May 17, 2010

Perceptions

Looking back:

Words affect one’s perception of themselves, of others.

Age 3 or 4: At a concert with my parents and older sister. Someone boosts Chantele onto their shoulders so she can see. I hear someone offer to pick me up, and then hear my mother say, “She’s too heavy, don’t worry about it.” I stand throughout the concert staring at the adult butts in front of my face. I never saw the band.

Age 3, I'm in the pink tights

Age 7: My mom puts me on my first diet.

Skating with friends, age 7. I'm wearing the red pants.

Grade school years: Family refers to me as "a big girl".

Jr. High: A boy in my drama class calls me Big, Fat & Ugly.

The annual sister cheesecake picture.
I'm on the left, wearing red.
Jr. High years

High school: I don’t date anyone from my school. I’m a wallflower. The friend of the popular, cute, tiny, cheerleaders. Taller than all my girlfriends, taller than the boys until sophomore year.

Senior year of high school: My best friend’s mother tells me confidentially she never thought her daughter would be fat. My friend had recently gained weight. For the first time, we wear the same size.

College: My best friend becomes bulemic, she starts snorting cocaine. She gets very thin, and receives a lot of positive attention about her figure. She is a size 4.

1992: I read a medical report listing me as obese. I am 5’ 10”. At the time, I was wearing a size 10.
1992 with my sisters.
I'm on the right.

Late 90's/early 2000's: My friend, whose mother referred to her as fat and who then became bulemic, has children. Three of them are girls. I hear her tell her oldest daughter she is fat. She isn’t. The cycle continues.

2010: My friend’s are all slim. My face seems to be getting rounder. Technically, I wear the same size clothing I did in high school, although my body sure looks different. I still tower above my friends.

And I still try to make peace with my size.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My 20 year old daughter has the same measurements I had when I was her age. 36-22-37. I considered myself as very large when I was 20. My mother called my 5'9 sister as thin and tall...she called me short and round like a teddy bear to hug. I look at my daughter's figure and think what I would give to wear that size again.

M.Kate said...

Seriously, I am desperately trying to make peace with my size too! I was very thin when younger..and then after 3 kids, well we know the answer. I did try..to loose all those weight but after some while, I am ok (not happy) with it. It never ends. Because the eating never stops. And the butt never exercise.Haha! Same cycle here too :)

Fog and Thistle said...

No matter what size they are, most women spend their entire lives trying to make peace with their bodies.

My advice (and believe me, it's easier to preach it than to follow it) is to talk to yourself the same way you would your best friend. Would we ever speak to our friends the way we do internally?

You are gorgeous, inside and out. Be nice to yourself! (and I'll try to do the same)

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

Don't know that I know anyone without an insecurity or two (or 7383). The idea that we need to "love ourselves as is" is nice, but not often obtainable. I mean, we all have preferences and sometimes we don't fit our own ideals. And yeah, lifelong comments can tarnish our psyche good and dirty. But being kind to yourself is really the only thing you can do- don't throw salt in the wounds! No point in making the dirt thicker than it already is. PS- you're lovely as is.

Golden West said...

My first reaction on seeing your pictures was "Look how good Charmaine looks - love the scarf!"

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger - we're all messed up to some degree and have issues. Set yourself some priorities, keep moving forward and don't pay a whole lot of attention to what other people say, including me! Wishing you all the best.

Renegade Behavior said...

It's amazing the things we remember from our childhood. I can't help but think that those comments though hurtful and helped to shape you into the wonderful caring person that you are today....

I love your height : ) On of my bestfriends is 6' and wears 3" heels when we go out and boy are we a sight lol me at 5'3....but we are accepting of one another and those who don't like it can kick rocks and blow bubbles.

High Desert Diva said...

Thanks all.

I'd just been thinking about this type of post for a while, so I finally did it.

chelsea said...

Firstly, YOU ARE GORGEOUS, AWESOME & AMAZING, and it saddens me to think you have to try to make peace with any part of yourself. Way to go, society. Grrrr. Secondly - really? You post a pic of your average, normal sized self next to a girl who is actually a miniature person, who is so tiny, she's must be part elf? I have to stand on stairs to see the world like you do, I have to buy padded bras to make my clothes fit. My ass does not fill out those sooo cute sailor pants the way yours does - you are lucky, even if you feel like the skinny bitches got all the luck. It honestly makes me cry to hear of girls who are bulemic. I lost a friend to bulemia. How dare society make anyone puke themselves to death! People come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and that is as it should be. One shape size or color is not better than another. Sigh. Humans suck.

High Desert Diva said...

Those sailor pants are PDC...and you're not an elf.