High school can be hard enough as it is. It’s the time when we’re trying to figure out where we fit in, who we are, how we see ourselves. Body image is such a big part of that, probably a little more so for girls than boys. No matter what your insecurities are, when a name is given to them, by your peers…it just confirms them, and hits you where it hurts.
I was skinny, gawky, and awkward in high school. I had short hair (sometimes), and hadn’t quite yet “developed” (if you know what I mean). As a result, I was given a few nicknames that weren’t so very flattering. I was called: “floor-boards”, “chicken legs” and my least favorite…”boy-girl”. REALLY?! I had a thick skin and a good sense of humor…but still! Nobody wants to be the butt of someone’s mean-spirited jokes. I imagine there are worse names to be called, but those were mine. And I didn’t like them one bit.
Nowadays we hear so much about bullying- both cyber and actual. There are always going to be jerks and name-callers. I’m sure they’re dealing with their own insecurities, and this is the way they deflect attention from themselves, perhaps. Either way…moving beyond the names is a challenge. I have always been very self conscious. I hate mirrors. I don’t really like to have my picture taken, etc. But I feel like it’s getting better. I’m really pushing myself out of my comfort zone these days, and I’m breaking down some of those poor self-images. It’s amazing how much better you begin to feel about yourself, when you’re focusing on helping others.
It also helps that my sweet husband said this in regards to my high school nicknames the other day: “Man, I really gambled on you back then. I’d say I had 20 to 1 odds that you’d turn out so good-looking (with nicknames like that). I guess when you gamble big, you win big.” He was being funny of course. I think he liked me just the way I was…even back then, chicken legs and all. 🙂
So there! Take that Andy and Johnny!