Life Through Her Eyes - what it's really like to hate how you look

Life Through Her Eyes - what it's really like to hate how you look

Do you know what it really feels like to be judged and hated because of your looks? Do you know what it really means to feel depressed because of something you want to change, but can't? Do you know how it feels like to gaze at the designer clothes in the shopping mall and wish you were thin enough to fit in them? Do you know what it feels like to be an overweight teenage girl? Through the eyes of my sister, Jessica Rose Flynn, find out how much unfair pain she has to feel in her everyday life.

Chapter 1

You Have No Idea How It Really Feels

First of all, hello! My name is Jessica Flynn. I am Hayley’s sister, and I am twelve years old this year. I’m going to turn thirteen in September. The reason why I am here is because I would like to give you an idea of what it’s like to be overweight. I bet most of you didn’t know this, but being overweight is torturous, especially to a girl at my age. You are bullied, laughed at, judged, and you feel like you have nowhere to turn to, because every single corner in the world is against you. You feel worthless and despised, like nobody wants you or cares about you. They don’t even bother to see who you are on the inside. They just immediately start to hate you because you don’t look right. Most people won’t understand how this feels, but I do, and if you’re someone who has the same problems as me, then I would like to let you know that you’re not the only one. I understand your pain, and I always will. It’s not something that I can forget easily. Because of being overweight, my life is truly a nightmare.

Up to this point, if you think that I am exaggerating, I’m honestly not. I wouldn’t lie to you, because I know at least one out of every five of the people who read this will judge a person in some way by their looks. I’m not saying anyone in particular, because I don’t know any of you. I hope that you guys can be tolerant of my rant and read until the very end.

Let’s give a general description of how I look. I have naturally chubby cheeks, a double chin, and you can barely see my neck. I have podgy arms and legs, and when I bend down I have three rolls of fat on my stomach. My sister made a quiz on here regarding my weight, and here I give her thanks for this. Many kind people commented saying that my BMI is average and I’m not overweight, but if you look at me on the outside, you would see someone that looks bigger than anything. People made disgusted faces at me and pretended to scream and run away from the “big, fat pig” in third grade, and now in the seventh grade they would straight away gossip about me and spread rumours that aren’t even true. People that I don’t even know come up to me and tell me that I really need to diet. My best friend for six years told me that she knew an excellent weight-loss club that helped obese people. Even my parents act like they’re ashamed of my weight, because they call me fat at least ten times a day. When I tell them to stop, they say that I’m being oversensitive and they’re only telling the truth. It’s like they don’t even care how I feel, and they treat me like it’s all just a joke. To them, it might be. To you, it might be. To me, it’s not, and it never will.

People immediately judge you when you’re overweight. When they get fed up with you, they don’t bother giving you a second chance. They think that whatever you say is so beyond stupid that it hurts their ears. Again, if a popular person had said the same thing, they would probably say that it’s the smartest thing ever. Up until now I haven’t managed to accept that fact. You might think I’m just being stupid, but why should people be treated differently because of their appearances? It’s no better than being racist, because it’s the same thing. Giving two people different treatments because one is better looking than the other. I know that first impressions count, and I usually don’t give the best first impression. But it’s just wrong to do that. Why should one person immediately be labelled as a freak just because they’re not the slimmest person in the world? They might have an amazing personality. And why should another person be called perfect just because they look better? They might have a horrible personality. But does that matter to most people? No. It’s the looks that count.

People also believe that overweight people are a disgrace to the society. Here’s an example that happened to me just a couple of months ago. I love music, especially singing. Our school was putting on a play and I wanted to be in the singing team. We were meant to stand in rows, and we were each given a number based on our singing abilities. The numbers one to ten stand in the front row as the lead singers, numbers eleven to twenty stand behind them as backup to the front row, if you know what I mean. I was given the number five, but then the teacher shook her head. She gave my number five to a popular girl with a pretty face, and gave me the number thirty-nine instead. That was at the very back row. What was the reason? I was too fat and ugly. It would be shameful to have me stand in the front row and have my appearance spoil the whole show. She said to me that I didn’t look quite right for a lead singing part. I was stung, of course, but I was used to people doing that to me. I tell myself to accept that as a part of life, but then another part of my brain tells me that none of this would have ever happened if I wasn’t overweight. To the society nowadays, it’s the looks that count.

Again with the prejudice, people automatically assume things about you. They think that you have violent tendencies, they think you’re dumb, and they think you’re unhealthy. I don’t mean to boast at all, but I actually have quite all right grades, and I’ve never been mean to anyone before deliberately, let alone hit them or anything. People assume things about you that aren’t even true, and then they take to believing that it is the truth. Is all this just because I’m overweight? It’s hard to believe, but to be honest, it actually is. They assume I have an unhealthy eating schedule and I have fried chicken and rich chocolate pudding every day. I actually don’t, to their surprise. I usually have plain toast for breakfast with a banana, then a salad and a couple of sandwiches for lunch, and rice for dinner. Our family doesn’t even eat dessert! It’s unfair to assume things like that. Not all overweight people are overweight because of their dietary habits. I must stand up for myself in this case.

When you’re overweight, you have a lot of pressure on you. At my school we have morning fitness, and it’s a complete nightmare. I can’t even do a single push-up without falling or injuring myself in some way. When we do cross-country running, I’m always the last one. As I watch my classmates soar one by one past the finishing line gracefully, I stumble and trip and finally reach it, red-faced and panting. I’m horrible at all sports. Whenever we do high-jump, I dread having to jump with the whole class watching. When I jump, my moves are so ungraceful, and I come down on the bar every time, causing everyone to laugh. Because of this I always get a bad general mark on my school report, as physical education is a huge part of our school curriculum. People laugh at me when I trip during obstacle courses, and nobody wants me on their team in relays. Is it all because I’m overweight? Yes, it is.

When you are overweight, and you’re a girl especially, there are things that can really crush your self esteem, hard. I had a crush, just like every girl my age, except it lasted for nearly a year. I liked him more than anything else. I always put him before myself, and I made sure he was happy all the time. But he didn’t think the same about me. He teased me because of my weight. He called me the most horrid of names. He told me to go kill myself. I had my heart broken again and again, smashed repeatedly to pieces. Imagine your crush or your boyfriend, being completely mean to you on purpose, because of how you look. It really is a horrible feeling. He was my first crush ever, and he had left a bad impression to me of the word “love”. I loved him. He didn’t love me back, and not only that, but he hated me. You don’t know how that feels. You really don’t. Even now, I still have the scar that his memories left me, all buried under layers of fat. People think we don’t have feelings because we look big and round and invincible. The truth is, we are even more sensitive than you are. We are literally fighting the crushing pressure on our shoulders every day, and that’s something you don’t see. We go through all sorts of difficulties in our lives, yet people still try to make them harder. We are suffering, and they don’t see it. Not only that, they make it worse, until the point where we just can’t carry on. So what is the answer then? Antisocial behaviour. Depression. Even suicidal thoughts. And why is all this happening? Because we are overweight.

At school, I feel socially awkward. All the kids at my school are somewhat good looking, and I just feel like I can’t fit in, no matter what. Sometimes I would take a photograph of myself and then PhotoShop it. I know it’s being fake and deceiving to myself, but it’s only to encourage me, to tell me how I might be able to look one day. But that only makes it worse. When I look at un-PhotoShopped pictures of my friends and other girls at our school, they seem to be naturally gorgeous in every single camera angle and perspective. They all have small ski-slope noses, perfectly angular faces, and curves. To me, it was all a dream of some sort. Maybe I would wake up one morning and magically have long eyelashes and sparkling eyes. Or maybe not. Chances are that I won’t. I don’t even dare to dream about it. I so desperately want to be in control of how I look, but I can’t. Nobody can. I was born like that, and I can’t do anything to change it, which is what really annoys me. There are some days where I wish I hadn’t been born at all, that I don’t have to experience all this.

Being overweight is like a punishment sentenced to you before your destiny was even decided. Especially for someone like me, who is naturally chubby and fat around the face especially. You have to be really brave and strong-willed to be able to fight against the pressures of it, and not everyone can do that. Being overweight takes willpower. You know you don’t fit in with the rest of the world, but you have to grit your teeth and do it anyway. Not everyone can do that. You have to try your best to pretend you can’t hear whatever the bullies are saying, and walk away. Not everyone can do that. You have to ignore what your family, your friends and the people around you are saying, while still navigating your own way through your own life path. Not everyone can do that. Overweight people have to be two times stronger than anyone else, because they have to fight off the rest of the world and live their own way all while keeping their own life on track. It’s not easy, but we have to. It’s all part of our lives. We have gotten used to people only seeing our faces, but not looking closely enough to see the tear tracks on them.

I bet you didn’t know a lot of that before. Don’t be surprised. This is what I and all of the overweight girls and boys like me have to go through every day. It’s pain, but what other choices are there? People won’t change unless we do, which we can’t.

Next time, if you see a chubby girl or boy sitting alone somewhere, go on and give them a smile. Tell them that they are amazing, and tell them that they will make it through. Your acknowledgement, to us, can shine like a million stars in our long-empty night sky. And if you have some nasty words to describe us with at the back of your mind, please let them fade. They’re already under more pressure than they should be. They don’t need any more.

Here I would like to give thanks to you and all the other readers, for reading this far. Sometimes, we might not have the best of looks, but we just might have the kindest of hearts.

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