tw: being compared to a whale, name calling, emotional abuse
This privilege is not having to worry about literally becoming a whale. Think I’m kidding? I’m not.
When I was in fourth grade, like I’m sure a lot of other fat people know, I was often called names, the most prominent being “whale”. Yes, because I am fat, I am apparently a large sea animal. Oh, it gets worse. By the time I was in sixth grade, almost all of the other students refered to me exclusively as “whale” and began to even say things like “When Janina becomes a whale…” or “…Janina should be a whale by then.” as if I was literally going to stop being human and suddenly be a whale. They didn’t even laugh when they’d say it by the time we were in seventh grade, everybody just kind of accepted that this was something that was inevitably going to happen sooner or later.
One day my father had to come pick me up from school, and he got out of the car to greet me as I was standing there with my trombone case and some of the other students from band came to talk to me. Even though my father was RIGHT THERE they went on with this “when Janina becomes a whale” BULLSHIT right in front of BOTH OF US! My father, who had never met any of my “friends” thought this was some kind of inside joke and in a friendly nature. That same weekend, my family was planning a trip to Maine and when my father was discussing travel time, he said, and I will never forget it…
"We should be in Bangor before nightfall. Janina should be a whale by then!" with a big stupid smile across his face. If even my father said it, and I was dealing with all kinds of emotional trauma back then anyway, the idea of me literally turning into a whale was no longer that farfetched.
Thing privilege is not having to worry about literally becoming a whale.