Dear HS Drill Team Instructor,
Little did you know when you told me I was fat in front of 52 other high school girls I was already bulimic and throwing up every meal and starving myself over the weekends so I could weigh 105lbs for you on Monday morning.
Little did you know that when you asked me to go into the bathroom after I “failed” your weigh in to try and lose a few ounces by going to the “bathroom” I would cry as I tried to throw up food that was not there.
Little did you know that when you had your “talk” with us about warnings signs of eating disorders and things we should look for in our friends you gave me the idea of using laxatives as another way to rid my body of waste.
Little did you know that while I was on the back line excluded from others for “weight” probation my stomach was hurting so bad from having not eaten all weekend. I literally should have passed out.
Little did you know telling me my legs were muscular and from the stands appeared heavy on your kick line that would distort my view of what skinny was.
Little did you know every time I had to say “Thank You, Yes Ma’am” would I cringe inside for when I looked at you I saw pure evil.
Little did you know 9 years later my parents would spend months driving an hour just to watch me finish a meal so they knew I was eating something each day.
Little did you know that when I wore a size 0 or a size 2 well into college that I still pictured myself as the short “fat girl” in the drill team who to you looked heavy.
Little did you know
that when I said NO MORE through the help of a therapist finally at the age of 27 able to look up and surrender to God and for the first time in over 10+ years feel beautiful on the inside again…
Little did you know that I have 2 little girls now who will never hear me say I am fat or I need to lose weight, even if it is the truth. For their body image will not be shaped by negative comments about me – from me.
If I could talk to you today I would say
“Despite the fact you tore me down and belittled me in front of my friends and some mean girls in High School you do not have the final say. Your words are empty, I wish I had thought they were empty back then.”
I was a little girl, yes at 15 you are still a little girl… and you were an adult. I don’t care which NFL team you cheered for before you became a dance teacher it did not give you the right to humiliate me or call me fat when that was so far from the truth. It was high school and I was dealing with growing up. Your words cut me then but don’t hold anything on me now.
If you are still in a director role, I hope that you have come to see that all little girls are beautiful and that we are all fearfully and wonderfully created by God, not by you. I just wanted to dance and you stole something from me that year I was under your direction but you couldn’t steal my joy!
I wonder if you have ever had joy in your life…
Thank you for writing. I’m reminded how powerful our words are. One misspoken sentence, let alone a barrage of statements, can wound our souls needlessly. I’m so thankful to our Father for rescuing you, to your parents for being there for you, and to you for being willing to fight the fight so your girls will not experience the same. You remind me to protect my words – to guard them and make sure they lift up and not criticize. “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (James 3:10 NLT)
Have you been affected negatively by something someone said to you? Do you judge yourself by your body image? If not, please offer encouraging words to those that might in the comments. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ANONYMOUSLY.
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