Monday 6 January 2020

[Book gifted to me]

When I was growing up the body positivity movement didn't exist in my world. We didn't have mobile phones until secondary school, we didn't have Facebook until we were 13, and we didn't surf the web as they called it back then – you were lucky if you owned any technology other than a PS2, MP3 player or lava lamp.

But if Instagram and the internet as a whole was more prominent then, then maybe my schooling would have been a little more enjoyable. Although arguably it could have been a lot worse with the internet (e.g. cyber bullying (something I luckily missed out on)) – there are a lot of things that my generation could have benefitted from back then. The likes of the body positivity movement being one of the many benefits.

I'm not saying that the BOPO movement would have transformed the personalities of mean bullies, but it might have changed the overall perspective of fat, big, chubby girls at school.

When I was at school I was a bit bigger than the other girls. I was in a size 14 trouser while they were all in size 6 or 8. I hated P.E. purely because I felt like a sore thumb, and I hated the P.E. kit because the shorts looked hideous on me (those awful shiny things, remember?) and I hated my chunky thighs. I dreaded swimming lessons at school, I dreaded the changing rooms, I hated school uniform rules and I absolutely hated sports day.

Maybe school would have been a more positive environment had have had the influences of the body positivity movement. Maybe girls wouldn't have called me fat and ugly in the changing rooms, maybe that boy in my class in year three wouldn't have drawn a picture of me "having a heart attack" because I was apparently "sooooo fat", maybe I wouldn't have had attendance below 60% because I hated it so much and my mum let me stay home.

This all came to me while I was reading The (Other) F Word: A Celebration Of The Fat & Fierce, edited by Angie Manfredi. I was gifted this book the other week and it resonates with me on so many levels. When I read the book dedication, the bit that really got me was when I read: "And for every fat teenager reading this: there's so much greatness here waiting for you. Come find us, we love you." And at that point I was stunned.. I just sat there and thought to myself "If I had read this when I was eleven, then maybe, just maybe school would have been better. Maybe I'd have had the balls to stand up for myself, to not give a shit, to embrace my chub, my fat, my curves – whatever you want to call them."

Do you wish that the BOPO movement was more prominent when you were younger? Share your thoughts with me below!

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