Being 4’11 and currently 90 pounds, I have never received so much body shaming and hate as I did when I was at Mary Baldwin College, an all-female school I attended freshman year. I thought that being at an all-female school, that the females would have mutual understanding, and respect one another. That they would be strong supporters of self-ownership, and believe that whatever we choose to do with our bodies should be our business. But what I found was the complete opposite.
At a school where most of the females would be labeled as overweight, I was in the minority. Everyone was much bigger than me, in width and height, but I didn’t care and I didn’t judge. I honestly didn’t think anything of it, but just accepted the fact that I’m nearly a legal dwarf, so the world would naturally seem humungous from my perspective. As I ascend up the stairs with my belongings on move-in day, I could already hear whispers from the other girls. My roommate, playing nice, tells me how cute and tiny I am. As weeks went by, she, along with the other girls on my floor, made nonstop cracks about my size. They would tell me that I had no ass and that I needed to eat more, because I looked frail. Mind you, I came straight out of high-school where I did indoor and outdoor track for two years, and was in the best shape of my life. At the time, I was 115 pounds, and 15 of that was muscle. But regardless of my health at the time and my athletic physique, that didn’t stop them from body shaming me. Eventually, they formed a clique and would gang up on me. Because I was in the minority at that school, I was the outcast. Being there, I felt like I didn’t even belong with my own gender because of my “lack of curves”.
So today in class, when we discussed “Fat Bodies”, I could emotionally relate to others’ experiences. I feel that even though my experiences may not be as “severe” or terrible as those who have been tormented for being “overweight”, the underlying problem is still the same. That instead of giving those who criticize our bodies, the middle finger, we can’t help but succumb to their callous words and allow them to make us feel less than ourselves.