Gender based violence takes many forms. In this context, it has been brutal for me as a plus-size woman. According to my mother, I was born a tinny girl who later started gaining weight as I grew up. I was the only fat child out of the family of four children but it never bothered me because my family equally loved me.
Not until primary school, when I became more aware of how I looked like. I was always isolated myself from other pupils; I did not feel comfortable in my own skin. This hurt a lot; I did not have many friends. No one wanted to be friends with a “big girl.” I became so lonely sometimes and hated myself for being fat. There was a time when I just could not wait to for school to break off and I go home from all this hate.
Up to now, there are some insensitive people who still call me fat but it no longer bothers me like it used to. Some people refer to me as the fat one as they are giving a description to other people of who I am. For example, in a conversation one says, Oh You mean Dorothy, the fat one!.
There is always plus-size segregation everywhere, even in public cars like taxis; people do not want to sit near me with justification that I am fat so I'll be squeezing them. I once failed to get a job when the Human Resource Manager said I was too big to represent his company.
But despite the challenges, I continue to raise awareness to any plus-size girls out there not to take it so personal when abused or called “FAT”. I know it hurts but I have reached a point in time where I am proud of whom I am and I literally do not pay attention to fat “shamers.”
I encourage girls out there to love themselves. “Stop hating yourself for what you aren’t and start loving yourself for who you are.” Sometimes even if you practice hard exercises and start dieting, you may still remain thick despite your hard work, so will you continue to dislike yourself?
Change your mindset and know that you are the only one who can love yourself as much as you can because loving yourself begins with you. There are people who will love you for who you are.
Everyone is beautiful in their own skin, in their own way; you do not need anyone’s validation of who you are and what you can do. Life is too short.
Dictionary meaning of some words.
Fat: the presence of excess fat in a person, having a lot of excess fat.
Context: Circumstances that form the setting of an event, statement or an idea.
Insensitive: Lacking concern of others' feelings.
Fat-shamers: people who call others fat with intention of abusing and making them feel bad.
Article by Nabakooza Dorothy.
How to Get Involved
Let us discourage fat shaming. Play your part in fighting bullies.
You should let people know that, "thick or skinny", we all deserve equal treatment and equal opportunities in this world. Try to look at what I can do rather than how I look.
Remember this type of bullying starts from schools and spreads to the communities, so let us all create awareness in schools that we need to treat each other with respect.
We all need peace in the world; we all want to be happy, there are already too many problems in the world besides you adding on fat shaming people. Encourage your children, friends and family to treat people equally regardless of their skin color, body type, or age.
An equal world is possible, it starts with YOU.