We’ve all seen it in the movies: two best friends, one skinny and the other one fat, and they have a pretty good relationship with one another. They’ve probably been friends since their childhood and they’ve been inseparable since.
The skinny one is usually the main character though, who probably falls in love with the popular guy at school (that’s actually dating the blonde-haired mean girl who’s captain of the cheerleading squad) and then there’s her fat friend, being the one depicted as the weird, quirky girl that would body slam anyone who messes with her skinny friend.
Where’s my friggin Academy Award.
Hi, my name is Liz, and I’m the “fat friend” in this narrative.
For most of my childhood and adolescence years, I had numerous best friends. All were pretty diverse if you ask me: Puerto Rican, Mexican, Chinese, Dominican, Pakistani, Jamaican, Irish – you name it. But, many of these friends had something in common: they were skinny. Sure, I’ve had a couple of chubby chicks as my best friends in the days, and we conquered whatever life handed to us at that moment, but ultimately, they were skinny. I was never envious of them being skinny; to be quite frank, that never even crossed my mind. Still, it doesn’t mean that our differences in our appearance didn’t feel like a burden.
Being the “fat friend”, I never got to experience the whole “can I borrow your sweater?” or the whole “I have a pair of pajamas you can wear for the night!” scenario. One skinny girl pant leg would probably stop at my shin, I kid you not. It was sort of frustrating to see a group of girls wear the same shirt or wear each other’s clothes, and I mean being skinny came in handy when your period came unexpectedly and now you have a big blood stain on the back of your jeans.
I had to have numerous family members come to hand-deliver clothes to me, in the main office, in front of everyone, whenever I bled through a pair of jeans.
Also, being the “fat friend” also meant that you’d hear at least the words “fat bitch” come from your own friends if you guys were in an argument with one another. I had a friend in grade school tell another friend of ours that I was a “fat bitch” because I was giving her an attitude during lunchtime. I mean, what was I supposed to say? “Oh, get over it, you skinny bitch!”
Being the biggest girl in a group of girls was always discouraging because it constantly feels like you’re the ugliest one in the group and you feel like they only have you around to make themselves feel better. “Oh, I have such bad acne this week, but at least I’m not fat 24/7″…
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get where I’m coming from.
I think the hardest pill I had to swallow during those years was boys. Boy, I was a hopeless romantic and I had tons of crushes on boys. Boys were always a tricky thing with friends, and there were lots of times where both my friends and I had the same crush on a boy in our grade. There were also countless times that my friends dated the boy I had a crush on after openly knowing I liked them too, and there were times when I confessed to me liking a boy to that boy and getting the response of: “You’re not really my type, but can you give my AIM screenname to your friend?”
Being the “fat friend” in my younger years contributed to the self-hate I had for my body growing up, and it’s taken… what, a decade to stop hating the body that I have.
I don’t blame those skinny friends for the self-hatred of my body; I blame the society norms, the portrayal in the media, and the friendzone that we fat girls lived in for most of our adolescent years.
As a 25-year-old woman with not so many friends due to past trauma and the development of my social anxiety disorder, I’m learning to be my own damn fat friend. We’re both fat, we’re both gorgeous, and we’re both striving!
Plus, it’s 2019 – the fat friend in the movies is just as valid as everyone else too!