Friday, August 28, 2009

My Life As a Teen Movie Joke

If you've ever watching a juvenile comedy, especially some of the older ones, you often see kids pulling stupid pranks to embarrass each other. Most of the time, these jokes are physical in nature and not too personalized. As the fat kid in my class, the jokes on me were always personal, and directed at my weight.

One effort at humiliation in particular came when I was in ninth grade (freshman year of high school). I was sitting in math class not doing anything or bothering anyone. For some reason, the teacher was out of the room. I heard a scuffle behind me and some whispering. Being attuned to attempts on the parts of my classmates to treat me like crap, I whipped my head around to see one of the boys with a ruler attempting to measure the width of my ass.

I know a lot of people think "boys will be boys" and that young males are especially insensitive, but the truth is that this particular boy was acting at the behest of one of the girls in the class. This particular girl, whose name was Sheila, was one of the chief instigators of torment for me. She often egged others on to tease or humiliate me. The strange thing was that she wasn't some sort of alpha dog in the class. She was part of second tier popularity because she wasn't very attractive, but she did have her little group of people who she hung out with and they were mean to people as a means of amusing themselves. I wasn't the only target, but I was one of the favored ones.

At any rate, as an adult, I've learned that this is a common dynamic with girl bullying. Girls play power games with each other and selectively isolate and deride other girls. Even though I know that I was just collateral damage in whatever teenage esteem issues Sheila and her posse were playing through, I still hope her life is one big, unhappy failure. I know that sounds bitter and not forgiving, but the misery I was put through added to the layers of suffering in my life which in turn led me to be even fatter.