Being Weighed As A Seven Year Old

When I was seven years old

In my mathematics class

Measurement setting in dread

Forty kilograms is the answer

 

I don’t remember the lesson I learnt

But I remember the tears and the teachers

Trying to calm me down, telling me their weights

Well, your weight doesn’t count. I’m a child, you’re an adult.

 

‘Calm down, we’re just weighing healthy children.’

I pretended I cared about healthy. I didn’t.

I wanted skinny.

 

The scales at school, they were faulty

I come home, I can’t believe I’m thirty-seven

Buzzing with excitement, I tell my friends

And the world seems bright again.

 

I was in love with kiddie healthy eating sites

And healthy eating sites are fine

But my attitude wasn’t.

 

Exercise is good for you

Exercise is good for you

But as a prerequisite to eating lunch

It’s everything that’s wrong about the world.

 

Let yourself eat when you’re hungry.

 

And I remember once being a kid

And sticking my soft fingers down my throat

(Standing up, because I didn’t know how it works)

 

Mum walks into the living room-

‘Don’t do that!’

‘Why?’

‘Because it’ll make you throw up!’

 

In my little head I think ‘that’s the point’.

But I comply, and pull my fingers down from my throat.

 

Little kids shouldn’t think these things

They follow what they see in their innocence

Please, society, stop planting ideas like this

In young, young heads.

 

This started with a chubby six year old

Being called fat every single day

Asks to be called chubby instead

Because it’s nicer. I realised it doesn’t really feel nicer.

 

Consumed by self-doubt as a six, seven year old

Basing my self worth on the number on the scale

Staring down at my baby fat and deciding

It’s disgusting. But it’s not disgusting.

 

Calling myself a whale in comparison

To my friends, sticks, toothpicks

Things to long for. I called my friend

A toothpick, she was offended

 

Because toothpicks are unhealthy

But if I was called a toothpick then

I would’ve been so happy about that

And I didn’t understand why it offended her

 

Because my mind was so messed up.

 

 

Numbers, numbers, numbers

Staring at my stomach

Adults think I have a stomach ache

I never tell them the real reason why

 

Ask my friends 'am I fat?'

They kind of get sick of it

And kind of concerned

Why would they be concerned?

 

Dear future seven year old daughter:

You are beautiful.

Please, please, please don’t think

What I thought about myself

When I was your age.

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
Our world

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741