I remember the first time I became aware of how the word "fat" could be used to harm and skew perceptions.
I was 13 and getting ready for P.E. (Gym) class and one of my 'friends' said, with a pointed glance in my direction, that if your stomach stuck out more than your boobs, you were fat.
I shot a furtive glance down at my person, that I'd always thought was okay. Slim, but not skinny. I doubted myself. Had I been fat all along without realising it? My body was certainly taking a little longer to kick into puberty than hers - bras had long been a necessity for this 'friend' - but I thought that was natural.
I told my mum about this later, and she of course countered everything this girl had said. She said that this girl was probably jealous as she was a bit overweight herself and wanted to make herself feel better.
It didn't completely assuage my fears, though. It wasn't until a couple of years ago (I'm now 24) that I decided, screw dieting. Screw slimming down for summer. Screw unrealistic bikini bodies. As long as I don't overload my body with junk, I'm going to enjoy my food.
And so you see how one little phrase takes root in impressionable young minds and blooms into the most marvellous weed.
Created: Apr 23, 2014bfinlayson Document Media