The first thing that comes to mind is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Ya’ll remember that? ……..Words can definitely hurt, they sure hurt me growing up. In 7th grade I noticed that I could no longer see the chalkboard as clearly as I used to and that’s when it all began. I needed glasses. “Oh God no! Say it isn’t so!” 7th grade, glasses?!! I’m sure you can imagine the names I was called. Bear in mind when I was in 7th grade there were not all the cute options for kids that are available now. Just imagine. To go from not needing glasses, breezing through grade after grade seemingly unscathed. To all of a sudden needing glasses in the midst of your middle school career. Not a fun or welcomed change. Plus, I had (and still have) very full lips. I heard the term “soup coolers” on an everyday basis not only from school mates but family. Lastly let’s just add a cherry on top. I had very let’s say sturdy legs. Enter the lovely nickname “Thunder Thighs”.
Just to recap, in 7th grade I was hit with glasses full time to accompany my big lips and big thighs. I was also fairly decent academically with very little effort. Some teachers noticed this and would pay a bit more attention to me in an effort to get me to ‘try’ versus just ‘breezing’ through. My peers did not take particularly kind to “teacher’s pet.”Can we say, easy target. I was called a plethora of imaginative and some not so imaginative names in my day. And they all hurt, let me tell you. They made me hate certain aspects of my physical body that lasted into high school and even college. It wasn’t until my mid 20’s I decided there was nothing I could do except accept the body and the features I was given. At that point I decided to embrace what my momma gave me and move through this world proud and unapologetically me. So to those words that cut me deep so long ago, I say, bye Felicia! You can’t hurt me now.
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