Why Tone Loc Made Me Cry this Am.

by Stella Forth

The digital scale blinks into existence as I stand on it. 201.0….198.4…199.5….199.2…199.8….200.1.

*Make mental note to record it this morning in your tracker app*

Get dressed, throw on semblance of makeup, pretend to care that my eye cream wasn’t put on perfectly. Grab my probiotic juices for fasting, my pickles for snack. And my running gear and work bag. Get in car.

Turn on radio, jam out to Kelly Clarkson – Miss Independent, Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up, and then flip around and the opening strains of Wild Thing by Tone Loc fills the car.

*neer. Neer. Neer. Neer.Neer.* (you know it, don’t even judge.)

And I’m dancing. Jamming even. It’s 530AM and I am feelin’ it. And then I find little tears in the corner of my eyes.

WTF. My heart brings this weight of nostalgia . I remember being in  my satin jacket and athletic pants, with the rest of the drill team. In the gym bleachers, in front of the school, while old school rap songs poured out over a crackly speaker, while we just danced around and had fun.

Funny word: We.

“We” didn’t dance. I remember shuffling my feet side to side. Enough to say “I’m participating”, but not enough to be noticed for actually, well….anything. But in my head, I was dancing like I was in my car this morning.  I was bursting to.

Despite being  thin in school, I will always be “bigger”. That’s not an excuse, that’s not a qualifying statement, it’s just the state of my bodily union. I am a touch below 6 foot, and despite what my scale said this morning, I was 155 in high school – a “skinny” girls weight. But I wasn’t petite, I had big feet, broad shoulders, “my large frame” as some nicely put it and I was as gawky and geeky as they came. No one ever looked at me and thought I was the type for a prima ballerina.

And the popular dance girls, they knew that. One girl, we’ll call her Jill, she made sure that I knew that I would never be a member in the social circles she and her friends ran in. She wasn’t overtly hateful – but the looks, and the giggles, and the gossip, I knew that Jill thought I didn’t fit. When you’re that age, and already self-aware of your sub-average placement in the caste, having someone else notice – and one of a “superior” level to boot – just is the nail in your confidence coffin.

So this morning, when I was jamming out, and those tears fell, it was because I regretted not dancing. I regretted not doing many things because of the nagging voice in my head that “I wasn’t good enough”.  I will never be 16 again. I will never be able to get back what Jill stole.  The ability to be what I thought I could be without the constraint of hate.

Fuck you Jill.

But I do have a son. I have a son who has the potential to be whatever he wants. But he won’t leave my parenting nest and spread his wings without understanding:

  1. That “his preference” and “his opinion” do not equal “the best one of all time”. That’s just good sense for anyone. You respect others religion, size, parenting style, gender, race, personality and well, just about any damn thing – because there is a reason they are that way. These people are THEMSELVES, you go get busy being PERFECT before trying to assess someone else’s situation.
  2. EVERYONE can do ANYTHING. I’m a big fan already of “This is Us.” The show centers around a set of triplets. The sister of the three is obese and the show is starting to touch on where she feels her weight challenges stem from. Another WONDERFUL thing the writers also touch on? The men in her life who think she’s wonderfully beautiful, sexy, amazing, funny, gorgeous both inside and out. THANK YOU. Thank you for making a lead character who isn’t Cosmopolitan-Cover-Worthy and who’s story isn’t single mindedly on her weight ONLY. Don’t judge the white girl who wants to hip hop. Don’t get ugly to a Muslim for her hijab because her God isn’t your Jesus. Don’t you dare think that someone who isn’t the media-driven stereotype can’t do whatever their soul aches for.
  3. Find your passion and OWN it. Mom will be right behind you making sure you are the happiest. Make your dreams come true. Throw caution to the wind. Listen to the voice saying YOU CAN. Because you can. and don’t ever find yourself in the car dancing and getting tears because you chose not to.

Take a Moment, go hit up one of my favorite songs in the world, Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This – this my readers – is what we should strive for in a world full of contempt for differing opinions and demographics.

The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins, It’s human rights for everybody

There is no difference Live on! And be yourself!

 

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