This I Believe: Size Matters

Feb 17, 2015

Kaytlin Jacoby - Taylorville High School
Credit Rachel Lattimore / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

I have never been thin.  Since my earliest memory, “normal-size” clothing has not fit me.  I remember being seven, distressed that I had to shop the tired floral prints of the “husky” sizes.  I remember the day I was told that I was too big to wear two-piece swimsuits.  I remember that I stopped swimming entirely because no swim suit fit comfortably.

I remember wearing trendy clothes that were too tight in middle school because I wanted to wear the pretty outfits all the other girls wore.  I remember crying after a day of shopping because everything looked bad on me.  I remember averting my eyes from every magazine cover so that I wouldn’t feel negatively about my body.  I remember all the jokes and negative comments made about fat women on social media, some by my friends.  I remember being told by a doctor when I was fourteen that I would never be loved or beautiful unless I lost weight.  I remember being ashamed to even exist.  I remember when I nearly didn’t try out to be my marching band’s drum major because I was so afraid that I couldn’t be successful because I was a fat woman.  I believed that I had no value to anyone because I wasn’t slender, but I am not defined by my weight.  I am defined by my actions.

I no longer believe that one body type has more value than another.  Large or small; pear-shaped, apple-shaped, or hourglass figured: none of it matters.  The only thing that matters is what you do with the one life that’s been given to you.  I used to be so upset if someone called me fat.  I now believe that “fat” is not an insult, just an adjective.  Yes, my body has fat.  My body has more fat than most bodies do.  .  The size on the tag of my clothing does not determine what I can or cannot do.  I believe that I am more than fat.  I believe that I’m also funny, intelligent and caring.  I believe that I am hundreds of adjectives in addition to “fat.”  I certainly hope that “fat” isn’t the most important thing I am in the eyes of other people.  I believe that beauty is not a size.  I believe that there is more to life than constantly struggling to lose weight.  I believe that “fat” does not mean “ugly” or “unlovable.”  I believe that the skin I am in is beautiful, exactly how it is.  I believe that there is no such thing as an ugly body or an ugly person.  I believe in spreading body positivity instead of body negativity.  After all, why hate the only body that will ever be yours?  This I believe.