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Mistaken For A Preteen

Society tells me my size makes me a bad person.


I'm 4'11", 43kg. I'm a size twelve in children's pants. I wear extra small shirts. My feet are smaller than a size five.


I look in the mirror and I feel betrayed. I was promised breasts and curves and everything that comes standard to being a woman; I was promised that the bullying would stop when I got out of high school. Those promises were lies. Instead I'm 4'11", 43kg, flat-chested and resemble a slightly warped board. 


I'm not a 'zero', a term that has taken on a derogatory note when describing people like me; I'm a size twelve. In children's pants. I wear extra small shirts... if I can find them. You know what else? I have to order shoes from China because my feet are smaller than a size five, and I don't want to wear Barbie sneakers for the rest of my life. People still mistake me for a preteen as it is.


I once expressed my woes to a community against body shaming. I was assaulted. A woman said to me, "Oh, and we're supposed to feel sorry for you? Go eat a hamburger, you *****." Others followed suit, and no one defended me. I try not to let it bother me, but then I see my friends body shaming people like me- on Facebook, Instagram, and even right in front of me when we're out together. It's truly painful to express that it hurts your feelings to people who should care about you, and receive the same treatment given you by strangers over the internet.


I read a comment about a girl being publicly shamed for being a regular-sized girl recently that said, to paraphrase, 'zeros are nothing'. I thought about my recently earned BFA, my ambitions and dreams, my capabilities. All negated by my size. How is that fair?


So, I look into the mirror. I wish I were taller. I wish I had larger breasts, longer legs, a softer face. More curves. Normal-sized feet. I tell myself every day that I'm fine the way I am, but I stopped believing it a long time ago.

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