Thursday, 9 April 2015

Being The Fat Kid In A Thin Family

My family are all very slim. They are also all fair haired, green eyed and look like their ancestors were ravished by Vikings and carried over the North sea to settle in the deepest darkest Midlands.
I am not very slim, even as a child I was curvier than my siblings and look nothing like any of them. Sure the occasional expression could mimic a likeness and my voice and mannerisms are carbon copies of my mothers but looks wise I am the anomaly,the round bodied, brown haired, snub nosed exception to the Nordic looking rule.

Yes we are related

None of this  mattered when I was a child, I wasn't massively overweight and aside from the odd comment by people saying I must belong to the milkman (this was the 1970's, people said things like this and we just laughed it off rather than lectured them on inappropriate comments) it was never an issue. My family didn't care, to them I was just me. The things that set us apart were the normal things,how loud we were (my brother) how obsessed with My little pony we were (my sis) how much of a goody two shoes we were (me definitely)

Yep I belong to them

I only realised that my appearance was seen as an oddity as I grew older. My mother who is a blonde Joanne Lumley alike would introduce me as her daughter and jaws would drop. It seemed unlikely that such a petite blonde creature could create someone as, well fat,freckled and brown haired as me.
Did this ever bother me? Absolutely not. It astounds me that even now people will occasionally say "oh you aren't alike" the sentence often heavy with the subtext of "but she's fat and you are all really thin" but because I have always been treated by my family as beautiful and clever and part of a clan it has never poked at my soft parts.
I feel no vulnerability, rather I quite like to see people processing the information that a slim green eyed blonde woman can have a really fat dark haired blue eyed child. 
Why am I telling you all this? because it illustrates that difference is only felt as a negative if we are taught it is a negative. 
Being a plus size woman in a family of slim people could have been awful. The constant comparisons, the feeling of not being the same and yet because my family are all rather marvellous and to be honest all quite eccentric and far too clever it has never been even for a second a point of conversation. 
No one cares and that has allowed me to grow into a really secure adult and for that I thank them.
The irony is that I now have my own child who is a bonsai version of me-A mini me but with brown eyes. Isn't it funny how things turn out.

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Photos by Nicky Rockets

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