My Mad Fat Diary is back on with it’s second series based on the real life 1990’s diaries of Rae Earl. Although this show is great to watch and at times extremely amusing it covers the very difficult situation of how bullying affects our Teenagers and just how hard it can be to simply ‘Fit in’.
Rae is just 16 years old and should be enjoying life as a teenager living in Stamford Lincolnshire but she’s just spent time in a Psychiatric Hospital after being bullied at school about her weight leading to depression and causing her to self harm. In series One we saw her trying to re-connect with her best friend Chloe and new group of friends Izzy, Chop, Archie and Finn. Whilst doing her best to keep her own problems a secret from everyone Rae becomes a shoulder of support for the others listening to their troubles especially when Archie confides in her that he is actually gay but to scared of letting anyone know.
Episode one of series two see’s Rae preparing herself for the first day of college which is a massive step in her life having to be back around students who will be watching and judging the way she looks and acts. Rae is also now in a relationship with Finn and all is going well until they try and have sex. This whole situation makes her feel self conscious about her weight and the fact that she doesn’t think she is good enough for Finn. Can she cope with it all?.
I remember what it was like starting Upper school back when I was 13 years old in 1988 . I was the really skinny girl with long black hair and a strange name. I had already been picked on a few years earlier when my Periods decided to start way before any of the other girls. For some reason having your period (which I had tried to keep to myself) seemed to mean that you must have been having sex as far as all the children in my class were concerned when it was broadcast that I had been seen in the toilets with an incriminating Sanitary towel in my hand. But Upper school was by far the worst. Besides my name being called “weird” constantly and my hair being pulled by idiot boys or criticised by the girls. The two things that hurt me the most were the fact that no matter how much I eat I stayed incredibly thin even though (believe me when I tell you this) I have always loved my food. My shoulders were boney and my ribs stuck out. This would have probably gone unnoticed but it’s hard to stop people starring at you when you’re stuck in a room full of girls changing for PE. Also to add insult to injury as if things weren’t depressing enough with an already horrible home life, unlike the other girls my breast didn’t seem to realize that I was a teenager and refused to grow. I may have been the first girl to start my periods but I was the last to need a bra. The comments that were made such as “you suit you’re weird name you’re both like something out of a horror movie”, “Pancake chest is as flat as the floor”, “Anorexic girl looks like a skeleton” and being told “boys will never look twice at you with no boobs” left me feeling ugly, worthless and at times like I was completely alone in the world. Yes I had a small group who called them selves friends but no one I could turn to about how depressed I was getting, no one to try and cheer me up on the days when I wanted to hide in the corners or at the back of the classroom out the way… Life Sucked!. Thankfully College was a whole lot easier, their were students of all ages, back grounds and sizes so I was able to go unnoticed by most people apart from two girls my age who considered themselves to be the ‘It Girls’ of the class. Both evil opinionated creatures that didn’t actually know anything, wearing far to much make-up and had a different boyfriend each week, One of which I slapped round the face during a lesson when she tried to shove passed me as we went to hand in our homework. This you have to understand was only after she had wound me up with her constant whisperings and giggling about how flat chested I was. The rest of the class agreed that it was deserved and that in future she should leave me well alone and anyone else she’d been picking on. Luckily for me I only received a warning from my tutor who very sweetly said that she had been bullied when at school for being over weight and so understood my actions but could not condone them.
This is me now over 20 years later married with two wonderful daughters, three cats and a dog. My name gets a different response these days as people tell me how beautiful and unusual it is 🙂 . My hair I stupidly cut off in my 20’s and am now trying desperately to re-grow. I’ve put on a little weight since my teens but my breasts sadly never realized that they were supposed to do something so are still no more than a handful. Unfortunately the bullying I received through my school years and the hurtful vicious things that were said have stuck with me and so I’m still very conscious of the way I look and struggle with feelings of low self worth and probably always will but I’ve got through life, I’m still here. Anyone who doesn’t like that…
“You know where the door is!”
A little advice for today’s teenagers…”if you can’t think of something nice to say then DON’T say anything.