A timer went off with an annoying ding, letting the class know it was time for partner activities. I scanned the room for my friends, only to find they already were partnered up. Great. As my peers were grouping together, I noticed a girl sitting alone at her desk. Her long legs didn’t fit beneath her desk and her glasses magnified her eyes two times their normal size. She was new to our class and since there was no one else, I figured I’d ask to work on some problems with her. I pulled out a chair at the desk next to her and smile. She acknowledges me by looking me up and down and says,
“You’re fat. I don’t want to be partners with you”, she spat at me. My brows furrow together. I sat in shock, trying to comprehend what I just heard. The letters making up the word fat manifest into a serrated knife, slashing at my insides and leaving permanent scars.
One word. All it took was one word, and everything changed.
The insecurities grew and became a heavy burden brought on by venomous remarks, and weighed down even the simplest of tasks. My clothing suffocates me as I stare at the unrecognizable girl in the mirror. She is not the girl I knew.
I turn my eyes away from the girl in the mirror and turn the faucet on in hopes that a hot shower will melt away my pain. My shirt seems to have shrunk within the last few days of wearing it… I don’t remember it being this tight. The warm water greets my skin and my mind runs rampant.
You’re fat swirls in my brain making me delirious with pain. Glancing down, I am met with rolls and stretch marks that I hadn’t seen until now. Wouldn’t it be easier if I could carve away my excess layer of insecurities? A loud knock on the door brings me back to reality, reminding me I still haven’t washed my hair.
One of the few places I feel truly comfortable is on stage, however even drama class brought its own set of challenges. After each performance, the actors would address the audience with what they learned throughout the entire process of creating the scene. As opened up to the class, I apologized to my castmates.
“I know I’m a pain in butt to deal with, guys… I’m sorry I’m so close minded.” I say, swallowing a lump in my throat. I wanted to say that I still feel where there knife left its mark in my skin. How it stings when a tight shirt grazes my torso. Of course I didn’t say this… But I wanted to.
“Never apologize for who you are’ she interrupts, ‘You are a strong and beautiful woman who will go on to do great things,” our instructor reminded me in front of the class. Her gentle words became a soothing salve melting into my wounds. Fresh aloe tingling my abdomen, and relieving the pain I had grown so used to.