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It seems to be a popular topic to discuss regarding body shaming. With social media in our grasps, today’s generation have taken bullying to the next level… we have young girls starving themselves and committing suicide every day because they couldn’t reach that idealistic “perfect” body.
Last week my mother and I discussed my vacation “funny money”. My funds were a bit low after paying my share of the condo we plan on staying in, and I went to my mother for advice. She gave me the “work and I’ll pay you” speech but there was something else that stuck with me.
I’m not a little girl. I’ve never desired to be one. But my mother, in shame I suppose, has always pleaded for my health. I was seventeen years old and weigh 215 lbs. In all reality that’s not too big I have muscles from manual labor and amazing calves... My mother gave me a proposal.
For every pound I lost she would give me five dollars in cash. Even though I’ve never cared about how I look, five dollars is five dollars. The first day I was very busy. I was running around all over town in preparation of my best friend’s gender reveal party, and only sat down once to eat a few slices of pizza. I didn’t think anything about it. At the end of the day I go home and... I wasn’t hungry. I just had no desire to eat. The second day I had to work. I got up five minutes before I had to leave, and raced to clock in on time. For a second day in a row I ate once. I didn’t think anything about it.
It wasn’t until the third day that I realized, I’m not hungry at all. I could skip eating, and I would lose enough weight to have enough ‘funny money.’ It would be great. On the fifth day I weighed in to find that I had lost… 7 pounds! My mother seemed to be astounded. She asked what I had been doing, because for her knowledge I was... lazy. I told her that I had only eaten four times in the past five days and… she congratulated me. “if that helps you lose weight.” That’s all my mother said to me. No “you shouldn’t do that, it is unhealthy.” My loving, caring mother congratulated me for starving myself. This is now the seventh day and I am down to almost 200lbs. I have done nothing except not eat.
Parents, you do not realize what you do to your children. Sure, thanks for the money. But where’s the care? We learn from you. We act how you act. What example are you teaching us? We are the generation that is going to run the world after you. We need parents that are opposed to body shaming and help us to accept they way we were made.
I am comfortable in my body, and I'm not unhealthy; in fact, I'm very active. I am OCD, and rarely find myself sitting down. Parents are the main support for their child’s autonomy development. If this development is disrupted than troubles may occur including one feeling the need to starve themselves.
I have been lucky enough to have retreated from this cycle on my own. I knew that I needed to eat to have enough energy to party during my vacation. However, if I did not have that mentality there is no telling how far I would have pushed myself.
A week of not eating may not seem like much; however, big girls like to eat. You would rarely find one missing snack time let alone a meal.