Dating

Fat Girl Flashback: If I Knew Then…

September 4 2012 | CeCe Olisa

It was a May in California… Summer was getting into full swing and as far as I was concerned, life was pretty close to perfect. I was 12 going on 13, it was the last week of 8th grade and I was heading to a performing arts high school in the fall. To top it all off, Donnie (my crush since 7th grade) and I were finally making progress… and by “progress” I mean making out behind the band room.

I was the only girl in our class who really had a thing for Donnie, in fact my best friend Jennifer would tease me about him, telling me that she couldn’t believe I liked him so much because “he looks like a rat!”. But I didn’t care, with his buzzed haircut, olive skin and excessive Tommy Hilfiger cologne, I thought he was the hot.

Monday morning of the last week of school, Elena, my other best friend, came over and sat next to me on the bus. We recapped our weekends including a last-minute end of the year party at our friend Rosalind’s house. I had to miss the party because my family had plans, but Elena had all the details.

“It was fun,” she said, “we went swimming, ate pizza… Katie had on the same bikini as I did” she said with an eye roll. Then she paused, “Donnie was there too.”

“Oh, cool,” I said, feeling a slight pang of regret that I missed a chance to hang out with him.

“Yeah,” she continued, then she paused again. “I’m your best friend, right?”

“Of course… you and Jennifer” I replied.

“Well, I think you should know that Jennifer was making out with Donnie at the party.”

I was stunned silent, my face was burning with a mix of anger and embarrassment. I was only 12, but I knew that what Jennifer had done was wrong. Or was it? Donnie wasn’t my boyfriend, per se so I guess I didn’t have any real claim to him. But Jennifer had listened to me talk about how cute he was for 2 years and she knew about our make-out sessions after school. And wait– didn’t she think that Donnie looked like a rat?

Elena touched my leg gently, “are you okay?” she asked.

I told her I was… what else could I say? We got to school and I did all the things a token pre-teen girl would do when she found out her best friend had made out with her crush. I gave Jennifer the silent treatment all morning… when she asked me what was wrong I said “nothing”… then at lunch, with Elena by my side, I told her in the most aloof/dramatic way possible that I knew what she had done with Donnie and I thought it was gross and she was a bad friend. It was a great moment… Watching those reruns of 90210 really paid off!

Being with childhood friends at a wedding the other weekend brought back lots of memories and the CeCe/Jennifer/Donnie situation was definitely one of them!

Looking back on the situation, I remember feeling helpless. I was a young Plus Size Princess and Jennifer was skinny, so in my head there was no way Donnie would choose me over her. But the more I go over that situation, I see how much my 12 year old insecurities morphed the lens through which I looked at the situation.

The way I saw it back then, Donnie was into me until a skinnier option came along. The truth of the matter is, Donnie was a hormonal boy taking every chance he got to make out with girls (of any size!). Donnie didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend, but he didn’t ask Jennifer to be his girlfriend either. I thought Jennifer had this huge advantage over me because she was skinny, but in the end Donnie treated us both the same.

As they say, “hindsight is 20/20”, we see things with much more clarity as we look back. The helpful thing for someone with body image issues, like me, is that as I look back and see how silly I was as a kid– I can also see how silly I am as a pseudo-adult! Yes, I’m older, wiser and have dated more but I still carry my body image issues around with me. Often times the advice I want to give to my younger PSP self is advice that I still need today… which gives me an idea:

Tomorrow (September 5, 2012) on facebook and twitter, I’d like to host a live Curvy Conversations chat where we talk about what we wish we could have told ourselves as young Plus Size Princesses. Follow me on facebook and/or twitter and we’ll do it at 2pm EST (11am PST). I’ll even do some instant giveaways during the chat for those of you who participate. I’ll post the full details for the live chat early tomorrow morning, but in the meantime think about what you wish you had known as a young Plus Size Princess.

Full Details on the chat can be found here!

Are you down?

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14 responses on “Fat Girl Flashback: If I Knew Then…

  1. saving face

    what a great read! the feelings you expressed in this article transcend size, color and age. you articulated the tween emotions perfectly. so much, it brought me back to my tween years filled with broken crushes and wonder.

  2. Anonymous

    what a great read! the feelings you expressed in this article transcend size, color and age. you articulated the tween emotions perfectly. so much, it brought me back to my tween years filled with broken crushes and wonder.

  3. Belated Bloomer

    Oh, there are countless things I wish I knew back then.

    All the teasing and taunting and honestly, lack of cute clothes, ate away at my self-esteem and although I desperately hoped, I didn’t
    really believe anyone would like me. Case in point, I had a boy tell me how much he liked me, even asked me if I was allowed to have a boyfriend, and all I could do was clam up and then avoid him. Yes, that was how undeserving I thought I was.

    Even to this day, I’m sorta afraid of boys. Haha! I mean, boys who express interest. I just get sooo shy and awkward, then hate myself for it.

    Looking back, I wish I could see how beautiful and talented and bubbly my younger self was. I’d build her confidence if I could, and tell her she’s every bit as beautiful as the girls she envied.

    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

  4. belatedbloomer@gmail.com

    Oh, there are countless things I wish I knew back then.

    All the teasing and taunting and honestly, lack of cute clothes, ate away at my self-esteem and although I desperately hoped, I didn’t
    really believe anyone would like me. Case in point, I had a boy tell me how much he liked me, even asked me if I was allowed to have a boyfriend, and all I could do was clam up and then avoid him. Yes, that was how undeserving I thought I was.

    Even to this day, I’m sorta afraid of boys. Haha! I mean, boys who express interest. I just get sooo shy and awkward, then hate myself for it.

    Looking back, I wish I could see how beautiful and talented and bubbly my younger self was. I’d build her confidence if I could, and tell her she’s every bit as beautiful as the girls she envied.

    http://thebelatedbloomer.blogspot.com

  5. Rebecca Keesing

    What a great read. I completely relate to this. Certainly my younger self never believed she deserved to have a boy prefer her over a slim girl. I thought any boy that liked me had some sort of weird problem, why would he be attracted to fat, loud me when there were other girls who were small and pretty and demure? My lack of confidence at least meant I’d never be promiscuous, as the very idea of allowing a boy to see my flesh was abhorrent! So, on the upside there were no teen pregnancy issues! : ) Anyway, a part of that insecurity remains as an adult but mostly I accept I’m attractive inside and out and deserve to have a good decent man love me and only me.

  6. Anonymous

    What a great read. I completely relate to this. Certainly my younger self never believed she deserved to have a boy prefer her over a slim girl. I thought any boy that liked me had some sort of weird problem, why would he be attracted to fat, loud me when there were other girls who were small and pretty and demure? My lack of confidence at least meant I’d never be promiscuous, as the very idea of allowing a boy to see my flesh was abhorrent! So, on the upside there were no teen pregnancy issues! : ) Anyway, a part of that insecurity remains as an adult but mostly I accept I’m attractive inside and out and deserve to have a good decent man love me and only me.

  7. Tovah

    I really loved reading that. It brought me right back to that time. Everything was so dramatic and so life-changing. In reality, it was just a blip in our lives. That’s really what I try to convey to teen-agers. I know that it’s hard right now. Just keep on keeping on and realize how much you have to offer and to not ever settle.

  8. tovah436@gmail.com

    I really loved reading that. It brought me right back to that time. Everything was so dramatic and so life-changing. In reality, it was just a blip in our lives. That’s really what I try to convey to teen-agers. I know that it’s hard right now. Just keep on keeping on and realize how much you have to offer and to not ever settle.

  9. Anonymous

    […] friend Jennifer and I got matching pink/purple spaghetti strapped tank tops (this was right before she “stole my boyfriend” and I had to go all 90210 on her, but I digress). Matching outfits with my best friend was a huge […]

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