Losing Leah: Halloween

Losing Leah is a special series about being overweight, dealing with moving through our culture in a fat body, and the joys and trials of losing weight and finding health.

Halloween as a fat kid is tough. The years that my mom was emotionally able and made my costume were pretty good but were also pretty few. The years that she just couldn’t and we tried to buy costumes were misery making. These were the days of little plastic costumes and even more plasticy masks. But they didn’t make those for big kids. All the Caspers, Cindarellas, and Gremlins were madeit's the great pumpkin charlie brown 27 - You blockhead for thin kids rather than fat ones.

So I was left trying to figure out how to make my big self into something for the big day, on my own, with whatever I could come up with. Needless to say, I’ve worn a lot of pajamas, gotten some fake hay to be a scarecrow while wearing my regular clothes, and dressed like an old person by using talcum powder on my curly hair. But no matter how hard I tried, I felt conspicuous.

Something else you might not know…thin people do NOT want to hand candy to a fat kid. They do not want to make the problem worse. And let’s be honest, fat kids learn pretty early that eating in front of others can be shame inducing.

Halloween for me became one more time to eat in private. To seek to hide my shame. To say things like “I don’t really even like candy” as I handed it over to my thin brother for him to eat so that my mom (with whom I was perpetually on some sort of eating plan) wouldn’t feel the need to tell me that candy wasn’t on whatever diet I was currently on.

So yeah…you’ll forgive me if Halloween is one of the few holidays that I want to see come and go as fast as possible. I’ve had some decent ones as an adult, but as an introvert with some childhood hurt it always always takes a lot out of me. If I don’t want to participate, you’ll just have to understand. And if you don’t like it, that’s okay. Some of you are big jerks about Christmas music, birthdays, and Superbowl Sunday and I don’t give you a hard time…so we’ll call it even!

And yes…your kids are adorable as Elsa and Ironman, but your sexy minion costume still looks ridiculous to me. 🙂


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