Age six mop headed ambitious girl, ready to start school for the next year. For many years I had gotten hand me downs from my older sisters and this year was no exception. I was never one to complain about it but this year it seemed my body was growing completely out of “proportion”. The shirts were now showing my belly because they weren’t long enough but the bigger hand me downs would fall off my shoulders so I had continued to wear the shorter ones. I remember getting one new jacket and pair of shoes for the first grade. I was so grateful for my jacket. Proud really.
I wore my jacket to school every day despite all of teasing I got. One particular day stands out to me. Walking to school as usual I went and waited outside my classroom door hoping the teacher would open the door so that I wouldn’t have to bear the breeze wafting up my belly. Standing next to me was I girl whom I tried to avoid on a regular basis. The blonde haired brown eyed bratty beauty. She stood about six to seven inches shorter than me, and I remember looking over her shoulders, as she was viewing a book with pictures of dancing girls, with Halloween costumes, that seemed roughly our same age.
She caught me glancing and shouted “My mom is buying me one like this because she says I look just like her” pointing at a picture of a beautiful girl with a princess costume.
“Don’t you wish you could be pretty” I was certainly taken back, but I turned away to avoid her.Trying to get my attention she annoyingly said,
“I know why you wear that coat every day… I’ve seen you take it off before and I know why you wear it.” By this time everyone else was starting to line up by the door waiting for the teacher, I thought about moving to the back of the line to evade any more harassment, but didn’t think I could stand one more second in the chilly morning air. So I let her to continue to badger me.
“Hey guess what??” she exclaimed to the class. “Amber’s clothes don’t fit because she is a giant.” Giggling and snickering broke out across the whole world.. or so it seemed to me. She returned to her book and the teacher opened the door for class, I was the first one in and first one out every day for the rest of the year.
It is so wrong for to put out images or set ideals of what people are “supposed” to look like. Young girls like myself, (a while back), being tricked into thinking there is a universal shape we are supposed to fit into. Unfortunately I was not the only victim of this tragically growing trend. According to the New York Times, an average human being sees over 5000 advertisements a day, and more and more there are magazines and books with plastic women, and blown up men. Some don’t realize the effects that it can have on a person. When people have a mind set for a partner with the perfect body they try to compare it to women in magazines who don’t even exist. It doesn’t do well for self-confidence either. It needs to be stressed more often that the proportions of our bodies are not the same, and there is no such thing as a one size fits all proportion; and we shouldn’t expect there to be.