I am not a number

I am six. When describing my mother I mention that she is fat and the kids around me giggle. I am confused; I do not yet realise this is a bad word.

I am eight. My best friend's mother comes into the room where we were playing and asks if I notice anything different about her. Before I can guess she tells me she lost weight. She seems to expect me to congratulate her, so I do.

I am still eight. Our biology workbook asks us to colour a little square for every ten kilos we weigh and I colour one less than I should.

I am nine. A girl boasts about how she only weighs twenty kilos. Other girls say this can't be true and tell everyone their own weight. I watch from the sidelines and keep quiet, afraid.

I am still nine. I compare myself to others and don't like what I see. I feel better when there are kids around that look like they weigh more than I do.

I am eleven. I decide to start dieting in secret by eating less. I don't, but I am delighted when my favourite pair of pants seem to leave more room around the waist than they did before. I am kidding myself by holding my breath.

I am twelve. I have grown a lot in the last few months and everywhere I go grown ups notice my height. It is not the only thing they notice; I learn to be proud of how thin I look now.

I am thirteen. My parents make a habit out of pointing out that I am the thinnest in our family of four. I feel uncomfortable, but the compliments are nice. My little not-thinnest-in-the-family sister watches.

I am still thirteen. A girl in my class wears a thight shirt. She has a bit of a belly. I judge her for it.

I am fourteen. I am at my grandparents' anniversary party and an elderly relative tells me that if he looked like me, he would eat a piece of every cake offered. I think about it for a week afterwards.

I am fifteen. I find out that my mother keeps a calendar hidden on the side of the washing machine where she jots down her weight everyday. I feel embarrassed. I am unsure why.

I am sixteen. My aunt and cousin don't want birthday cake because they are dieting. I take two pieces.

I am eighteen. I tell people I have never worried about my weight. I think back and realise it is technically a lie, but there are those who have it worse, so perhaps it's not? I write a poem, wondering why society teaches little kids to determine their selfworth by a number.

Reacties (22)

  • DontDropp

    Prachtig, echt. Je moet jezelf niet zien als een nummer, een getal. Je moet jezelf zien als een levend persoon met een hart en een ziel. Je moet leven, en je niet zo druk maken over hoeveel je weegt. Iedereen let er wel eens op, maar laat het geen obsessie worden.

    Echt, een prachtig gedicht (: This really lights me up.

    7 jaar geleden
  • SonOfGondor

    Erg mooi!

    7 jaar geleden
  • WillNotLearn

    Echt heel erg mooi geschreven

    7 jaar geleden
  • Wiarda

    Ik ben er stil van, echt.

    7 jaar geleden
  • Lacrimarum

    Ik vraag me echt af wat er staat, want ik zie veel positieve reacties! (:

    7 jaar geleden

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