You Don’t Wake Up One Day Hating Your Body, And You Don’t Wake Up One Day Loving It…

I was told the line that women who were overweight did not lead very good lives, in fact a prison sentence would be less harmful than being fat according to my thin mother. A nonchalant comment made me internalize it and I decided to NEVER get fat, but I was visited by the fat fairy in fourth grade. It was when a magazine said, “Dress For Your Type” and I innocently asked what my type was. My aunt said “Stocky” and when I looked that up, it wasn’t the svelte woman I wanted, and fought for four decades to be.

In my Indiana town, thin was always in, and when I was in marching band, I was in the drumline and I leaved VERY QUICKLY what body types were desirable. Not mine. I was stocky, pale, had big boobs that sagged as teen, a belly, and a funny looking butt. I learned daily that the pom pon girls were perfection with boobs that did not droop, pretty faces, tiny waists and asses you could bounce quarters off of. Mr. Meade told me I’d find a cute guy in the drumline. Well he LIED. I watched every drummer I was interested in date every cute pom pon and color guard girl and I was forgotten. I thought college would be better. As a legacy, I was a shoo in to the sorority and a shoo into the misogyny of the frat boys. My friend Katie pledged with me and she was the blonde haired, blue eyed, nice bodied picture of perfection. My large teats that sagged even more were a liability. Our pictures were on the door of our house and the fraternity we hung out with “rated” us. Katie was a shot. I was two or three cases. I wasn’t the best but I wasn’t the worst, and when I went for five dollars to clean up puke at a frat party, I questioned myself. I asked the males WHY I wasn’t deemed desirable and they all said, “your boobs”. Real boobs are large and saggy not like what you see in a skin magazine and guys expect that. When they saw my boobs resting softy and not jutting out like most the women in the 1990’s, they were disappointed and I was just not desirable…. However, I did find someone to overlook my sick, sagging udders and he was cute and we’re still married today.

I thought after marriage this would end, but as a server, I was not the “hawt” one. I was the fat one that the cops and firefighters cringed when they got me. I had to smile sweetly and say, “I thought I was the cute one” when guys asked for the cute one. A sense of humor hid a deep hurt. This went on a lot longer than I thought. It permeated my job search when I was shoved out of the office and a very sexy brunette’s interview took a half hours. It’s hard when one’s advancement in the world is based on looks. Friends mean well and say “but you are beautiful” because WHO wants to see their friend sad. I always dodge the question when I am asked. I say, “Hey, you’re pretty awesome.” This looks deal caused me to spiral into a deep depression. I had friends who were on the “Team Beautiful” and friends who were more realistic. One said, “Okay, you are not beautiful but not a lot of people are. Your husband adores you and so do your kids. Why do you have to prove beautiful to the world?” And she’s right.

It took a few years and some therapy, but I have accepted that I am not beautiful, but hey, life isn’t that bad. I have a good job and good friends and obsessing over one’s looks as bad as I did was not healthy. However, it is hard to unlearn what we are taught. It doesn’t take a day and you wake up and say, “Wow! I am a hottie botottie!” No. I accept who I am and that I am more than a boob fetishists delight, and I seem to attract those. I have to move on and be okay. There is more to life for me than my looks.


I like to do journal prompts and you should, too. Picking various ones and doing them towards my own healing….

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Helen VanPatterson-Patton

I like to do journal prompts and you should, too. Picking various ones and doing them towards my own healing….