What most people don`t realize is that men can fall victim to body shamming, just as much as a female can. I myself have fallen victim a few times and I am going to share those stories with you. Looking back at these stories that I am about to share with you, I have come to realize that I was my heaviest when I was in middle school and that both of these stories are from when I was in eighth grade.
It was fourth period, and I was in my civics class, we needed to form groups to form our own “fake communities” and come up with these businesses and who ran what business. Like I have mentioned before, I became the silent type because I didn’t want to be judged for my own opinion. Anyways, when the groups were picked, I kept to myself and let others do the deciding. The members in my group assigned roles to one another. the roles were common ones to have in a community such as a teacher, a reporter, a mailman, etc. Then it came time for a role to be assigned to me. I was given the title of “The Baker”, and from the very second that I got that role I knew that my day was going to get worse. When it came time to introduce our communities to our class I avoided eye contact at all costs because I knew what would be coming in the next few minutes. As our group leader started to introduce the business, I kept thinking of a way to come up with an excuse to get out of that class and fast. Unfortunately, the excuses didn’t come to my rescue as much as I wanted them to. It was time for my business role to get introduced. “And last but not least, we have our town baker, RJ. He’s been in business for three months now, we are not sure if he is a good baker or not though mainly because every time we go into the bakery the shelves are bare. I believe that he eats everything and leaves nothing for the customers. I mean look at how fat he is.” The whole class started to laugh, to avoid tears I tried not to make eye contact with anyone in my class. The last minute of that class took what felt like an hour. The bell rang and dismissed us for lunch. I skipped eating lunch that day, I felt fat enough as it was. Why add more weight to my shame?
My second body shaming story ironically happened when I was trying to loose weight.
With the encouragement from the coach, I joined the middle school track team in the spring of eighth grade. The coach told me that it would be a great way to make friends. That`s why he believed that I did it, or at least thats why he convinced me to join the team. However, I joined the team for a completely different reason. I wanted to loose wight. I wanted to end all of the negativity that was going on in my life. That didn’t happen, I only made matters worse for myself. As you can imagine, I wasn’t the fastest runner on the team, I was the slowest. To paint you all a picture, I looked like a marsh-mellow with arms and legs running in slow-motion away from a campfire. I was laughed at by a few memebers of my track team because the uniform didn’t fit my body the way that it should have. Man did I hate having to wear that uniform to meets. I kinda gave up on being healthy and came to the conclusion that I would be picked on no matter what. So I continued putting on a fake smile and a fake laugh every now and then when a joke was made about my weight.
Those were just two of my experiences with body shaming. I have experienced some body shaming recently, but that is for another time.
Goal: Never judge a book by its cover. Some people have the biggest heart and a layer of fat is “protecting” it from all of the sticks, stones, and words that are being thrown at it.