Chubba- lubba, fat, obese, overweight, unhealthy, gross, big, chubby. Just a few of the names I’ve been called for as long as I can remember, and continue to be called. Growing up, I was always called the chubby kid and teased about my weight. It also didn’t help that I was the only one in my family, out of 4 kids, that wasn’t as skinny as a toothpick. I can’t recall a time that my weight was not a topic of issue in my life. It was hard listening to kids at school tease me and call me fat, and even harder coming home and having my parents tell me that I need to “watch what I ate” and to “loose weight”. In elementary school it did not bother me as much as it did when I started middle school.
Middle school and high school were not good years for me. I was very shy because I was worried my classmates wouldn’t like me because I was fat. I often skipped lunch to “do homework”, but mainly because no one would see me eating and call me fat. I would also skip dinner at home and eat in my room so my family would not bug me about eating too much (little did they know I had been skipping lunch). There was a time, that I will never forget, at my cousin’s birthday party, when I was going to get a second serving of cake, and a family member of mine started laughing and called me “chubba-lubba” in front of at least 20 people, for eating too much cake. They justified themselves by saying it was because they were worried about my health. I had never felt so ashamed of my body as I did in that moment, and unfortunately, the nickname has stuck with me until now.
I also had to dress certain ways because I was “fat”. I was told I was “too fat” to wear bikinis and tight clothes. As a teen, I was not allowed to wear dresses that showed my thighs, not because of “dressing my age” but because my thighs were too big. I couldn’t wear skirts because my butt was too big. I was “too much” of everything and was constantly looking for clothes that would make me look skinny and/or hide my fat.
The older I get, the less the name calling and the judgments bother me, but they still sting a little every time I hear them. I’m still not 100% confident in the way I look, but it is something I am working on. If there’s something I know for sure it’s that 1. Although I am not skinny, I am not fat, 2. Not being skinny does not mean you are unhealthy and 3. It’s my body and I cannot let others define how I see myself.
There was a Buzzfeed video that I watch that was eye-opening and I think would be very beneficial for all to see concerning body size, BMI and body image.