Watch Me Bare My Soul And Have A Panic Attack

I’ve been overweight my entire life. To and from varying degrees, but overweight just the same.

Now let’s be clear:

1. I know what I look like.
2. This is not a poor, pitiful me kind of opinion piece.
3. If you’re going to insult me at the end of this, please come up with something more clever than “fat.” Try something I haven’t heard every day since the third grade.

And, for the record, chubby babies make the cutest babies.

I would have stolen me from a park.

I would have stolen me from a park.

My weight is quite literally the only thing in my life that isn’t perfect. I have a wonderful set of parents, great friends, a loving boyfriend, a job I worked my ass off (well, at least some of it) to get, and an internship at CBS radio in New York City for when I graduate. And if that’s not enough, I’m probably funnier than all of your friends.

My weight has never inhibited me from doing the things I want to do.

My family is full of beautiful, thin women who place an emphasis on what they look like, which is why I dress so well, and make sure I’m completely put together every day. But, let’s be honest, I’m the fat one.

I’ve coped with being overweight by being the funny, fat friend. Or just ignoring that I have a weight issue at all. Trust me, if I don’t address it, someone else will, so no need to worry. I’m constantly aware.

Recently, I’ve noticed something on the internet called “fat-shaming.” Some kind of cruel, unintelligent fad where people think it’s OK to insult someone who is overweight.

I was on the Whisper App the other day, and a girl posted a comment on how she wanted to be thin. Everyone responded back with things like, “Get your lazy ass off the couch and go do it,” or, “Stop eating, you piece of lard.”

It’s funny, too, because people would never say something like that to someone who was addicted to a drug. Or to someone who was gay. Or to someone who was a minority.

If someone said, “I really wish I could quit doing cocaine,” no one would say, “Well, then get it together and stop, you worthless piece of crap.” Not ever. It may seem like a stretch to some people, but it’s the same thing.

Being overweight is just as difficult to overcome as anything else. It’s a constant struggle every single day.

Here's another baby picture for good measure. Side note: I'm really glad my eyes un-crossed and I grew into my nose.

Here’s another baby picture for good measure. Side note: I’m really glad my eyes un-crossed and I grew into my nose.

Fat-shaming is nothing new, either. It’s just getting progressively worse since people are behind a computer instead of in someone’s face. So, insults like these and suggestions for people to go kill themselves are nothing out of the ordinary because online fat-shamers have no one to answer to.

Somewhat recently, I was a recipient of this kind of shaming. Notice I didn’t say victim, because, to be honest, I think bullying is absolutely necessary for building character. If I wouldn’t have gotten bullied, I wouldn’t have developed such a killer personality, which has gotten my foot in the door of almost every avenue I’ve decided to pursue in my life.

Anyway, there was a fake Twitter made up for The Hub@TTU when we first started. Sound kind of juvenile, right? Being in your early 20’s and still feeling the need to make fake Twitters so you can insult people?

Anyway, I covered and live Tweeted an event called The Donut Dash, where people ate a dozen donuts and ran a 5k.

Obviously, I had already thought of what people could say to me about covering an event having to do with donuts. I’m not an idiot.

But, the fake Hub Twitter tweeted directly at me something along the lines of, “Nothing like cramming down a dozen donuts and dashing. Am I right?”

I finally came to the realization that nothing I do in this life, whether it’s a job, or a story, or an internship in New York City, matters unless I’m thin. Of course, I cried. So whoever did it, mad props to you.

But when people do things like this, do they think they’re pointing out something about myself that I don’t already know? Like I’ve been totally unaware for the last 21 years that I am this way? I would like to ignore it. I would like for things to be different.

So, I chose to change things.

I joined Weight Watchers four weeks ago and have lost about seven pounds, which, in four weeks, isn’t too shabby.

The difference between this type of weight loss and any other that I’ve attempted is a small but important distinction:

I’m not trying to lose weight because I hate myself anymore. I’m doing it because I love myself and I want to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside. I’m happy with the person I am, regardless of what losers hiding behind Twitter say.

And, in honor of the upcoming Feed Your Body and Soul Week here at Texas Tech, I would like to challenge those of you who aren’t necessarily happy with yourselves, or comfortable in your body to understand what you’ve got going on is completely different from anyone else. I know exactly where you are. I don’t like my body. I don’t think it’s pretty, but I think that I’m a beautiful person. Far more beautiful than those people who try and hurt others without any repercussions, and absolutely more beautiful than the people tweeting at me about my imperfections.

It’s taken a lot for me to want to post anything like this. I’m afraid someone will make fun of me or laugh at my attempt to be serious, and I’m sure someone will.

I don’t think this opinion will necessarily change the world, or even Texas Tech campus. The world is the way it is, and bullying and fat-shaming, or any other type of shaming for that matter, will always be around. It’s just the way things are, but, if I can relate to at least one person, I have a feeling it will be worth it.

About Sydney Holmes

Comments

  1. I love you, Sydney Holmes and I think you are beautiful inside and out. It’s a little shocking we’re friends, considering how pretty you are. #I’llfightanyonewhosaysdifferent

  2. Barbie Chambers says:

    Great job Syndey…authentic…that is a rarity in a world where hiding behind a screen is standard. I’ve never understood exactly how someone preys on others to I guess feel better about themselves? Look important? Get a laugh? Show their true colors? I’m a firm believer that those people will eventually get what they have coming to them. Then the rest of us who spend time trying to actually make the world a better place will be able to sleep at night and have peace when it matters most. I applaud your wit and candor. I want to encourage you that the older you get, the more at peace you become with yourself. It sounds like you have a terrific head start!

Trackbacks

  1. […] (for Asbestos on Campus), JOUR 2013 alumni Sydney Holmes for Online Feature Reporting (for Watch me bare my soul and have a panic attack) and Claudia Tristan for Online News Reporting (for Surviving rape at Texas […]

%d bloggers like this: