In partnership with Bold Magazine, we have featured this Article from Aby Deal, The Curvy Chic Chick– I remember waking up some mornings in middle school and thinking “how could I get out of riding the bus to school” because my school shared buses with the high school next door and the older kids who sat in the back of the bus would always tease me about my size, or being adopted, or whatever insecurity they could pin point, and if my sister wasn’t there to protect me I’d retreat into the shell of myself that existed at that time and let the bullying take place and not stand up for myself.

I remember one morning walking onto the bus,taking my seat, and immediately putting my headphones on so I could listen to my mp3 player and block out the words only to have them knocked off my ears a few minutes later and an older boy said didn’t you hear me calling for you? He made pig sounds at me and said “do you smell bacon? I think we’ve got breakfast. We just need to fry up miss piggy” and all the kids laughed.

My cheeks turned red, my eyes filled with tears, and I put my headphones back on and they left me alone the rest of the bus ride because someone else came on they could torment next.

If my sister had been there she would have gotten in trouble for cussing out or maybe even hitting the kid tormenting me, and if I had told my parents what happened that morning I know my mom would have been on the phone with the school district to find out why anyone would let this behavior happen and to get the kids in trouble like she did many times when I voiced the harassment.

Unfortunately this is a reality I faced many days growing up. It’s a reality MANY kids face every day growing up. Requiring bus monitors and making threats to get parents involved doesn’t change learned behavior. It may resolve the behavior temporarily but these kids still continued to bully those around me. We’ve all experienced tramautic events that have shaped us to be the individuals we are. I would never wish my experiences growing up on anyone but looking back, I wish I had the strength then to stand up for myself the way I do now. I love seeing movies like “Dumplin” showing STRONG female characters because I wish I was as strong as that character and her friends growing up. I hope these movies continue to produce and characters like Willow Dean are made common because maybe just maybe, it’ll be what one young girl afraid to ride the bus to school for fear of torment needs to push through another day and stand up for herself. 💜