I was not even that fat then. I weighed about 50 pounds less then I do right now. I was a shot putter, theater geek, girlfriend, and daughter. But to the world and some of my classmates I was so fat that I was a walking joke in my very cool shirt.
So here is the thing. I live in a world, a country, that celebrates the excess of life and punishes those that actually live it. Is the American way of life to have so much that you have excess. Think about Thanksgiving. How many times have we pushed ourselves away from the table, gorged by food, and then throw most of it out? Like every year of my life for 43 years, I lived the American way of life and got pretty obese doing it. But I was not oblivious to the fact that I was so freaking lucky and that there were others that were not. I got it. I got it as a teenager and I get it more as an adult. Being fat did not make me think that there wasn't hunger in the world. There were times in my life that my mother barely had enough money for food. There were years of my life that I worried about where the next paycheck and meal would come from. I never starved but I could imagine that it was possible. Right here in America. Not a mile or more from me.
The t-shirt is long gone. The remembrance of Michael Connelly telling me I was a joke has stayed. He taught me a lesson though. I never judged someone by what they wore. I judged them by how they acted. Michael is grown man now and probably a lot better person (or I hope so) then the body shaming, egocentric, ass he was then. The t-shirt or anything else will no longer shame me. It is what I do, not what I wear that should be the statement.