They called me “FAT”, because of my SIZE.

Dorothy Nabakooza
Posted July 1, 2017 from Uganda
Proud of who I am
Photo credit by Dorothy Nabakooza

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.

This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.

Comments 13

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Matilda Moyo
Jul 02, 2017
Jul 02, 2017

Wow,

“Stop hating yourself for what you aren’t and start loving yourself for who you are.” - that is such a beautiful truth.

Thanks for sharing and I must say I admire your strength. It's not easy being different in a cruel and intolerant world.

All the best!

Matilda

Dorothy Nabakooza
Jul 12, 2017
Jul 12, 2017

Thanks Matilda, I pray this story gets published for the world to know the truth we think.

Nnenna Hannah okoh-Metu
Jul 04, 2017
Jul 04, 2017

you are beautiful just the way you are,you are much more than your body,you are unique

Dorothy Nabakooza
Jul 12, 2017
Jul 12, 2017

thank you Hannah, powerful words indeed.

REHEMA CIZA
Jul 11, 2017
Jul 11, 2017

Merci beaucoup ma Chérie,vous êtes très forte et différente dans le monde. 

serf
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

Your story is so moving. I am a "big" woman, too, have been since my 40s--I am now 65. I find that sometime I become invisible--if we are not "built" fashionably, we sometimes get overlooked, which is also a form of passive violence. Keep spreading your word!

Dorothy Nabakooza
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

Thank you serf, this is indeed encouraging.

I hope to inspire the world.

JJ
Jul 18, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

Your story really hits home to me.  I applaud you for your strength and understanding that first, YOU must accept and love yourself! We have just this one life, and I'm happy to hear that you are appreciating and accepting yourself. What does it matter if others see you differently? In reality, they are most likely feeling bad about themselves too, and hiding behind the bluff of criticizing others. It took me a long time to accept myself in all my quirkiness, but I have reached the point of realizing that my role in life is to help others, and that is enough. I am enough. You are enough.  :-)

Dorothy Nabakooza
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

Thanks JJ

It surely took me a long time to get things together and accept my beauty. We are beautiful in and out!

Esparanza Evita
Jul 18, 2017
Jul 18, 2017

thanks for sharing your story it encourages a lot of young dealing with the burden of weight gain, being plus size doesn't make you less human and people who call you fat doesn't make them the less thinner, i myself am big and tall i grew more than my age but i learn the hard way that with the right approach my size brought respect also there is this saying going around if you don't like the way you look then do something about it.

Dorothy Nabakooza
Jul 19, 2017
Jul 19, 2017

You are welcome Esparanza,

Cute name you got there too. :-)

I feel encouraged when i get to read such warm words. i mean there is someone out there who believes in who and what they are.

Cheers. Dorothy

Wendy Stebbins
Feb 06, 2018
Feb 06, 2018

Wow. You are amazing. Love your vulnerability in sharing the bullying,etc. You have grown through this. Having been bullied like you, for a variety of reasons I really appreciate a person like you. In your long unfair situation you could have withered and said you were a victim and felt sorry for yourself. Or you could keep saying "some day I will SHOW YOU." And strive to be your highest self. You chose the latter. And you and the world are better for it. Thank you, Donar.

Wendy Stebbins
Feb 06, 2018
Feb 06, 2018

Dorothy, I just saw this quote and thought of you:

"WHAT WAS MEANT AS HARM, I WILL USE TO MY ADVANTAGE". 

Keep it coming, Dorothy