Sophia Baker

Hi my name is Sophia, and I’m going to tell you why I want to make a change.

When I was little, I didn’t look forward to anything. I grew up not liking where I was or who I was; mix race, bisexual, and a larger woman.

I still remember the five years i spent not liking myself. It was from the second grade all the way up to the sixth; yes that early on i was having insecurities and feeling down about what I was. To have a little kid, boy or girl, grow up under the constant reminder of what they’ll never be is not healthy, especially when it came from kids the same age as you.

I was never sure why i was the one getting bullied; was i too tall? Too fat? Was it cause i didn't look like my dad? Was it because I didn't like boys? Was it because i did? I still don't know.

But I spent five years of my life hearing the same things every day: “you’re too fat.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “No body will ever like you.” “People like you end up in hell!” “You were probably adopted.” those were the nicest among others.

I'm not telling you this so you’ll swell up with pity for me; it's so you can understand. I’m not the only kid that faced bullying. 77% percent of students get bullied, and most of the time it's over things they can't fix right away or cannot change.

Why do you think kids are mean towards each other? Its because they don't understand. A girl liking girls? Gross. A girls who doesn't look like her dad? Not possible. A 12 year old already developing into a woman? Fat.

Children often times grow up in households were certain things are frown upon; being bigger, being gay, and being of different race or lineage.

They see their parents talking poorly of bigger people, they’ll shame the boy eating more than the rest. They hear you say a woman of certain sexually or orientation is sick, then your child will frown upon them as well. You think people of color are inferior to you, so will your kid.

This is what happened to me. One girl took my growing body as a personal offence, and would shame me for having grown up too fast or too “big” in a short amount of time. A boy too offence to my skin and my structure, having been taller and darker than him, he’d pick on me. Another one loved to make fun of whomever I liked; I couldn't like girls cause it was ‘wrong’ and I couldn't like boys because they’d ‘never like me back’.

Five years of this. And now I have a small window of opportunity to fix it.

I still think about all they've said to me. I’ll look in the mirror and pick at my skin and my stomach. I hunch sometimes, trying to seem smaller. And I never dare approach a man or woman in fear that what I’ve been told once i'll be told again.

 

 
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An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal day school serving a community of students grades 6-12.