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"You're fat."

"Ohmygod. Just look at her."
"People like that should be, like, banned from society."
"She's just so...i don't know..."

"Fat."

********************************

A girl walks into a full classroom, a few seconds before first period's bell rings. She's got bright eyes and a smile that makes you wonder what she'd been up to before walking into class. Her skin is slightly flushed; she's got that "glowy", porcelain look. Her hair's long, shiny and golden brown. She's beautiful. But something's off: no one is staring at her beauty. Everyone's absorbed in something else, or have already averted their narrowed, condescending eyes.
Another girl walks in. She's got bright eyes and a smile that makes you wonder what she'd been up to before walking into class. Her skin is slightly flushed; she's got that "glowy", porcelain look. Her hair's long, shiny and golden brown. She's beautiful.

EVERYONE is staring at her.

The difference between Girl 1 and Girl 2? The six-letter word that makes most people squirm: Weight.

Many people don't realize what they're saying when they joke around and call a friend "puffy", "soft", or "chubby". It's damaging, in more ways than one. To make you understand, here's an example:

A woman with cancer recently went through with chemotherapy. She lost her hair, her long, flowing blonde hair that she'd treasured since age 6. Every time she's in public, she constantly feels like someone is staring. Someone is judging. And she immmediately puts her hands up to her head, feeling self-concsiously for the hair that will take years and years to grow back. Someone walks up to her and says, "You're bald." She bursts into tears and doesn't go back in public for days.

That's, precisely, how it feels for (most) overweight people when someone comments about their weight negatively. It's especially bad for the person if they've tried without success to lose the weight. It's like a dagger, thrust over and over and over in the chest. Where it hurts.

So, next time you go to make a "fat joke" or laugh in your palm at an overweight person, just think to yourself how damaging your comments or stares could be. Most overweight people aren't happy with being fat, so your comments of "Stop eating, fatso" and "Time for a diet!" don't help much. Don't get me wrong: obesity is a huge (no pun intended) problem in America, and shouldn't be ignored. But keep your advice to yourself, leave it to the doctors and nutritionists.

After all, you never know how much one word can affect a person.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

lgrs_88 said...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm:
Oh, Lord. I love this. Amazingly written - so exactly what my story is. I'm marking this as my favourite. And I'm really curious - were you teased for being overweight? How were you able to so accurately write about this?
 
nagrombackwards replied...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm :
Thank you! I'm glad someone is relating to my work. And yes, i was teased a bit, but really this was inspired from what I see going on around me, the others who get teased even more severly than I did.
So the accuracy of the issue is indeed from personal experience, among other things.
 
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