Growing up as a Chubby Kid and body Image:
Chubby Kid – Growing up as a chubby kid had profound effects on my self-esteem and my feeling of self-worth. I was consistently regarded as the kid that retained his “baby fat.” Consequently, I’d always prevent taking my top off in public, even while swimming. Clothing that included springy was my garments of selection. My parents always protected me from the brutal truth that I actually needed to lose some weight. My family, despite being “health food fanatics”, would be considered fat by the current standards. I remember being told by my parents that our family just has a glandular problem, and there’s nothing we can do about our weight. I bought into this alibi “hook, line and sinker.” I was just predisposed to be hefty; it was in my genes.
In Elementary school, I was approved along with my excessive weight because there were particular games by which heavy children have the edge. In as red rover, tackle football, and dodge ball, heavy weight was an evident advantage. Through the process of picking teams, I was always one of the first to be picked. I was never a fast runner, agile athlete, nor a graceful gymnast. I didn’t care about girls, as they were infected with “cooties” and were to be avoided as if they’d some incurable ailment. I used ton’t feel bad about myself, as I performed satisfactorily in some of the conventional boy-hood games. The basic truth was that excelled at some games and not at others. I did shine in the academic world and was consequently accepted by my peers in these early years.
Body Image Problems & Growing Up as a Chubby Child
In middle school, the recognition of gender appeal, the start of puberty, male dominance and sex-based competition shattered any self esteem that I held. My first year in middle school, the rules changed, and girls have been cured of the dreaded “cooties.” The lads or “guys” as we referred to ourselves now, desired to be noticed by girls. We wanted to hold their hands, we needed to kiss them, or if we were really cool, reach the proverbial “first base.” I was the brunt of many jokes, and the girls would not be seen speaking to me. I was as unpopular as a zit and viewed with precisely the same contempt. I became somewhat of a loner, as I figured nobody could hurt me if I didn’t let anyone to get close to me. I began to seek shelter in the relaxation of my over-protective family, which just made my assessment even more critical. My self esteem and my feeling of self worth ended up in the bathroom. My chubby self began to turn to “comfort food” for consolation, which of course only made my situation worse.
It was at this time in my life when Anna changed my prognosis. This came about the first Monday after school had let out for the summer. My mother and dad both happened to be working, and I was to left home alone. Being at home without supervision, I wasn’t permitted to go out, but the idea of having someone over had not crossed my parents’ minds. That Monday morning, I’d decided to sunbathe and get a jump on my tan, also expecting the sunshine would help clear my complexion. I was enjoying the sun when the doorbell rang. Anna being a year younger than I, we generally picked other pals. She explained that all the neighborhood children were either away on vacation, or had began summer school. She asked if I wanted to come outside and ride bikes or something. Educating her that I couldn’t go out and play, she asked what I was doing. I clarified that I was sunbathing, and that was why I was wrapped in a towel. She asked if she could join me, and we headed out to the backyard. We sat down on the blanket I had spread out before, and Anna asked why I wasn’t removing my towel. I described that I was self-conscious about being heavy and was embarrassed to take it off before her. Anna’s physique was the precise opposite of mine; she was as lean as a rail, without any curves whatsoever. Anna also had a twelve inch scar on her left thigh, which she’d received as a baby in a car accident. Anna loathed the fact that she hadn’t began to develop, but had resigned herself to the fact that she didn’t care what other people thought. We discussed how both of us were avoided by the kids our own age and how we were both teased on a daily basis.
I came to recognize through Anna that we both had our own body issues. Actually, most everyone would like to change some part in their bodies. By discussing our own body issues with one another truthfully, openly, and without passing judgment, we came to be at peace with our “defects.” We spent the whole week together, each day meeting at my house. We both decided that we did not care what others thought anymore. We had freed ourselves from the weight in their ruling. We realized that many people try and feel better about themselves by criticizing others. If anyone had an issue with our bodies, they owned that problem, not us. By the end of that week, I could confront my devil that my weight wasn’t due to some strange glandular issue and recognize my shortcoming.
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Tags: body image, body shame, children and youngsters, fat shaming, adolescents
Class: Body Image Blogs, Social Activism
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