I stood on the scale, perfectly aware that I was being judged. This group of girls weren’t the loving, friendly, supportive kind that I would become friends with in the next year, these girls were malicious, backstabbing, and cruel.
They lived to make my life hell and kept pulling me back in with promises of being my best friend, inviting me to sleep overs, and encouraging me to hang out with them.
I was stuck.
I didn’t know any different. Wasn’t this friendship?
It was grade 6 and I was 11 years old. I was developing into a young girl, I had so many questions, and these were the girls that I turned to.
So there I stood. On the scale while we all weighed ourselves.
I had been a small baby, tiny, and a small toddler. But come grade 5 I began to get chubby but I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t know I was chubby or that I was different than anyone else. Not until that very moment.
Their voices pierced my ears.
Was I fat?
“You weigh the most out of all of us, you’re so fat!”
It was true. I did weigh the most out of all of the girls. Perhaps I was fat. I must be.
I hung my head in shame and sat in the chair in the corner, ashamed of my body and myself.
Why didn’t I know this about myself, why did I get on the scale?
The rest of the night the girls shared dieting tips with me, told me how to lose weight, talked about how they didn’t need to diet because they were naturally skinny.
I had no idea the struggle I would face for years ahead of me.
I often think back to that moment and wonder, had it been treated differently would I still look at myself the same way?
Or would there be another moment?
I carefully tread with my daughter to teach her that everyone is different, not at all alike, and that is something we embrace. Because what a boring world we would have if we all looked the same.
I want her to build her friends up, encourage them to be their best selves, and love them for who they are.
And I hope that if she ever encounters a little girl sitting in the corner with her head down, sadness overwhelming her, that she’s the one who takes her hand and leads her to a new friendship.
Something I needed but didn’t come soon enough.