape. I was never enough. Why did it take ME so long to figure out that I am enough? Its like they say, “Tell a woman she’s beautiful and she will never believe you. Tell a woman she’s ugly and she will never forget”.