I am no longer going to think of myself in terms of tall or short, pretty or homely, thin or fat. From now on, I am Chubby Chic: a woman who is finally emarking on a journey toward liking herself as she is! I am going to reclaim my self-respect, my dignity, the part of me that learned way too early in life that in our world, chubby isn’t cute once you’ve celebrated your 6th birthday.
When I was about six, my next door neighbor used to joke about my “spare tire” as he patted my belly and handed me a chocolate tootsie pop. When I was in sixth grade, Chuck, the cutest boy I’d ever met, assured me that he liked me so much that were I thin, he would ask me out. It was a compliment. When I was sixteen, some of my peers were suprised that I had a boyfriend. My own mother used to tell me that I was wasting my money on manicures or jewelry because all people would see is fat. Funny enough, I spent most of my life as a size 14. That’s pretty average these days. However, I am no longer a 14, and I as I grapple with my size 18/20 body, I am haunted by the memories of well-meaning folk like my neighbor and like Chuck who thought it was okay to talk about my size. Worse than that, I cannot pass a mirror without thinking of my mother and believing her words: “nothing looks good on a fat person.”
I realized very recently that I tell myself how worthless I am each and every day, each and every time I look in the mirror. The other morning as I was trying to zipper a snug pair of jeans, my (very kind and compassionate) husband heard me talking to myself, chastising myself for being fat. Maybe that was when I realized just how insidious this self-loathing has become. I don’t think of other over-weight people with such hatred, and I would never show such disregard for another’s feelings. I treat myself in a way I would never treat someone else. I’ve decided it’s time.
It’s time for me to start this journey. It’s time for me to examine who I am and the world I live in, and reconcile them. It’s time I showed some respect to the woman I am. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. I welcome you to join this journey with me. Maybe together we can figure it out.