Before you read anymore, if you are the type that only reads the opening line, here is the thesis statement: Maybe we don’t fat shame pre-teen girls.
Little history about Amy. I was born in New Jersey a long, long time ago, like 21 years or something. My dad was/is a pastor and missionary so I was passed around to a lot of people as a baby and I loved it! I was a natural entertainer and started doing impressions when I was nine-months-old. I apparently did an incredible baby Jimmy Carter, Fonzie and Gene Simmons, which I’m sure was a hit with those Methodist ladies. I was the ultimate baby extrovert.
I was a fun kid. My parents say I was a lot like I am now.
But around fifth grade I drastically changed. My parents were very worried. They had no idea at the time I was bullied non-stop at school by both kids and teachers.
Why? I was Honey Boo Boo.
Ok, I wasn’t exactly Honey Boo Boo but… let’s get real. Me on the left. Honey Boo Boo on the right. I might as well be Honey Boo Boo… except I lived in Wisconsin in sixth grade, didn’t starred in a reality show and I hated cheese balls (< still do).
Why bring this up now? Honey Boo Boo just signed on to do Dancing with the Stars: Juniors and the social commentary is nothing short of a nightmare. Remember, this girl is twelve!
These are just two of many comments online about Honey Boo Boo dancing on DWTS Jr. I have to be honest, it stings, even though it’s not actually me.
Some of the reasons:
- Because of sixth grade we don’t say “fat” in our house
- Because of sixth grade I will never diet again
- Because of sixth grade my self-esteem at one point was considered irreparable
So why am I telling you this? Well, where do you think the kids got the idea it was ok to bully?
They watched the adults.
They watched my fifth-grade teacher. They listened to their parents say things about other parents like “I don’t even think she’s that pretty” and “Have you noticed how much weight she’s gained?” They parroted that behavior.
So I leave you with this, school starts soon. Remember your kids are listening to you! I was Honey Boo Boo but there’s another little girl (or boy) that’s going through the same thing I did. And it sucks. And kids can be mean. And I hate it for that kid. So don’t be a jerk. Stop talking about your neighbors, women in the PTO, ladies at church and stop calling people fat…INCLUDING YOURSELF.
Trust me, it actually makes for a much better life.
*And I still do a mean Gene Simmons, btw.