Yeah I know, I said I wouldn’t do it. But this one isn’t so much about politics as a fact of life.
Kim Beazely is currently a shrinking man. According to a news article, he has lost 16kgs since the start of 2006. A lot of people seem to think losing weight will win him the next election. I have some bad news for those people..
Every week at the high school I went to, they had a speaker turn up and address the entire year. That was a fair bunch of people, as I’ve mentioned before, I went to a school with over 500 people in my year level alone. So these were held in the library with people squeezing into every space imaginable.
One day in year 10, a speaker from Flinders University gave a lecture entitled “Why fat people are dirty people”. By that time, I was not really that fat anymore. I had been a size 16 when I started that school in year 8, and those uniforms were literally swimming on me by now, I couldn’t wear them anymore..
I’d got down to a size 12 and realistically I was no bigger than anyone else there in the room, but I was still one of the “fat kids” and when I saw eyes begin to turn in my direction as this cruel man went on and on about fat people being dirty, I knew it would not matter if I was just skin and bones, those kids would always see me as one of the fat kids.
I mean, let us not even get into the fact that the school allowed this lecture to take place, because they should not have. That anyone should have been allowed to stand up there and say that to any group of kids is just wrong. It’s bad enough for a kid with a bit of extra weight in school. The teasing, the bullying, the nastiness, none of it is nice but it *is*. It exists. You can’t stop it. At least, not without automatic weapons, or bamboo canes applied to any kid saying something nasty, and that’s kind of taking it too far the other way.
But after this lecture it got plenty worse, especially for the largest kid in the year, a boy named Andrew who despite his outer shell was an incredible artist. He did some amazing work but nobody ever saw that, and the treatment he got caused him to become an extremely angry individual. Any teasing directed his way would generally be met by swearing and then later, punching.
He spent a lot of time in detention, with me and the deputy principal who died. I wish I could have called him my friend, but he was so busy building walls to stop people from getting close enough to him that they could hurt him, there was no chance of breaking through. And I understood that, because I’d had to do that myself at times.
Fat kids know that the outer shell really isn’t that important, because we know on the inside there’s plenty we have to offer. But in an environment where everyone sees only the outer shell, and makes judgements based only on that, you are never given that opportunity.
So when I left that school at the end of year 11, I was down to a size 10. I didn’t really like myself at that size at all. I’ll be honest with you. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was these enormous cheekbones that models would probably have killed for, but I did not like them. I thought I looked like a skeleton, and quite ill.
But moving to a new school, things changed entirely for me. I was accepted into the “in crowd”, got the lead in the year 12 play, and I was driving by this time so I didn’t have my own car but I had pretty much the use of my parents car, and it was an adult campus so it had a much more mature attitude towards things. I did subjects I really enjoyed instead of what the school forced you into (photography, media studies, catering and cooking, drama, stuff like that) and it was a great year.
None of those kids ever knew that at my old school I was considered one of the fat kids. But when the outer shell looked acceptable to them, I had a much better chance of them seeing what was on the inside, and that had not changed at all – I was still me. I was that same me at the previous school. It’s just nobody gave me a chance there.
I hate to say it, but it’s the truth – Kim Beazely is going to find the Australian public just the same. He can lose all the weight he wants. He can be stick thin, but it will do him no good, and it will not win him any elections. He will *always* be the fat kid, except to those of us who were fat when we went to school, who can see the inner shell. And statistically there’s probably not that many of us out there – there will be more and more as the years go on, but most schools only had a few back when I went to school.
So this does not bode too well for the ALP, because I don’t believe the Australian public will ever elect Kim Beazely, regardless of what weight he is. The damage is already done. I sincerely believe that supporters of the ALP have to realise they are never going to be elected with Kim Beazely at the helm. *and* I know it’s not fair, you know it’s not fair, but it *IS* – and that’s the bottom line. But..
Who do they have, who is stick thin? Who also knows plenty about the environment, a major concern for increasingly more Australians? Who may be bald, but the public don’t hold that against you like they hold once being overweight against you.
Just for God’s sake, don’t let him dance..