Journey of the Fat Girl

Jess Henry

My entire life I’ve been known as the fat girl.

Which was funny at first because when you’re in elementary school

you can make a joke about it and blame it on girl scout cookies

and childhood chub.

But the more you grow up the more you get sick of hearing the word fat.

Fat this Fat that. Fatty Fatty two by four. Couldn’t get through the kitchen door

And all you can do to survive is laugh.

And sometimes You’ll make jokes about your own fat

Trying to make people stop talking about it

but really you’re kind of dying inside.

In high school your HAHA moments fail

and being called fat just makes you hate yourself.

One day after PE some boys were calling me fat and I couldn’t laugh.

So my body’s immediate response was to cry.

And I ran into my teacher’s office to cry

and she looked me in the face and said- You are beautiful.

But then she called friend Lauren in who was like,

90 lbs and had her hold out her wrist.

Then she put mine next to it.

Mine was probably twice the size of Lauren’s

which really just hurt my feelings

and I was wondering what the hell she was doing.

But then she took my hand, looked me in the eye and said

“you were not built to be a stick. You were built, to be you.

And that does not make you any less beautiful”

She kind of saved my life.

At school I have a wall of shame.

What I did was flip through Cosmopolitan

and I cut out pictures of all the girls in Bikinis

of skinny girls with their midriffs showing and words like

Sexy and Hot, , and Lose Weight

And I taped them all over the wall in my dorm Room.

Pretty Self-destructive... huh?

One of the organizations on campus
put sticky notes all over the school with inspirational sayings on them

Like, you are Beautiful. And You are Strong.

and Love your body for what it does, not what it can’t do.

So I took them off the walls and put them up in my room.
I put one sticky note over the face and stomach of every girl on my wall of shame.

So now it’s a wall of acceptance.

Baby steps.

Looking back on all the times I was called fat

I just want to turn around and say


Well Fuck you!

Just because I’m not a scarecrow-
and just because I have love handles

Does not make me any less loveable.

And I wish that I could make every bigger person all over the world feel special

Just because you aren’t 100lbs-

And just because one day some jerk decided to call you fat-

That does not make him better than you!

I wasn’t built to be a stick.
Maybe you were. Or, Maybe you weren’t either.

But whenever you’re feeling bad about yourself

and your weight

and your body just remember these words.

You were built, to be you. And it doesn’t make you any less Beautiful.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790