Growing up as a Chubby Child and body Image:
Chubby Kid – Growing up as a chubby child had profound effects on my self-esteem and my feeling of self-worth. I was always regarded as the child that retained his “baby fat.” Hence, I would always avoid getting my shirt off in public, even while swimming. Clothing that contained elastic was my clothing of choice. My parents always shielded me from the harsh fact that I really needed to lose some weight. My family members, despite being “health food fanatics”, would be considered overweight by the current standards. I recall being told by my parents which our family just has a glandular problem, and there is nothing we can do about our weight. I bought into this excuse “hook, line and sinker.” I was merely predisposed to be heavy; it was in my genes.
In Elementary school, I was recognized along with my excessive weight because there were certain games by which hefty kids have the edge. In childhood games like red rover, tackle football, and dodge ball, colossus was an obvious edge. Through the process of picking teams, I was consistently among the first to be decided. In other games for example tag, baseball, and “hide and seek” it proved to be a disadvantage. I was never a quick runner, agile athlete, nor a graceful gymnast. I used ton’t care about girls, as they were infected with “cooties” and were to be prevented as if they’d some incurable ailment. I used ton’t feel bad about myself, as I performed adequately in some of the conventional boy hood games. The basic truth was that I excelled at some games rather than at others. I did shine in the academic sp here and was thus accepted by my peers in these early years.
Body Image Issues & Growing Up as a Chubby Kid
In middle school, the understanding of gender attraction, the start of puberty, male dominance and gender-based competition shattered any self esteem which I held. My first year in middle school, the rules changed, and girls had been healed of their dreaded “cooties.” The boys or “men” as we referred to ourselves now, desired to be noticed by girls. We desired to hold their hands, we needed to kiss them, or if we were extremely awesome, reach the proverbial “first base.” The guys were now in competition with each other for the gals’ attention. New words had entered our vocabulary; words like zits, klutz, and pubes. My first year in middle school, as a chubby child, didn’t go well at all for me. I was the brunt of many jokes, and the girls wouldn’t be seen talking to me. I was as unpopular as a zit and seen with exactly the same disregard. I became somewhat of a loner, as I figured nobody could hurt view if I didn’t allow anyone to get close to me. I started to seek shelter in the relaxation of my over-protective family, and this just made my evaluation even more essential. My self-esteem and my feeling of self worth ended up in the toilet. My chubby self began to turn to “comfort food” for consolation, which of course just made my situation worse.
It was at this time around within my life when Anna changed my prognosis. This came about the first Monday after school had let out for the summer. My two older sisters in high school would not be done with school until that Friday. My mom and father both happened to be working, and I was to left home alone. Being at home without supervision, I wasn’t permitted to go out, but the idea of having someone over had not crossed my parents’ minds. That Monday morning, I ‘d determined to sunbathe and get a leap on my tan, also expecting that the sun would help clear my complexion. I was enjoying the sunshine when the doorbell rang. Wrap a towel around me, I answered the door, and there stood Anna. Anna being a year younger than I, we generally chose other friends. She explained that all the neighborhood kids were either away on holiday, or had began summer school. She asked if I needed to come outside and ride bikes or something. Informing her that I could not go out and play, she asked what I was doing. I described that I was sunbathing, and that was why I was wrapped in a towel. She asked if she could join me, and we headed out to the backyard. We sat down on the blanket I ‘d spread out before, and Anna asked why I was not removing my towel. I described that I was self conscious about being heavy and was embarrassed to take it away in front of her. Anna’s physique was the exact reverse of mine; she was as thin as a rail, with no curves whatsoever. Anna also had a twelve inch scar on her left thigh, which she had received as an infant in an automobile accident. As we sat in the sunlight we shared our body image problems with one another, openly and honestly discussing how we felt about our body parts. Anna hated the fact that she hadn’t began to develop, but had resigned herself to the fact that she did not care what other people thought. We discussed how both of us were avoided by the children our own age and how we were both teased on a daily basis.
I came to realize through Anna that we both had our own body issues. In fact, most everyone would like to alter some part of these bodies. By discussing our own body problems with one another truthfully, openly, and without passing judgment, we came to be at peace with our “flaws.” We spent the whole week together, each day meeting at my house. We both decided that we didn’t care what others thought anymore. We’d freed ourselves from the burden in their ruling. We understood that many people make an effort to feel better about themselves by criticizing others. If anyone had an issue with our bodies, they owned that problem, not us. By the end of that week, I was able to confront my devil that my weight had not been due to some odd glandular trouble and acknowledge my shortcoming. I ‘ve fought all of my life to control my weight, but never have I struggled to control how I feel about my body.
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Tags: body image, body shame, children and kids, fat shaming, teenagers
Class: Body Image Blogs, Social Activism
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Growing up as a Chubby Child and body Image: