I don't remember your name, but I do remember that you're the reason why I gave up on ballet the first week. You might not recall, but you asked me what I was doing in your class because you said that I was too fat to become a ballerina. I remember how those words hurt like a bitch, and you were probably the first person to ever body shame me. You definitely crushed the ballet dreams of the six year old me, but I forgive you because you didn't know any better.
To the worst bully when I was in elementary school,
Do you remember that time in fourth grade when you defaced a photo of Emma Watson by making her look ugly and fat, proceeding to tear up the photo into small pieces and throwing them at my face? You were making me put the picture back together so I could see what I truly looked like; which, in your opinion, was an ugly and fat version of Emma Watson. Now that I look back on that incident, I have no idea whether to take it as a compliment of some sort, but back then it was hell of an insult. I mean what the fuck? That was such a horrible and disgusting thing to do to a person! It traumatized me so much that it was brought up in a conversation I had with my high school guidance counselor four years ago. And to this day, whenever I think about, it still hurts just as it did the day it happened. You practically made my elementary years a living hell, and all the things you’ve said to me in the past have hurt my sense of self-worth even up to now. The worst part is that even though you were bullying my through all those years, I still wanted to be you friend because you were popular. I know, pathetic right? How stupid was I to want to become your friend even after all the shit you’ve done that causes a lot of pain in my life? But fortunately after I changed schools, I realized that I never want to be like who you were. I never want to become a person who shits on other people who look different than the rest of society. And the thing is, I don't recall what I have ever done for you to treat me like that but I hope you're a better person now. And I forgive you because you didn't know any better.
To the older kids in high school who bullied me but were friends with my "friends" when I was in elementary,
Now you guys are the ones that confused me the most. We have never met or interacted before yet you chose to ridicule a sixth grader because she looked different; because she was fat. Can we just realize the fact that you were in high school and you were tormenting a kid? Did you not realize from the beginning how mean and terrible that was? What the hell?! Seriously, I want to know why you picked on me so much. What was it about me that made you decide that it was okay to bully someone way younger than you? I don’t get it. I was always so afraid to walk by the high school building because I feared that I was going to run into all of you. You may possibly be the reason why I was always so paranoid that people who are older and more intimidating than me silently judge the way I look. I don’t know where all of you are right now but wow, I genuinely hope that you’ve reflected on this at some point in your life and realized how horrible of a person you all were for that. But I forgive you because you didn’t know any better.
To my Reading teacher in sixth grade,
First of all, it isn't right to constantly ask a sixth grader if she has any plans on going on a diet with an annoyed tone in your voice. Why? Because not only are you hurting a 12 year old's self-esteem at such a young age, but you are also teaching her not to love her body for the way it is. Plus, it is very rude for you to ask those kinds of questions because it is none of your business. Why do you even care? It wasn't like you were slimmer than me, and even if you were, you still didn't have the right to do that. Second, it is also not right to announce to the whole class that you think she's too fat. Third, You yourself have children so how would you feel if someone humiliated them like that?
It isn't okay to body shame your own student. You're a teacher and an adult for fuck's sake; you shouldn't humiliate anyone like that, whether they're younger or older than you. You may have had "good intentions" or that may have been the way of you "helping" me, but all that I ever got out of it was years of self-loathing. You made a young girl realize that she hated herself more than others. I forgive you though, because you didn't know any better.
To all the other people who have body shamed me [or anyone else] whether out loud or in one's own thoughts,
The thing is, the word "fat" and even the word "skinny" have such derogatory connotations in our society because they're used to put other people down. So just stop. Stop giving so much importance on what other people look like. It will get you nowhere.
And to all the people I may have body shamed in the past--I apologize, I don't remember if I ever did,
I'm genuinely sorry. I want you to know that I've learned my lesson. You're all beautiful just the way you are and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. I hope you can forgive me because I didn't know any better.