The name Megan Whelan will be familiar to anyone who listens to RNZ.
Her voice will be too.
Until I read this I had no idea what she looked like and that didn’t matter.
I don’t remember the first time I realised I’m fat.
It might have been at 13, when someone left a pamphlet for a weightloss programme in my mailbox at boarding school. I can remember picking it up, excited that it might be a letter from my parents, only to feel hot shame, tears threatening to overflow, as I tried to hide the humiliating glossy pages from the girls around me.
It could have been at twenty, when an indoor netball opponent expressed surprise at my skill – because fat people can’t be athletic – and then anger when he realised I was running literal rings around him.
It could have been any number of small, slight, humiliations. The first time I realised that nothing in a clothes store would fit me, even with all the uncomfortable shapewear in the world. The first time someone yelled abuse from a car, calling me a fat bitch. The first time I ordered a salad, because I was too embarrassed to eat a burger in public. . .
How Megan looks still doesn’t matter.
Looks don’t matter on the radio and they shouldn’t matter in life.
Someone’s size, how they dress, the colour of their skin or hair . . . those are all their business.
What matters isn’t how people look but how they are.
Megan’s story is also at RNZ from butt of the joke to kicking bullies’ butts.
She read an excerpt from it on The Project.