Friday 10 July 2015

Body Confidence: Underage and Overweight

I've always been a big girl there is no doubt about it, I can't even remember a time in my life where I had that perfect BMI that my doctor told me I needed every time I went there. I've never really been confident due to this. I got bulled a lot in primary and secondary school and even to this day at the age of 21 I get sly comments about my weight. I feel from about the age of 13 onwards everything I did my weight would be used against me.
At the start of the year I had to say to myself, I'm 21 and I'm an adult, I have an amazing life with the most amazing friends and family and I don't need approval from strangers, anyone who matters doesn't care about my weight and anyone who cares about my weight doesn't matter to me!
Now I've grown into a beautiful butterfly who don't care what others think or what they have to say about me. I'd love to be able to share my new found body confidence with others. If I had someone to speak to when I was 13 - 17 I know I'd of appreciated my body, my life and how beautiful I am a long time ago. 

I decided it would be a good idea to conduct an interview and a beautiful young lady Steph agreed to answer a few questions that I had to ask. 


Me: Tell me a little about yourself...
Steph: My name is Stephanie, Steph for short and I'm 17 years old and currently at a size 24/26. I'm a college student studying travel & tourism and I love it so much. I'm a big lover of the 1950s/60s, all their music, fashion, films and film stars which may be a shock to some people as I'm quite young - my favourite band is Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and I also absolutely love The Overtones and I'm a big Audrey Hepburn fan too. I've recently seen the show Dreamboats & Miniskirts which was amazing and I'm seeing the Jersey Boys very soon. I'm currently in a relationship and I've been with my boyfriend 1 year and 8 months nearly, and he's the best thing to happen to me. I haven't got many friends but the ones I do have are brilliant and I couldn't ask for better ones

Me: How does being overweight affect you in every day life while being under 18? (i.e bullying, judgement, friends/family, school/college) 
Steph: Being overweight has affected me so much. It didn't affect me so much in primary school as at that age I feel nobody bothers, but it's when I got to high school at the age of 10/11years when I felt things changing. I got bullied really bad, I'd be scared to walk around school on my own in case somebody shouted something at me or if someone would throw anything at me, I wouldn't walk home from school on my own either because people would attack me and throw/shout things at me whilst I walked home.  At the age of about 13 I started self-harming and I got diagnosed with depressed and anxiety which didn't make things any easier for me. I'd have scars all over me, my arms, legs, stomach, even my ankles. I still have very faint scars now on my leg which remind me what it was like and how I've come through it. I had counseling but I didn't feel like it helped me. I know that counselors aren't there to 'cure' you, but I felt it did nothing. I feel like my friends are embarrassed of me because I'm always be the 'fat' one within the group, especially when it comes to visiting places like theme parks where I can't fit on certain rides. As I went into about year 10/11 at school the bullying died down a bit but I would still get people shout things at me. I haven't got the most controlled temper so I'd flip out and get kicked out of classes and in trouble which would be funny to the bullies. Nobody was nice to me and I couldn't think why because I'd never do anything to anyone, I wasn't horrible to anyone. By the age of about 15 I started to stick up for myself and they didn't like that which is probably why they started to dislike me. I never went to my prom when I left school because I knew that people would snigger and laugh at me no matter what I wore. Some classes weren't easy either, especially dreaded P.E. 

I wouldn't do anything in it, not because I was 'lazy', but because whenever I had a go at things people would laugh at me. My P.E teachers didn't help either, I just kept getting told that I had to join in no matter what other people thought, because of how bad things were I'd stop going to school for weeks on end.

 My family don't help either. I'm not the only plus size person in my family but I feel that I am the biggest so I get picked on in a way. My sister is a size 18/20 and our dad never sags anything to her, but he's always on to me. My mum is as thin as a rake so she doesn't understand how I feel and just thinks it's so easy to lose weight and whenever I'm sad my mum and dad constantly tell me how happy I'd be if I was thinner.  I'm constantly being judged wherever I go, no matter what I wear and it's wrong. I should be able to walk into a clothes shop and not get funny looks from the stick thin girls who work there.  Another thing..the doctors. Why is it that every time I enter the doctors room, no matter what I'm there for they have to bring in my weight?!?! This gets on my nerves. Yes I want to do something about it, but when I choose! It just bugs me.   I've just recently finished my first year of college and I've loved it. No ones hassled me about my weight, it feels like a different world. Everyone's so grown up there and it's such a nice feeling knowing I can get up, get ready and go to a place where I'm not going to be hassled about my weight. Being overweight also affects me if I want to go to the swimming baths or the gym, even when I want to try and change myself there are people who still have to say something. People will always talk no matter what.

Me: Would you say you have body confidence?
Steph: No. Absolutely not. I'm not confident at all, about anything not just my weight. I blame the people I went to school with and partially my parents, obviously it has something to do with me as well but I believe those are the main causes. I feel like I have to cover myself in makeup, and I'm not just talking about a bit of foundation and lip gloss, I'm talking about a lot because I feel more confident with it on and I feel that people won't judge me, or judge me less if I have a pretty face on. I can't do anything about my clothes so makeup is an escape in a way. I'm constantly wearing leggings & oversize tops because I believe nothing else suits me and it really sucks because I'm someone that listens to what other people think. It's easier said than done to 'ignore what people think' or 'take no notice' but in reality everybody cares what other people think, even if it's a little bit, and I'm a person that thinks about it a lot so I shy away from clothes that would make people say things about my weight.

Me: Do you believe the media, doctors, friends and a family have an impact on your confidence? (if so how?)
Steph: I believe the media has the biggest impact of them all. Why? Because magazines are full of photoshopped, thin women who appear to have no imperfections at all and that's just wrong. I believe that this society is part to blame as well, they praise models up such as Kate Moss but bring models down such has Tess Holliday (who I'm a big fan of) because they claim she's too unhealthy and that her weight isn't attractive like it affects THEIR lives when it doesn't. I also think music videos can have an impact as well, how often is it you see someone a size 20 dancing in music videos wearing sexy lingerie? Hardly ever, unless they're just taking the piss, and it just makes the majority of overweight people feel that that's what they should look like, especially when they're only young as well. My friends are great when it comes to my confidence, they tell me that I'm beautiful and that just because I'm big doesn't mean I'm not beautiful and that I shouldn't wear that dress I've had my eye on, but no confidence to wear it. But I feel that they're only saying it not because they have to but just to try and keep me happy as they don't really understand what it's like to walk around the high street and not buy any clothes. My boyfriend is also amazing, he tells me how beautiful I am and that I don't need to lose weight or anything which makes me happy and lucky to have him. He tells me that I'm beautiful inside and out and that he loves me regardless.

Me: Do you think there is enough support for young people who are overweight? (i.e non-judgemental support where it is not focused on a diet/ losing weight)
Steph: No I don't. I really don't think there's enough support for young people. It's all focused on losing weight and that's not fair. I've had counselling and I've been to support groups and in the end it all focuses on weight loss or dieting. There needs to be more on building young people's confidence, take them away from the idea that they must lost weight and let them have a bit of fun and teach them how to love themselves. There's not enough of that at all and it's sad to think that there are so many young girls (and boys), who are suffering in silence because if they try and reach out for support it'll only result in them being told to lose weight.
Me: If you could say one thing to society about how they treat young people who are overweight what would you say? 
Steph: They need to lay off overweight people and give them a damn break in my eyes. For example, Tess Holliday is a beautiful model, (I'm not going to refer to her as a plus size model because to me she's just A MODEL) and you only need to read her comments she gets on Facebook and see how much hate she gets. It's all targeted at her weight. She's worked hard to be where she is today and people are forever telling her that her 'size isn't attractive' or that 'she's too unhealthy' when if these people actually followed her and knew things about her they'd know she's quite a healthy person and that she works out. Being overweight does come with its risks and complications but being overweight does not always equal unhealthy and I can't stress that enough.

Hope you enjoyed my interview with with the lovely Steph! 

What makes you feel confident?


  1. I myself have always been overweight and even my school friends used to make sly comments about my weight, but I don't let it effect me too much, I'm happy being me and thats that.

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  3. I had tears reading this!
    I was bullied as well in school for being overweight and because of my teeth.

    The only advice I can give is love yourself and always be positive!!

  4. I'd always been overweight my entire life and I completely related to this post ... No matter you're heavy or lean what matters is how confident you're being in a body shape you're in... Beauty doesn't comes in sizes ...

  5. I loved the whole interview. Body shamming has becoming one of the most pathetic issues that we all face these days.

  6. It is great when you learn to be confident what you have or what you are. I wish the best for you.

  7. people are too obsessed with weight nowadays. i agree with steph that being overweight (in the most literal sense) doesn't equal unhealthy. likewise, there are also tons of skinnyfat ladies out there. they aren't anywhere near being healthy either.

  8. Everyone should feel confident and love themselves regardless of their weight and size, I really do think that people do judge too quickly and the media does make things so much worse. I really hope things change soon...x
    | Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog |

  9. nice thoughtful post! I think we just need to keep our confidence together n I think you are doing a great job!

  10. Love your own body no matter how old you are! Because it is your own body, nobody else can have it =)

  11. Indeed the society has to back off from body shaming others. They have to accept all body sizes equally and respect others feelings.

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  12. A person should always judge by their work, not by their appearance. It's disgusting how a society always up to shaming people on their appearance. Such an inspirational post.

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  13. this is such deep interview.
    sometimes beauty standard by media is a bit cruel.
    making other else self esteem getting low.

  14. this was a brilliant read! its always nice to hear the history, experiences and her thoughts in general.

  15. I have been chubby all my life and there were times when I used to ashamed of being fat. Thankfully my mom supported me and nowadays I am quite a confident young woman :)

  16. Interesting interview. I'm really glad that bullying stopped in college. It is really sad that people are bullied because of their weight.

  17. Nice interview!
    I think everyone should have high selfconfidence no matter what size they are.
    I'm a chubby girl since born and really don't care about other and media says. ^^

  18. Beautiful interview, people are so easy to judge but forget to see the person

  19. Such an interesting post and interview, Steph seems lovely and she is beautiful too! I am a big promoter of body confidence, if you are big, small, or somewhere in the middle we are all beautiful and the way we are is what makes us 'us'. I saw a documentary a month or two ago now with plus size models showing their lives (you may have seen it too) and I thought it was great, because the models on the show have now given so many young people somebody that they can look up to and relate to, and they have a role model that is confident with who they are and that is great.
    Great post! <3

    Hayley-Eszti |

  20. Love this post. Everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin.

  21. This is a great interview , being overweight is hard and often then not children face unkindness towards them from inconsiderate people.Its so sad.